Monday, December 13, 2010

Mama Cloth: Reusable Menstrual Pads

Mama cloth, what is it you may ask. Mama cloth is a term used by women who use them, it is a term used to describe reusable menstrual pads. I know I know, those of you who are reading this who don't use this are thinking ~ewww gross I could never do that~ honestly I did the SAME thing when I first heard about Mama Cloth. I was grossed out by the whole idea, and then thinking eww I would have to wash them, nasty! 

But when money got tight we were looking for any way to save, so I got a good deal on some to try and I fell in love with them. So now I am going to share my experience with you, share the cost benefits, health benefits, and hope that some of you might consider giving them a try.

Mama Cloth is awesome! Throughout this blog I am going to post many pictures of different types, made of different materials, different sizes, & different styles. It all depends on your comfort and what you find that you like.

The first 2 pictures below are of liners, many of us spend $6-8 on liners in a 2 month span. With 12 months in a year you are spending roughly $36-$42 a year just on liners alone. The first picture shows you a red/white polka dot liner, this is very soft, fleece backing, velour top, with extra cushion inside. This one is good as a liner or lighter days as well since it has the extra cushion. The brown is a double fleece liner. And the black one is a double flannel liner.

The second picture below of liners, the top 3 are double flannel, the first in each set is showing the cute styles you can get them in. You can order just about any design to fit your personality. The second set of 2 are flannel backed, but I believe they are sherpa top, but I am not sure. As you can see they also all come in different shapes that you can try for comfort. They are also made in different sizes for better fit. All these liners have snap closures to keep them in place.

 The next set of pictures are of those you can use on regular days. These are flannel backed and minky tops. These are very soft and comfortable. The top picture shows you them fully open. The second picture of these, shows the littler of the two folded up for traveling. This is one of the reasons I LOVE this set. You can fold it up and carry it in your purse! Easily hidden. These have velcro closures.

The next picture is of set I have for regular days. These are fleece tops and PUL backing. PUL is a water-resistant lining, making these perfect for regular light to medium days. The Pink is the back, the floral is the top. These also have snap closures to keep them in place. These are larger than the liners for better protection but still thin and comfortable.

 The next set I have is black floral backing (can't remember the material used for the backing) with pink velour top. I love these for light to medium days, though they are smaller than the ones above, the velour makes them a bit thicker and they are still comfortable.

Lastly I have the picture below of the back of a larger heavy - postpartum pad. I love these for heavier days or after having a baby. They are velour topped, have extra layer in the middle, and PUL backing. These also have snap closures.

Now that I have showed you the many styles and types of mama cloth; I want to share with you the benefits. I already shared the cost of liners for a year. Now lets do the cost of regular or heavy pads as well. For myself, I always bought large packages of Equate pads from Walmart. For a large package I would spend $6 a month, now for smaller packages of Always, Kotex, and other brands you could easily spend $10-15 a month for what you need. My savings end up being $72 a year on regular pads, add that to what I save on liners and I get a savings of $108 - $114 a year just on the brands I use to buy. Now for those who buy other brands you are looking at just on regulars $120-$180 a year add that to the liners cost and your total savings a year could be $156 - $222 a year. Thats a LOT for women to spend each year! 

The start up cost for Mama cloth varies on whether you make your own, types of materials, ect. I have a lot more than what is pictured. I have over 35 different pads. I spent about $100 on my stash. So buy spending the amount I did, I evened out the first year. Well I saved $8-14 but I will have these longer than a year. For those who spend more than I did by spending $100 on a stash you can still save $56-122 a year your first year! 

Washing mama cloth is a big concern for people. Many people wonder well what do you do with them until you wash them. Well here is the answer, wet bags! Below is a picture of one of my wet bags, I have several, but this one is a medium hanging wet bag that can be hung on a door knob or hook in your bathroom. The inside is PUL so it has the water resistance. These come in all sizes, I have them ranging from travel size up to XXL. So you can use them for just about anything!

 Washing is easy, spray them with a natural stain remover, we use either Oxyclean, or another natural brand that we have here. Spray it on, rub the sides together to work it into the material, let them set for 5 minutes. Then throw them in the wash with your detergent. We also add more oxyclean, just for whitening. But you do not have too. Throw them in the dryer and you are done. Now some people rather spray them right away, but I usually wash them when the bag gets full and it works just as well. I do not soak mine, but I know many who do.

There are health benefits to using mama cloth as well. Many women who wear regular pads get irritation on the legs. Some women also get bad cramps during their cycles. Most of the time by switching to mama cloth, these can be fixed. Since there are no chemicals in the materials (other than what you use in your detergent, that is why we use natural) these cause a lot less irritation. Because these are also thinner than regular pads, it makes it more breathable also causing less irritation. Chemicals in regular pads also can contribute to a womens cramping during her cycle. Most women who have switched have noticed a big change in their cramps or some have even lost them all together. I use to get so bad that I would end up in the hospital once a month, because of cramping. Since I have switched I have not had any cramps. So they have made a HUGE difference for me. 

Now I know most of you are still probably like EWWW NASTY. But you never know if you will like them until you give them a try. I hope that this has helped inform you on what mama cloth is, the benefits, the cost benefits, & I hope that you will consider making the switch.

Until Next Time;
Mom of Many

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