O-kay, if you're a guy or easily blushed, then you need to stop reading here. I'm going to talk about a woman's issue. Please read this post with consideration for my privacy as you would want someone who heard the same about you. That said, I realize that this is a blog and that some people are unable to control their own tongues. Yet I feel compelled to raise this issue and it's importance.
This post is about menstrual alternatives to tampons and commercial, throw-away pads. In particular, my personal opinions and experiences.
Long term tampon use has led to my having, well basically what amounts to calluses on my cervix. I didn't know this until about three years ago when my doctor freaked out at the sight of white patches and sent me to a specialist. The specialist got her money and told me that it's not unusual and to cut back on tampon use for awhile.
Not unusual? Why had I never heard of this? I don't want something to rub white patches on me, especially on the inside. So I switched to pads.
But, I've heard things like there are chemical additives in pads that help "wick" away moisture so you feel drier. For some women, this causes cramps. Who needs extra cramps? Not me. Plus, when you really think about it, why oh why would I want chemical additives up against my, well, you-know?
If you don't want to believe any of it, then go on with your bad self. (wink) I'm sold on cloth pads now. Organic ones at that. Oh, it felt like my birthday when I opened the mailbox. "Present time, present time, open the present and see what's inside!"
Oooo, someone wrapped their product up with care....It's from DSmomof3boys. Check out her Etsy shop. I think the camo one is cute too!
This one is my favorite after one cycle. It's an all-in-one (AIO) pad and is long enough to give you a feeling of being covered from leaks. Yet it's nearly as thin as the commercial thin pads. I LOVE this one. The following two are a sample pad and a discontinued close-out from Sckoon.
With both pads, you don't get to choose your color/pattern. I do love the pink one as it is soft and comfortable. The bright pattern isn't my style and the fabric not as soft (meant to be leak proof), but it still does the trick. But the pretty side goes against your underwear.
As you can see below, if you can hit the middle then the advantage is that you can change just the liner instead of the whole pad. And for heavy flow days you can add liners according to your need. Each pad came with one liner and I've found one to be enough. But, again, I would want a longer pad on heavy days and nights. This company has plenty of pretty fabrics and sizes so check them out.O-kay, this one is from an Etsy shop that has since disappeared from my bookmarks for some reason. I believe she had just the one though. It's made from terry cloth and flannel and came with two liners.
Here's the backside view. One liner is polka-dots like the back of the pad/holder. The other liner is a diamond pattern. I've discovered that terry cloth is not my preference. This is my "last one before laundry" pad.
The next pad is from Ambrosias Designs in Australia. It arrived later due to being from overseas so I haven't tried it yet.
I tried to keep to those made in the USA so as to support local economy but I just couldn't pass up this pretty fabric. The back side is pink flannel.
There is one more pad on order so I'll add it here when it comes in. (Here it is, plus she added in three pantyliners, maybe because it took awhile?) These are comfortable and good for light days or for young teens.
Most regular cloth pads seem to come in about 10" lengths, but I've found that I prefer the longer ones, like 12-13". This is just one advantage of buying a few before making a large purchase. If you decide to try cloth pads, shop around first. Try going to this page and browse the Etsy and Ebay shops listed. Or just go to those sites and do a search as I'm sure there are more and more shops appearing every day.
For more on menstral alternatives start with a google search or here. There are even tampon alternatives, but given my previous problem I've decided not to try them at this time.
Also, try to get an assortment of fabrics. The benefits of finding just the right one for you are amazing and will make you wonder why you ever bought those rough paper and plastic ones from the store.
Plus, you'll have the benefit of never having to run to the store again (or calling your hubby to pick up some....blush.)
To answer the most common question, after use just put them in a bucket that you've prepared with cold water with a bit of Borax. Just set it in a corner next to the throne. I've revamped a plastic ice cream bucket with a lid for the job. When you are ready to wash (at least every other day) drain the water and dump the pads in the washer for a normal hot wash. No chlorine bleach and no fabric softener. Dry in the sunshine or on hot in the dryer without fabric softener as this could cause them to lose some of their absorbency. Every pad I ordered came with instructions/suggestions and you can find the answers to all your questions on nearly every site that is pro-alternatives.
I often think about all the women who lived before disposables. I wonder if they just used some plain rags or if they too became creative in making reusable pads. I'd like to think that given all the homemaking skills of yesteryear that they would have made some wonderful pads with very personalized fabric choices. I bet that personalized pads were actually a sign of being "well-to-do" enough to have the time for such considerations.
Remember pad belts? I bet those could've been made very pretty too. Hmmmm....
Oh boy, I can't wait to read the comments on THIS one! LOL!