In my never-ending quest to reduce my impact on the earth, and to keep toxins out of my home and away from my family, we have switched from paper products to cloth. Cloth diapers, cloth napkins, cloth wipes, and now: cloth menstrual pads. If you’ve never heard of cloth pads (AKA mama cloth), keep reading!
Mama cloth has environmental, economical, and personal benefits, as well a couple downsides (that are easily forgotten about). If a woman replaced her disposable pads with cloth, she could save around $125 a year (after the initial cost of buying the mama cloth), and would save all of those disposable pads from the landfills, where they would otherwise sit for decades. Cloth is softer on your skin, which is especially important for the postpartum stage; cloth doesn’t have any chemicals used for absorbency, just great fabrics, so no toxic exposure to a very sensitive area; cloth is easy to care for, you don’t have to worry about having to hand-wash, you can just throw them in with your cloth diapers, or run a small separate load.
In my first few days and weeks postpartum, I’ve been using cloth pads from a few different stores: GladRags, FuzziBunz, Punky’s Pads, Mom Crafts 4 U, Yurt Craft, and Lemurkins & Co Creations. Here are my reviews.
GladRags: I was lucky enough to receive a sample pack of GladRags for free to review, and I’ll definitely be buying some now! The overnight/postpartum pad is very absorbent, but BIG. It’s not one to wear out of the house, and the name is indicative of that. The fabric is quite soft, and holds up well to multiple washes, with no staining. It comes with two additional inserts, that fit into a holder for extra absorbency. The day pad has a slit in the back to fit the inserts completely in, and you can layer them for a heavier flow, or do a single insert for a lighter flow. Very slim and very absorbent. I also have a panty liner from GladRags, that has been a lifesaver when I realized that all my daytime pads were in the wash! Overall, GladRags gets an A+ from me!
FuzziBunz: I have a 3 pack of the “regular” pads, in white. They’re perfect for day time, very absorbent, made from very soft fleece and an inner layer of microterry. Making sure to rinse with cold water before I toss them into the wetbag has kept them from staining, and they’re always pure white once again after they come out of the dryer (low heat). FuzziBunz also gets an A+ from me!
The Punky’s Pads, Mom Crafts 4 U, and Yurt Craft pads I have are all of the overnight/post-partum size. I have one of each, and all three have proven themselves! They’re absorbent, so soft, and have fun patterns. They held up well in my first 3 or 4 days after birth, and I felt secure in wearing them. Again, as the name says, these are quite big. They all get As in my book!
Lemurkins & Co Creations: I received a sample pack from Lemurkins for free a couple of years ago to try when she was first starting to make them. The 8″ daytime pads are my favorite, and are absorbent enough for overnight use during a regular period (not so much for postpartum overnight use though). My pads are all black, which hides stains completely, and some of the pads have two snaps, for wider or thinner panties. These are great pads, and get an A!
Honestly, I haven’t found a cloth pad that hasn’t met my standards, and what’s most important is that I’m doing good for the environment and my body. If you haven’t tried mama cloth yet, give it a shot. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised.