Almost a year ago I was given some cloth menstrual pads as a birthday gift from a good friend (the mama behind Dibs!) I was so excited! I had been wanting to try them out but had no idea what to get or where to get them. She found some fun prints with skulls and flowers that I was in love with. I actually couldn't wait for "that time of the month" just so I could try them out. She told me how to wash and dry them to make them last longer.
So there I was waiting for my 'friend' to arrive and all I had was 3 cloth pads. Like it usually does, it showed up the day before I left for a week long vacation!!!! I was going to my brother's wedding out of town, staying in my parent's motorhome, then staying at my brother's house in another town, then staying in a hotel in yet another town while going to a concert!! I was bound and determined to make this work! I am also blessed with a not so heavy flow so I knew I could do it.
What I noticed when I first used them was how soft they were. Most are made with flannel, fleece and an assortment of soft fabrics....much better than crunchy disposible pads or uncomfortable tampons. I was driving to my destination when I decided I probably needed to change it. So in very classy fashion I stopped at a rest area, changed my pad, hand washed my dirty one in the sink and then let it dry on the dashboard of my vehicle in the sun!! LOL It worked though! I then proceeded to hand wash my pads all weekend as I stayed in the camper and let them dry in front of a fan. I was just with my parents and they already think I'm crazy so it was nothing too outrageous.
I actually found my period stopped sooner than normal....it lasted probably about 3 maybe 4 days. So by the time I was at my brother's house and the hotel I didn't have to worry about it anymore!! It was crazy and I was hooked!
I scoured Etsy for cloth menstrual pads. The results were overwhelming!! There are a ton of different sizes, shapes, styles, and patterns. The best advice I can tell you is order one or two from a few different shops and you will soon figure out what you like.
The next month I was actually out of town AGAIN! And I had a bigger stash built up so I took all that I had with me and I hand washed them again in the hotel room. I was there alone so I was able to just let them sit out and air dry without worrying about anyone seeing em. Then the following month I was at home and had my first chance to wash them at home. Then 2 weeks later I got pregnant! LOL So I have actually only used them for my time of the month about 3 times BUT I have used them throughout my pregnancy occassionally. If you have ever been pregnant you know there are just some times when you need a pad, even if it's just a liner!
So here are some pics of my stash!
These are wet bags. These work for stashing used pads that you can't throw in the wash right away. I usually will rinse my pads first and then fold them inwards (described below) and then toss them in a wet bag which is lined with PUL (a waterproof fabric). Then when I am ready to launder them I throw them in the wash, opened up, in a lingerie bag usually with my regular laundry. Now that this baby is on the way I will probably wash them with my cloth diaper laundry. Then I do set them out or hang them to dry. I have never put my pads in the dryer. Sometimes the dryer can make the waterproof layers get distorted or make the fabrics pill up more. I just feel better air drying them. And I have heard if you have a few stains you can lay them in the sun to naturally bleach them. The top 2 wet bags I will use for cloth diapers and they are from Monkey Foot Designs these wet bags are amazing!! I have used them for swimsuits, toilitries when traveling and cloth pads. The uses are endless!! And then the small wet bag has a divider, one side for clean pads and one side for dirty ones. This is great for on the go! And it's descreet. It is from Vulva Love Lovely
Here is my stash all folded up and in the basket I keep under my bathroom sink. Look how pretty!
Here are a variety of sizes and shapes. The largest is a post partum pad. I am trying to build up a stash of those before this baby pops! I refuse to wear huge, crunchy diaper like pads! Then they go all the way down to liner size. I can usually get by with smaller sizes and absorbancies since I don't have a big flow but they make em in every size and thickness possible!! These are from the shops: Punkys Pads (my fav shop!) and Popples.
You can fold them up so they fit right in your purse or bag. You just fold in one end, and then the other. Then if you have ones with wings (which all mine are) they have snaps that you just fold over and snap.
Then when they are dirty I just fold them the other way (you put the design side against your body) so then the outside part that is clean is on the outside and the dirtiness is contained. I also store them inside out like that after I hand rinse them and throw them in my wet bag.
Here is my stash all opened and laying out. Most of these have been used and as you can see there is very very minimal staining and discoloration. If you take care of them they will take care of you!
Since I have used them I have noticed that:
- My period's are shorter and lighter
- I don't cramp nearly as much as before
- I feel excited to get my period so I can use my pretty pads
- I just feel better plus I am saving a ton of money every month and possibly the environment
So now I wanted to share a giveaway on my friend's blog. She swears by these pads and I am dying to get my hands on some!! So go check out the giveaway, she has the easiest entries for her giveaways ever!!
Dibs!: Pink Lemonade Giveaway: "Pink Lemonade Shop is dedicated to providing women an eco-friendly, reusable Cloth Pad that is both functional and beautiful. I offer a w..."
If you use cloth pads or are interested in it shoot me a line. If you are a momma who makes pads and you would like me to review some let me know, this baby comes out in about a month so I will need to upgrade my stash! :)