- you will be more comfortable
- you will divert garbage from our landfills (approximately 20 billions pads/tampons are tossed every year in North America alone)
- you will save money
- you will not be exposed to the chemicals present in traditional pads and tampons
In terms of options, cloth pads are a reusable alternative to disposable pads. We stock Lunapads, a system comprised of three items:
- pantyliners - used alone, pantyliners are ideal for daily discharge or very light menstrual flow, and are popular as backup protection for menstrual cups, like The DivaCup. Need a cloth diaper reference? A pantyliner is like an all-in-one diaper, absorbent and waterproof.
- pads -- a waterproof pad with wings that fastens around the gusset of your underwear. Need a cloth diaper reference? A pad is like a diaper cover - it contains the blood, preventing leaks through your underwear.
- liners -- comprised of 2 layers of highly absorbent cotton, liners absorb the majority of your menstrual flow, leaving the Pad base relatively clean and dry. Need a cloth diaper reference? A liner is like a prefold or a fitted diaper -- it absorbs the blood.
A single pad will get you through a whole day; you just change the liner when you need to. The pads and liners come in different sizes that accommodate light to heavy bleeding -- you simply buy liners that suit your menstrual cycle.
If you prefer to use tampons, a menstrual cup is a reusable option to tampons. A menstrual cup is a bell-shaped cup that is worn internally to collect blood flow. It is emptied several times a day, as needed. We sell the Diva Cup (only in size 2, required after pregnancy), a silicone cup that is latex-free, BPA-free, and plastic-free. A menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours at a time, it is safe for overnight use.
So, you want to know what I think? First, off, I'm going to admit I've not had much experience with them. In the past ten years, I've had (brace yourself!) two (two!) menstrual cycles, not by choice, but due to the fact I've been either pregnant, breastfeeding, or both. I have made the switch to using cloth pads, and I've used them post-partum for two babies, so I can tell you about that. First of all, it's not gross (I know that's probably what most people assume). The pads do not smell -- due in part to the fact they are more breathable than disposable pads, due in part to the fact they're not scented with masking chemicals. The cotton pads are far more comfortable than stiff paper pads, and they are less likely to leak because cotton absorbs faster than paper.
I have never used a menstrual cup, though I have friends that do. From what I've been told, it's something that requires a little practice to get used to, but once you get the hang of it, the cup is so comfortable you won't know it's there.
In terms of washing cloth pads, I just store and wash them with our cloth diapers, so it's really no more work for me. When you're out and about, you can store use a wetbag to store soiled pads. If you check the Lunapads care & instructions, you'll see that even if you don't use cloth diapers, caring for cloth menstrual pads amounts to little more than a simple load of laundry.
So there you have it -- using reusuable feminine products is really no different than using reusable cloth diapers, in terms of reasons and results. If you're considering giving Lunapads or the Diva Cup a whirl, you can use coupon code MAMACLOTH until October 15th to save 10% on the Lunapads Intro package or a Diva Cup. Offer valid online and instore, cannot be combined with offers or discounts.