Archive for the ‘Mama Cloth’ Category
The following is a guest post from Juliet of Twisting Vines…
I first came across reusable menstrual products somewhere around 2000, as a very broke post-grad student. Financially and environmentally it seemed like a good option, and I bought myself a Keeper (then the only menstrual cup I could find online, and as I recall, I had to get one shipped to the UK from Canada!).
I was an immediate convert. It was more comfortable than tampons, knocked a fiver off my monthly budget (a big deal for me at the time), and meant no more guilt about shoals of white cotton and blue string bobbing around merrily in the ocean.
The Keeper went missing some five years later and was replaced by a Mooncup. By this time they were becoming slightly better known – I was seeing Mooncup stickers on toilet doors at the Glastonbury Festival every year, but still had to buy online, from the UK this time.
Five more years passed and the dog ate my Mooncup (yes, really…), by which time I was able to buy a replacement one in a bricks-and-mortar shop, as they have become standard stock at the high street chemist Boots. The times, they are a’changing.
Then I fell pregnant, and didn’t need to use any sanitary protection at all for nine months, plus the six months of exclusive breastfeeding before my period came back (I was very annoyed; the return of my period when my baby was still feeding every 60-90 minutes day and night felt a little harsh). Out came my trusty Mooncup — only to find that, surprisingly enough, childbirth can do things to your nether regions. Read the rest of this entry »
Happy Earth Day!
I hope you’ve been enjoying the awesome guest posts of the past few days (one more coming up tomorrow!) – personally I love seeing all these real life stories of women who have made the switch to reusable products for ‘that time of the month’ – it’s inspiring and encouraging to know how many have happily made this choice.
And today on Earth Day, I extend the challenge to you.
It was just about 3 years ago today that I closed my eyes and jumped in – it’s hard for me to fathom it now, but it really was a difficult decision to give up those pads and tampons. I wasn’t confident that reusable products would really work for my heavy periods. I thought it might be a little too gross. It seemed like a lot of money to pay up front.
But the more I realized how bad those toss away products are for the earth – and for my body – the more I leaned toward taking that plunge. And once I finally did…well, ever since then I’ve wanted nothing but to share how amazing these products are!
It’s hard to say why, exactly…I don’t make or manufacture or sell reusable products – there’s no monetary gain for me. I certainly don’t judge anyone who chooses not to. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is a guest post from Julia at A Little Bit of All of It…
I have always enjoyed reading Kelly’s posts each Earth Day on our monthly cycles as well as her thoughts and experiences with using resusable menstrual products. I have wanted to try out cloth pads for quite a long time and finally took the plunge after the birth of my son and used cloth for my postpartum period.
I tried 2 different companies, both run by WAHM’s: Moms Crafts 4 U and Domino Pads. I had heard good things about both companies. Moms Crafts 4 U had a great price point that was perfect for my budget so I mostly bought from them. I wasn’t entirely sure what to order so I asked around and then relied on Moms Crafts 4 U recommendations (based on washing every 2 days or so). They are:
- 2-4 Postpartum Heavy Thickness (12 or 14 inch, personal preference here really) for night time
- 3-5 Heavy Thickness (10 inch) for heavy days
- 3-5 Heavy Thickness (8 inch) for heavy days
Once it slows down a bit…
- 5 Regular Thickness (8 Inch)
For me, I ended up getting:
From Moms Crafts 4 U:
- (6) 8″ Regular (3 cotton, 3 flannel)
- (3) 8″ Heavy (2 cotton, 1 flannel)
- (3) 10″ Heavy (1 cotton, 2 flannel)
From Domino Pads:
- (2) X-Heavy Long
I was basing this on the fact I am petite and these sizes all worked really well for me. The X-Heavy Long was more than big enough for nighttime for me, but Domino Pads carries a bigger one called “The Quince” that is 15″ long that you may want to consider as well. To be honest, I am a visual person so I went and measured the disposable pads that I had on hand at the time to see what size I was used to using and knew was a good length to also make my determinations. This is how I knew the longest I needed was the X-Heavy Long which is a 13″ pad. (You could also measure inside your underwear to see how long the pad will be to determine how long you think you’ll need.) Read the rest of this entry »
The following is a guest post from Lyndsay of ourfeministplayschool…
I’m so happy to be sharing information about the resources I use during my period! Much like the realities of childbirth and parenting, menstruation is often left for us to figure out as we wade through a media-inspired version of what our bodies should be doing and how we should be handling it.
I was 10 years old when I got my first period, starting out with the pile of maxi-pads my mother offered me, and by 13 I was using the run-of-the mill bleached cotton tampons.
I don’t regret this, or even dwell on it. I know now that it wasn’t the best thing for my body, especially for my vagina and other reproductive parts, but we need to be gentle with our journey towards embracing a natural lifestyle. I, like so many other women, did what I knew.
When I was 24, while completing my graduate studies, I made a lifestyle switch from vegetarian to vegan. This change to my diet inspired me to take stock of my whole being, and the ways that choices I was making were impacting the environment. Of course, I had known for some time that my use of tampons on a monthly basis was leaving an eco-footprint that I wasn’t entirely proud of. It was obvious, by making different choices around my period, I could add to the environmental contributions that I hoped I was making with my vegan diet.
It was then that I switched to Natracare tampons – these were both better for me and better for the environment. Given that this was 11 years ago, it was a little more difficult to get my hands on these and they were double the price of what I had been paying. Despite these obstacles, I knew that my body and the environment were worth the sacrifice I needed to make to ‘green’ my period.
Only two years into my eco approach to my menstruation, I experienced an extended period of amenorrhea. I checked in with my doctor and he wasn’t worried about the absence of my period, reassuring me that it was just a side effect of training for long distance running. I was 29 before my period returned, and it was at the point that I decided to try a menstrual cup. Read the rest of this entry »
The following is a guest post from Kymberlee of Our Crazy Corner of the World.
I’ve been in the ranks of menstruating females for about 14 years, but I’ve only been aware of the world of reusable menstrual products for about four years, and using them for about three. It took awhile to get on board, for several reasons.
I was already using cloth diapers for my son, but for some reason the poop and pee of my own offspring didn’t seem as bad as dealing with my *own* blood. I don’t like blood. It makes me nauseated. But, ultimately the desire to be frugal won out so I dived in head first with a few cloth panty-liners and a Diva Cup. And anxiously awaited for my cycle to start. Then I was hooked. As you can see from the picture, I’ve got quite the little stash. My favorite, FAVORITE pads are handmade by a wonderful lady in San Antonio, Texas. Her company is Domino Pads.
When I share that I’m a fan of reusable menstrual products like cloth pads or cups, I’m immediately met with lots of questions. I love the questions! I appreciate that people feel comfortable enough to ask me about these things, and I love sharing what I’ve learned.
So when Kelly asked me to guest post, I immediately decided to do a question and answer type session. So I asked a few girlfriends who were considering making the switch to ask me whatever they could think of! We had a pretty fun Facebook chat about the whole thing one afternoon. Hopefully the questions and answers will help you make the decision about what’s right for you!
A few things to know about mama cloth and menstrual cups: Read the rest of this entry »
2 disclaimers to begin this post…
#1 – It’s late! I meant to have this as a wrap up to the posts of the week before last and just didn’t get to it in time. My apologies!
#2 – I plan to share in this post (among other things) some great reasons for ‘greening your period’ – or switching to reusable menstrual products. On the flip side of that I will be sharing some of the not-so-great things about disposable products. While I believe what I’m sharing has merit and sincerely hope that it may help provide a few answers for anyone on the fence or new to the whole idea, I am absolutely not judging you if you disagree with what’s expressed here. If this post comes as the right one at the right time for you, great! If it’s totally not your bag, feel free to ignore it!
OK – now we can get started!
I want to re-post something I shared last year:
- Over 20 BILLION disposable pads, tampons, and applicators will
be added to landfills every year in North America alone. The disposal of
these products releases dioxins and other toxic chemicals into our
rivers, lakes and oceans and pollutes our soil.
- A woman will use on average 13,000 disposable menstrual products
in her lifetime. ONE cloth pad has the potential to replace 140
disposable pad/tampon products.
- ONE cloth pad can last up to 5 years.
- Disposable pads and tampons used in an average woman’s
menstruating life will cost her $4500 compared to $200-$750 for reusable
pads and tampons.
- Many pads and tampons are chemically treated to whiten, perfume,
and make them more absorbent. They are also made of synthetic fibers.
Given the sensitivity of the vaginal area to chemical absorption and the
number of disposable menstrual products a woman uses in her life, this
is a really big issue.
This list is why I titled this post as I did.
First off, the contribution I was making to landfills with all those tampons and pads was something I never even considered. For far too long I was of the mindset that when you throw garbage ‘away’, it just goes into that nebulous ‘away’ that most of us never have to think about or deal with.
But when you do think of it…what a terrible burden to place on our earth! Don’t get me wrong – I still use things that are disposable. But I have come to see that we do WAY more disposable than we need to in so many things, where it takes surprisingly little effort to use something that will last for years.
Ultimately, whether it’s pads and tampons or paper plates or diapers or plastic spoons or whatever, we need to start counting the cost with these things. We need to start seeing the numbers – envisioning the disaster we are creating – and acting accordingly.
Moving on to actual financial cost. Read the rest of this entry »
It started last year around Earth Day when I made the switch from disposable to reusable menstrual products and spent a week reviewing the different brands and products I tried.
I’ve learned so much and been so satisfied with my choice since then that I’ve decided to turn it into kind of an annual thing – a week of each year dedicated to extolling the benefits of making the switch – AND to learning more about ourselves and our cycles in general, in a quest to turn something that may feel like a big downer (or worse!) for most of us every month into something we can actually celebrate.
Now I’ll be perfectly honest – I’m not 100% there yet. There are many, many things I don’t love about my period (especially the bloating! :p).
But it’s such an inherent part of being a woman that gets passed over so easily and so often – the amazing cycles we experience every month (they really are amazing when you think about it) are so frequently not even considered – truly it’s a shame!
I’ve been trying for awhile now to alter my own perceptions about the whole thing, which was why I was so thrilled when Lucy Pearce’s book, Moon Time: A guide to celebrating your menstrual cycle, was published. I bought my copy within weeks of the release date and was not disappointed (not that I expected to be – I love Lucy’s writing!).
Moon Time has been exactly the guide I needed to really begin the journey to loving acceptance – and the empowerment that is possible – in knowing and valuing the way my body works in all of its seasons. Read the rest of this entry »
Since I had my daughter (not many months before turning 30), I’ve become much more aware of and attentive to the way that my body works, reacts and rejuvenates.
It’s been a process, like any other change – but since it’s begun I’ve been rather surprised to look back and realize what a huge gap this has been in my experience over my entire lifetime – especially when it comes to my reproductive health.
I simply hardly paid any attention to my own body in that respect. Periods were always an unwelcome surprise – I didn’t know how long my cycle was or where I was at in it on any given day. Though I understood the basic biology, I didn’t really have any deeper knowledge of how it all worked or was meant to function.
When I became sexually active I started birth control with no research whatsoever – just took what the doctor gave me. I ultimately ended up switching to the depo-provera injection (in spite of many, many warnings that it was a bad idea from various individuals around me) because it was easier than trying to remember to take the pill every day.
And really – what could be better than not having to have a period? (That’s what depo does, in case you’re wondering). Periods were a nuisance – a big crampy annoying mess – something to be endured and got through with as quickly as possible (which was never quickly enough).
It amazes me now to see how incredibly detached I was from the entire process – not knowing or caring about the way my body was meant to function.
But in another way, it’s not so surprising – that is our culture, after all. We are not raised to be proud of the unique ways our bodies work, but to be ashamed of and disgusted by them. We are not given the opportunity to relax and reflect on ourselves when we are meant to, but expected to continue on as usual no matter what. We are not given credence when it comes to how the different points of our cycle affect us, but dismissed as bitchy, moody, PMS’ing. Our bodies are most frequently not a joy, but a nuisance to us.
Even now, loving my body is a place I haven’t yet reached – but I have learned to get to know it – and value it – quite a lot more than I used to. Read the rest of this entry »
Last year, in the spirit of Earth Day, I made a resolution.
I must admit - it wasn’t something I was terribly excited about doing at first – I looked at it as taking a pretty big risk and did not have a lot of faith that it would work out well.
But as I look back over the past year, I can say with full confidence that I’m a total convert and wouldn’t go back for anything.
What I did ranges from being no big deal for some (and indeed, seems like nothing out of the ordinary to me now) to being a huge, potentially weird and disturbing deal for others.
In short – I made the switch from using disposable menstrual products (pads and tampons) to using reusable menstrual products – cloth pads (or as it is sometimes known – ‘mama cloth’), a menstrual cup, and sea sponge tampons.
I wrote all about my initial experiences in various posts you can find HERE – they include reviews of Moms Crafts 4 U (along with Earth Mama Angel Baby Monthly Comfort Tea), Lunapads, GladRags, the Diva Cup, Sea Sponge Tampons, and Party in My Pants.
Now that I’ve been using these products for an entire year, I wanted to share a bit more about my experiences. I’m not gonna lie – I’d love to help convert you too (I’m even sweetening the deal with a cloth pad giveaway at the end of this post)! Read the rest of this entry »
Welcome to the First Annual Freedom of Cloth Carnival
This post was written for inclusion in the Freedom of Cloth Carnival hosted at Natural Parents Network by Melissa of The New Mommy Files and Shannon of The Artful Mama. This year’s carnival will run from Sunday, July 3rd through Saturday, July 9th. Participants are sharing everything they know and love about cloth diapering, including how cloth has inspired them.
When I think back on how the whole ‘Becoming Crunchy’ phase of our lives began, the phrase “Inspired By Cloth” is simply an understatement.
Here’s how it went down…
Back when I was first expecting and had almost no conception of what it meant to be ‘crunchy’, AP, natural, etc., I realized towards the end of my pregnancy that I had been reading all kinds of books and resources about pregnancy, but very little about actually being a parent.
Along with that, I had this irrational fear of postpartum bleeding – for some reason, I had built it up in my head as this terrible thing (I was imagining my worst period times 10) and I was quietly searching around the web for some sort of mega-pad type solution to save me from becoming a Lady Macbeth covered in blood type figure directly after delivering.
(I know – but I was pregnant).
Anyway, my search led me first to mama cloth (cloth menstrual pads) – it was my first introduction to the idea that cloth could be used in place of something I would normally just assume to be disposable, like a pad.
And in the end, while I did find the idea intriguing, I rejected it – I didn’t really see it as worth the investment or believe that it would work.
But in that search that exposed me to mama cloth users, I came across bloggers who were talking about using cloth diapers. Read the rest of this entry »