You have probably all heard of cloth diapering...but have you heard of cloth pads for menstruation?
I bought some cloth pads from Party in my Pants pads (PIMPs) to use for my postpartum lochia. I have a Diva Cup, but you can't use that right after having a baby.
[Neither Party in my Pants nor Diva Cup are aware that I am mentioning them in this post.]
I took a lot of time studying the different brands of cloth pads, before I decided to buy something. I wanted it to be really easy to use...so it would be more likely that I would enjoy using cloth for myself! Just like with cloth diapers, there are a lot of options for cloth menstrual pads. (Although, there probably aren't quite as many options as with diapers...I tell ya what, diapers overwhelm me!)
-I wanted a pad that was all one piece and that wouldn't bunch up in my crotch. This was probably the biggest thing for me (comfort). I didn't want to have a liner that I had to put in place, or an insert that I had to stuff in a pocket. Some of the most popular cloth pads have these particular annoyances. So, I kept looking for something that was more what I wanted.
-I wanted something that came in a "kit". I wanted to be able to get a wide variety of different pads to try out, for a good price. That's really important, because cloth pads can be expensive...but they are going to last forever. I didn't want to be stuck with a bunch of pads of one kind that I didn't like. With a kit, I may end up with a couple I don't like, but most that are good. (Or, I may just like them all!)
-I wanted something that had postpartum sized pads. This is the reason that I was buying cloth pads, after all! I know a lot of women wear adult incontinence underwear after they give birth. I wasn't planning on doing that, so I wanted a good, strong pad that could handle the flow of lochia immediately after the birth.
-I wanted something with a waterproof layer. Amazingly, not all pads have a waterproof layer. But, I knew I wanted one, because I was planning on using the pads for a really heavy flow. And with a newborn, you don't want to have to rinse out your underwear....'cause you really don't have time for that!
-I wanted something that I would be able to fix on my own, if it needed it. If the seam started ripping, I wanted to be able to sew it back and have it look nice still. Basically, I didn't want anything with a serged edge, because I don't have a serger....and that makes my crotch chafe just thinking about it.
-I wanted something that would attach easily to my underwear and that wouldn't slip around. Adhesives on disposable pads were really poorly thought out, in my opinion. They always seem to adhere to the, ehm, -wrong- places. I knew I wouldn't be getting that with cloth, but I wanted it to have a similar simplicity, without the stupidity!
-I also wanted the company to be really good at marketing, because I'm a sucker for good marketing. Oh yeah, and I wanted a pretty good price.
I just happened to have found all that in the PIMPs pads. All one piece, kits in various sizes (including a postpartum kit), nylon waterproof layer, straight stitched edge, snap in place, great and informative website, pricing comparable to other companies, and adorable, to boot!
And how do I feel about wearing them, you ask?
They are above and beyond disposable pads. When I wear disposable pads, I often feel icky. Wet, dirty, bunched up and noisy (crinkly pad, anyone?). When I wear cloth, I can hardly tell I'm wearing anything to catch the flow! The postpartum cloth pad is the biggest one that you can buy, and I -can- tell I'm wearing something with it. However, it still is more comfortable to me than disposable pads. And the next largest size is nearly undetectable! The cloth soaks up the flow so well, that I have yet to feel wet, dirty, bunched up, noisy or icky! And when a pad is soiled, you toss it in the laundry. You don't have to rinse it or soak it or wash it in a special load.
I wish I had known about cloth pads when I first started menstruating. Of course, I'm typically more of a tampon girl...and that makes me wish that I had known about menstrual cups...but that is another post to come, I guess. As for postpartum sanitation needs, I will now and forever be a cloth pad girl!