So I wasn’t exactly sure on how to go about this. But I wanted to talk about that wonderful thing that most of us dread every month. Call it what you will (period, cycle, BFF, Aunt Flo), for the purposes of this article, and any that I discuss, I call it AF (Aunt Flo). I think I was in a group of TTC (trying to conceive) when I first heard this term. It has since grown on me. So I wanted to discuss some green ways to get through this week (or days for some of you lucky gals).
I am sure that most of the population use one of two forms to “collect” AF.These are what I was using prior to mama cloth. The first one I started with was pads, ya know the always, kotex, etc, kind. You can buy these at your local grocery store. These worked great until high school and then I switched over to tampons (I always preferred Tampax, but whichever). This was what I used, and most of us have only ever heard of!
Then about 18 months ago I started using cloth diapers. I fell in love with these. I joined a few chat groups and at some point saw someone talking about mama cloth….say what?
Ahhh…mama cloth. Yes, I was certainly skeptical about these. I mean where do you put them after you have used them? How do you wash them? What if you work, you have to carry these around? Yes, these were all my questions. I mean, I didn’t want to carry a gross pad in my purse all day at work, right?
So I am going to break it down for you. First mama pads are wonderful. I mainly only use them at night and for liners, and right in the beginning of AF since it is heaviest then. I also use a menstrual cup (which I will discuss next week). These are also great for those first 6 weeks home with your baby, when you cannot use a cup or tampon.
So this is what a mama cloth looks like:
Green Baby Goods carries Lunapads, which come in all sizes and flows, a great way to start out. All of the ones that I own have fleece on the back to help in them shifting. Some brands work better than others for this, and some even use PUL.
You can go about this in a few different ways. I have a small Planetwise bag that I use when I go into work, a ziploc bag will also work. I do not carry this with me to the bathroom, I just wrap it up into itself (see below) and carry it back to my desk to put into my bag. Most of the pads that I have bought have snaps that snap around your underwear, then you flip them to snap shut.
The top snap I use to snap onto my underwear, the one furthest out I snap when I wrap it up.
So they really are pretty discrete, and when they are wrapped up like this, you can fit several in a quart sized freezer bag.
Now for home, I use at old wipes container and just throw them in there when they are used, and then I store them all in the same tub when they are cleaned and not being used for the other 3 weeks of the month. It was free and I found a way to re-purpose it. A wet bag and Ziploc bag would work in the same way.
So far all of the mama cloth I have purchased come with instructions on how to wash. To be honest, I just throw mine in with my cloth diapers, which is virtually the same instructions. But I am not going out of my way to wash them. I throw them in a quick wash right with my cloth diapers to rinse them in cold and I wash on hot with vinegar and eco friendly non scented Eco’s. I do not have a line in my yard (yet!), but I stick mine on top of my dryer or dry on extra low (a setting my new dryer has), and they still look like new.
I am a fan of mama cloth and I promote it to everyone. I hope that this helps in your quest to learn more.