Happy Earth Week!
If you’ve been a reader for any time at all here at Becoming Crunchy, you’ll know my hubby and I have been making a lot of changes in our lives recently from very ‘mainstream’ living to being more ‘crunchy’, which entails quite a lot, but basically comes down to having much greater care for the environment, the food we eat, the products we use, etc., etc.
I’m not denying that we still have a long way to go, but I am pretty proud of many of the changes we’ve made – I think we’ve come a long way!
Because we celebrate Earth Day on April 22nd, I spent some time last month thinking about what I could do as kind of a bigger gesture toward becoming more sustainable.
What I came up with was Mama Cloth.
If you don’t know what Mama Cloth is (I didn’t until very recently!) you’re gonna get a whole bunch of information on it this week – I’ve ordered products to review from 5 different companies (including some awesome WAHM’s) and I’ve got a lot to share from what I’ve learned and experienced.
We’re gonna get into some intimate details here, but hopefully by the end you’ll come to be as excited about the whole idea as I am (if you’re not already!) – and if you’re mama cloth curious, a lot of your questions should be answered this week…
I have been intrigued by Mama Cloth (or reusable cloth menstrual pads) for quite awhile now. I first heard of them when I was looking into the best solutions for postpartum bleeding – I have always had really heavy periods and couldn’t quite imagine how I was going to deal postpartum without the use of tampons.
I came across a few sites that sold cloth pads, and I was intrigued…but I couldn’t really get into the idea. I mean…ewww!
So I kind of forgot about it and ended up dealing with my postpartum bleeding with about 500 bags of overnight pads (OK, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration), then went back to my standard super plus tampons and extra absorbent pads (always worn together) when my period returned.
But in the online circles where I tend to hang out, a lot of mamas were talking about mama cloth. Everyone who was using it seemed to be loving it, and I began to become intrigued again. But in spite of the fact that I’d been using cloth diapers on my Bean for months by that point, the idea of cloth menstrual pads still had an ick factor – AND I really didn’t trust that they would actually work.
But the idea grew on me. I started realizing that I have to deal with the mess anyway, whether it’s through garbage or laundry. It’s not like it’s really that disgusting either…I mean, it is a natural female process, right? It’s not that hard to deal with baby poop…what’s a little blood every month?
My main concern shifted away from gross, and toward wondering whether they could work for me – the woman of the world’s heaviest, most awful periods. I don’t want to go into too much gory detail, but here’s a synopsis:
My period would usually last at least 7 days (none of this 4-5 day stuff). I had to use super plus tampons along with a heavily absorbent pad, and would still leak through on occasion – especially at night. I endured terrible symptoms – cramps, bloating, headaches, exhaustion, total hormonal craziness (and the PMS seemed to start SO early!).
I essentially hated my life for a week to 10 days every month…
But with all the recommendations, and the desire to be true to my ideals of becoming crunchy, I decided to give it a try. What was the worst that could happen? Well, I would have blown some money and they wouldn’t work…not all that bad of a deal in the end, right?
But once I made my decision, I ran into the same problems I had with choosing diapers – there is a TON of choice out there! Which ones should I go with? Which ones would work best? What if I spent money on a certain brand and found out they didn’t work, then couldn’t convince hubby to let me spend more money and try another brand?
I did ask for recommendations, but everyone had a different answer.
I decided if I was having this problem, others might be too, so I came up with a plan to at least help a few more people out there who were trying to decide.
I ordered 4 different brands of cloth pads. I picked up a Diva Cup and some sea sponge tampons. I bought some Earth Mama Angel Baby Monthly Comfort tea. I used them all during my last period, wrote down my experiences, and plan to share them all with you this week, in the hopes that if you’re trying to decide, this will be a good guide to get you started.
Finally, I convinced one of the wonderful WAHMs I ordered from to donate a giveaway (she was pretty easy to convince ) and we’ll be hosting that on Friday as a culmination to all the mama cloth information I’ll be sharing over the week.
Mamas, I am truly excited about all this – and I really hope you will be too by the end of this week – I am such a total convert BECAUSE of the fact that my periods have always been so terrible, and this past month was the first month I actually looked forward to the visit from Aunt Flo. As I’ve been thinking about it…
- We are taught to see our periods as shameful or just an inconvenience.
- We attempt to control them with hormonal birth control or just try to get them out of the way as soon as possible.
- We don’t take the time to rest or acknowledge this incredible physiological process except as an annoyance.
- We apply toxic chemicals on a regular basis to our most sensitive parts.
- We fill our bodies with pain medication just to be able to endure.
- We ignore the hormonal shifts we’re going through and don’t acknowledge the affect they may be having on us (or are mocked for them by both men and ourselves when we dismiss women as just being bitchy and PMS’ing)
We have put this unique and special part of ourselves into a box that is to be ignored, because it is viewed as embarrassing, awful, painful, disgusting…just one more shameful curse of being a woman.
I know I sound like I’m getting on a soapbox here, but after over 15 years of suffering every month (with the exception of the times I was using depo provera birth control, or was pregnant) I am ready for a change. As odd as it may sound, switching to reusable, sustainable menstrual products have helped me shift to a totally new mindset when it comes to my period.
I’m not going to say it’s become an enjoyable process, but it’s become significantly altered in my mind and much easier to experience over the past months.
So stick with me this week!
I’ll be sharing my first reviews later today, continuing throughout the week, and if you have any specific questions I would love to attempt to answer them.
It’s Earth Week, and it’s time to greenover our periods. I’m just hoping you’ll be as happy as I was with the process.
Disclaimer: I purchased all the products I am reviewing with my own money (though 2 of the pads were a gift). The giveaway has been donated. I am not affiliated with any of the companies I will be reviewing with the exception of Earth Mama Angel Baby – I do receive a small commission from them if you purchase through my link. I am committed to full disclosure and to offering you un-biased, helpful information in this blog.