If this is a completely new thing for you, or even if you’ve considered cloth pads and immediately decided “yuck” — I’m here to tell you that the glowing reviews you’ve heard from people who use cloth are true. If you are a man or my dad then, you know, move along. Seriously. Go.
I used to hate, hate, hate pads when my experience was only with disposables. The yucky throw away heathens felt gross and crunchy and just yuck. I then became a tampon wearer for most of my life.
Then a couple years ago I read about what the cotton/bleached tampons do to our insides – how they dry everything out so much that the internal flora changes (among other negative things). I also just hated tampons because I never felt comfortable while they were in. I decided to try a reusable cup style, just to see how I liked it. I used the Moon Cup, but there’s also the Keeper and the Diva Cup, all of which are very similar. I liked my cup, because not only did I no longer ever worry about being out of stock at home, I now hardly ever had to worry about my cycle because it was so much less work. The cup was nice for not having to “change” it out (i.e. dump it out) except for a couple times a day. But I still had to insert something, and that bugged me.
A good friend (who is not super hippy but just hippy enough — people seem to always ask that, for some reason) told me how she has used cloth pads forever. She tried to convince me that they feel WONDERFUL and not yucky like disposable pads, and how they are super easy to care for (especially if you already do cloth diapers — which I did not, at the time). I didn’t believe her, but I got a couple pads on sale and decided to try it. I never looked back.
I’ve also SO enjoyed using cloth pads for post-partum bleeding this time around (I admit I used disposables the first week because I had to change everything so often, I just didn’t want to deal with anything but the throwing away, but I hated it every single bathroom visit), because it’s been immensely more comfortable on my very torn and sore perineum and bottom. The cloth has been great to wet and freeze (ice pack!) or to soak with witch hazel or other soothing treatments. Best of all is that I don’t have the yucky sticky mess of disposable pads at all anymore. Also I think I forgot to mention the cost — it’s SO much nicer to save money and just slowly build up my cloth stash when I can. I started with just 2 pads, and then bought a few more, then bought a post-partum kit and just picked up another during a sale. It’s really not even a huge one-time investment, but even if it had been it’s already paid for itself a few times over in how many times I’ve NOT had to run to the store for tampons or pads!
My favorite pads are Lunapads (though I have yet to try the Lunapanties), but I’ve only tried a couple other brands from local boutiques. Brands I’ve yet to try but want to are Party In My Pants and Homestead Emporium. For those of you who are crafty and have the time, you can also just simply make your own cloth pads.
In case you were wondering, no this isn’t as gross as you may imagine. Actually I’d say it’s no grosser than disposable pads and probably LESS gross because you just feel so much better physically while using this type of pad. It’s no more “touching” of anything than it would be for disposable anything (I’d say the reusable cups are more messy)
For laundering I don’t have to “touch” anything. I dump the whole bag (you have a laundry bag or a wetbag, similar to what cloth diapering users have, but they’re small) of pads into the wash, including the bag. Everything comes out perfect. You aren’t icked out if you leak onto your regular underwear/clothes, so why would this be more ick? Honestly it’s so not. And again, I don’t even have to touch anything!
What do you think? Still can’t handle the ick factor, or willing to give it a try? The Lunapads site has tons of info for you to research, including thoughts on the “ick” factor and Party In My Pants will even send you a free pad to try out, for just the cost of shipping. Let me know if there are any other brands you recommend!