Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Ladies Only Post -- Mommy Pads

I suppose a man might still read this, but I do hope they respect the delicacy of the sharing here. My comments are still on moderation, so any sharings will be private and unseen. If you leave a comment and wish it to be kept unpublished, just note that. It is one of those quiet topics most prefer to keep to themselves :o)


Susan is just one of many who has shared some wonderful tips and tutorials on making your own cloth mommy pads. There are a lot of great articles and tutorials and patterns out there. Lately I've noticed several blogs sharing their thoughts and tips for making your own pads. Just another necessary stocking up thread :o)

Personally, I stress big time over using them. I've never been a full-time pad person. Let's face it, I've had 10 pregnancies and well, to be quite blunt, I'm just a really heavy flow kind of person. I have a difficult enough time keeping life moving along at it's usual pace with super plus *and* overnight pads. I can see the wisdom and practicality of setting women apart in tents during their cycles. (Yes, I know it was more of a clean vs unclean Biblical thing, but you get my point I'm sure).

Is anyone out there a heavy flow person and using the homemade pads exclusively? As I said, I sort of stress a bit about just having a too heavy flow for them. The worst thing really is that by using tampons, my flow is actually increased due to the wicking construction/properties of tampons by design :o( Forget the price overall of store-bought over cloth, just consider the health benefits.

I need to practice what I preach. I'd like my daughters to grow up more used to cloth than commercial for the health reasons as well as the price and environmental considerations. By using them myself and making them as natural as I can a part of our daily lifestyle, we can make the switch I know.

I'd really like to hear what everyone thinks about cloth pads. Do you use them? Do you make your own? What materials work best for you from your experience? How do you handle the activities of life as well as simple overnight time periods? What have you found will clean and sanitize your pads the best? Won't flannel shrink up with hot water washings? Don't we want to clean them with hot water?

I could ask a million questions...I have no actual experience, so until I do, I'm all questions.


Amy said...

another post of interest - she makes her own pads as well..

Carie said...

I buy mine from Joyful Living Naturals....www.joyfullivingnaturals.com I buy the postpartum "momma" pads with wings. I don't have problems leaking with my cloth pads but when I wear name-brand store bought overnight heavy pads I wear 2. No kidding. My flow is very very heavy. At night when I wear cloth I just get up once and change it (I always have to pee anyway). Sometimes I leak but I leak with the others(at night) also so.....I haven't ever had a leaking problem with cloth during the day.
I keep a little plastic tub under my sink with water in it and put the used ones in there. I rinse the whole mess once and throw them in with dark clothes daily. I usually use cold water and either dry in dryer or hang on the line. I haven't ever had any trouble with odors and they don't stain (although it wouldn't matter would it - nobody is gonna see it?). I think that covered most of your questions. If you make your own, then make them longer and maybe wider at the back then a store-bought pad. I love my pads :)

Kristi said...

I have been considering going "cloth" for a long time but, like you, I have a tendency toward a heavy cycle (at least on some days) but there are a lot of options out there! One website that I find particularly informative is this one: http://www.labyrinth.net.au/~obsidian/clothpads/index.htm
I doubt that she is a Christian (she mentions worshipping the moon, so...yeah...) but her information on alternatives to commercial pads is vast. Not only does she include background information on cloth pads (including patterns and directions for making your own) she also has information on "menstrual cups" and "sponges" which are both tampon replacements. I don't know how I feel about either of those, but I think that using cloth pads is a great idea and having tampons just in case might just be worth it. Knowing what your needs are in cloth pads (and absorbency rates for different fabrics) is better to do while you still have tampons at hand and then if need be, you can always go it alone once you are comfortable. Well, at least that is my plan: make a few different styles and try them out before committing to a particular one.

Anonymous said...

Ooh, one of my favorite subjects! (What can I say...you have one truly weird reader here)

I have used cloth pads for four years, and the first flannel pads I got are still in good condition. I am starting to think they just might last until the end of my fertile days...

Pads are easy to sew. There are many styles. I prefer envelope style pads that come with separate inserts as I feel they are more hygienic (might be just my feeling, though...) My pads have a layer of windsuit fabric for extra security.

Washing: I have two buckets with lids in my bathroom. Once I have used a pad, I drop it into the rinse bucket. It contains plain water. My pads will soak in there until the next day. I change the water in the rinse bucket every day (otherwise it will smell). The next day, when I change the water I also remove all the pads from the rinse bucket to the second (soaking) bucket. It contains water, some laundry detergent and a couple of tbsps of 10% hydrogen peroxide (NO chlorine bleach). All the used pads stay there until I toss them in the laundry along with towels and sheets, in a cycle where I use vinegar instead of fabric softener.
If I have to change pads outside home, I just put the used pad into a little plastic bag, close it and when I get home, it goes to the rinsing bucket as usual. If it is really stained and I have the chance, I might rinse it with running water first, but that is not absolutely necessary.

I find that cloth pads are far more comfortable than disposables, especially at summer. They never smell or feel irritating. Snap closure and well fitting panties keep them in place. The pads meant for heavy flow days are thicker than fancy ultra-thin pads, but if you wear a modest skirt, no one will have a clue. I know some women who claim their flow has lessened a little when they have changed to cloth pads.

Oh, and though you did not ask...a common estimate is that a woman needs some 8 pads during an average cycle. It's nice to have some extras though, and if your flow is heavy and lasts over 5 days, you might want to change more often. 12-14 would be plenty for starters, I think.

Anonymous said...

Okay, Deanna, thanks for allowing anonymous posts on this one. Whoohoo! Some of us older gals wear the ultra absorbent thin pads to absorb sweat, to stay drier to lessen the chance of yeast infections - particularly during the hot summer months. How cool are these pads? Has anybody paid particular attention to what kind of fabric does the best job to wick moisture away from the body? I have to wear the name-brand pads, and I would sure like to find something cheaper that works as well.

Scarlett said...

I have heard of these before, but never given them much thought because of the simple fact I very rarely have a monthly due to my hormonal issues. I do wonder though if these are any good for the other issue that many of us have after childbirth. The drips can be an issue sometimes.

Abbi said...

I haven't ever tried cloth pads yet but I wonder if you have thought about menstral cups (like the Diva Cup)? I also have a very heavy flow and I have found that it works way better than normal pads or tampons. I like also that they are supposed to be much better for your body than either one as well and though they cost around $25 at first that is just a one time cost and it will quite likely last the rest of the time I will need it. When I first started reading about them most women said you would only need to change in morning and night. During my heaviest times that is not true for me (it has to be more often) and actually I will often wear a liner with it as well (but those are cheap and you could wear a thin cloth pad instead) but as I said before it is much nicer than anything else I have ever used for heavy flow!

Other benifits is there is no trash created with a Diva cup.

Aimee Kieffer, aka "Momzoo" said...

I have been toying with this idea too, I am very interested in what eveybody has said.

Let us know what you decide...if you are comfortible doing so :)

Linda said...

I switched to cloth pads a couple of years ago. I like them overall, especially the price. I use felt on the back and either a combination of baby diapers and flannel.I rinse them out well with cold water. Then I wash them in hot water. They have not shrunk.I use bleach and or peroxide to sanitize them.I have heavy periods and have not had any problems with them that you wouldn't have with disposables.The felt keeps them in place in snug panties.

As Simply As We Can said...

I've been using them for several years now. I think they will absorb better than you think. I have some "regular" sized ones and some thicker ones that are more absorbant. If I were worried that my thicker ones wouldn't stand up to the flow, I would just wear two of them together. Might be a bit bulky, but really no one but you will know. In the past few months, my flow has increased quite a bit for some unknown reason and I'm still doing just fine with the cloth.

I have a small plastic trash can that I fill with water and my homemade detergent. Sometimes I'll add vinegar and a time or two even a squirt of dish soap - whatever floats my boat on that day. I put the used pads in there and wash them usually the next day. I have noticed that when they soak for a full day, they do not have stains after being washed. At all. But if I wash them before a full day of soaking, there will be some slight staining. Also, several of mine are flannel and I haven't had a problem with the fabric shrinking or anything like that.

I have purchased all of mine off of Ebay from one seller. Her prices were soooo much lower than the online name brand pads. She would usually sell just one pad at a time for like $1 or $2 so people that had never tried them could get just one to see if they liked them or not. So over time, I placed several orders. But, I went back a few days ago to her store because I wanted to get a few more and she has raised her prices. I don't really see any difference in her prices now and everyone elses. I was bummed. :-(

Soooo, if you ever do decided to go this route and you make your own, just remember that I still can't sew a lick with a machine and you just might have one built in customer! Lol...

Tessa Silvas said...

Goodness--I had no idea this many people used cloth pads! This is something that I've been thinking about doing after reading your post a few days ago! It sounds pretty healthy, and very simple to make! Thanks for taking the time to post such an "odd" blogpost!

Subaru lover said...

I have just made pads for my daughter and I. We have been using them for about 3 months now. All I can say is ,WOW, I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. There so soft and comfortable. I got my pattern from Hillbilly House Wife.

Anonymous said...

These are very nice as well: http://www.simplysoftdiapers.com/mamaproducts.html

I just started using the Simply Soft cloth pads a few months ago and so far find them very comfortable and easy to use.


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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