So let's talk about menstruation.
[if you don't want to hear about all of the gory details of periods, bleeding, cramping, etc... I'd stop reading right now if I were you]
So periods... they are really funny things aren't they? I don't know about you but by the time I think I have them all figured out something happens and they change again. For example, I had a pattern of bleeding light on certain days and heavy on others, tapering off on day whatever. Then I went and had a baby and breastfed for over a year and everything went pear shaped. Seriously, I couldn't get a handle on what was going to happen when.
I went from being able to tell you that my period would start on Tuesday at 11 am to not knowing if I was going to get a period at all... I bought a LOT of pregnancy tests.
So this was causing numerous problems not the least of which was what type of "feminine protection" to use. Tampons were kind of out since my flow was heavy in the morning, light in the afternoon, then the reverse the next day. That left me with pads... not my first choice obviously. They are hot and sticky and always stick to the wrong things and not your underwear. They feel all plastic-y like you are wearing a disposable diaper... I was not happy at all, but what other options did I have.
That is when it dawned on me... maybe I needed to look for other options beyond tampons and disposable pads.
Years ago there was a product called Instead which looked like a disposable diaphragm. Apparently it is back, so you can see it here. I tried it years ago when I was in college and could never get it to stay in place. Ok, so that was out.
Then I read a blog post about the Diva Cup. It sounded interesting, could be worn longer than a tampon, was reusable so better for the environment... so I ordered on. Let's just say that I couldn't ever get it in despite numerous attempts. Ok, so that was out.
What did that leave me??? Really only one thing, the thing I was truly dreading the most... Cloth Menstrual Pads.
Really? Is this really an option? Haven't we come too far to go back to this?
But then I started thinking... I use cloth on Nate, why not cloth on me? I use cloth napkins, why not cloth "napkins"? It would be green, it would reduce my carbon footprint, in the long run it would be cheaper... so I decided to give it a try.
So I started looking around on Hyenacart and Etsy to see what I liked. I figured if I was really going to try this I had to LOVE the way they looked. There are lots of options out there and you can design your own at some places but when I found Homestead Emporium I knew I was in the right place.
I mean look how pretty they are:
They came in all shapes and sizes, so I ordered an assortment.
They came I washed them and but them in the bathroom until the next month.
Then I started to get nervous. Why did I buy these? What if they leak? They are going to be so bulky. I can't wear them to work. Maybe I'll just use them on the days when I don't leave the house. Maybe I could sell them on diaperswappers.
I had to get stern with myself. I have this habit of talking myself out of something before I have even tried it. So I said "self... try them." Don't make a decision until you have tried them... end of discussion.
So I did. I tried them... and you know what... I LOVE THEM!!!
They are so incredibly, worlds away from disposable pads different that I can;t even describe it.
They are comfortable and soft. They don;t feel hot or sticky or plastic-y. There is no adhesive so nothing gets stuck to anything else. They don't slip, they don;t leak, and as far as I can tell (even the "light" ones) are more absorbent that disposables. I even used them at work (the ultimate vote of confidence). I rinse them off when I am changing them, put them in a wet bag, and wash them with my towels. Easy Peasy!
So, seriously girls, if you are thinking about greening your period routine, looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint, or just looking for a more comfortable alternative to tampons and disposable pads, I really do recommend that you give cloth pads a try. You might seriously surprise yourself. I know I did.