Friday, May 6, 2011

Natural Cycle Products

WARNING if you are male you may not want to read this.

A few weeks ago I decided to make the switch from paper menstrual cycle products to cloth and other alternatives. This week I started using them. While I've only tested them for a little bit I still want to share what I think about them and what they are.

Mama Cloth (cloth pads)

For some reason I never made the connection between cloth diapers and mama cloth. I use cloth on Trey for a variety of reasons but one being that I didn't want the chemicals in the disposables on his little privates. Well, in my reading I read that there are chemicals in disposable pads and tampons and that we are putting that on or in our bodies. That was a good enough reason to switch for me!

I did some research and found that you could buy mama cloth online. Some cloth diaper companies also make mama cloth. I also found several blogs out there that give tutorials on how to make your own. I also found out that my local cloth diaper store carried mama cloth.

Here's what I'm doing

I bought 3 mama cloth pads from my local diaper store and I also made some (thinner ones for thongs, sorry TMI but just trying to be clear what I'm doing). I also bought a small wet/dry bag at the diaper store. I'm able to put all my cloth in the bag and it's cute enough it looks like a makeup bag, so I can throw it in my purse and no one knows what it is.

Diva Cup

I heard about this on another blog and the woman loved it. I usually use tampons so I liked the idea of using this. It's a small cup that is inserted and will collect fluids. It's better than a tampon as it doesn't cause TSS like tampons. It also doesn't absorb fluids but collects them. And the reason I love it compared to tampons is that it can stay in for up to 12 hours and you don't have to remove or replace it like tampons to use the bathroom. When it gets full or you want to remove it, you just dump in the toilet and rise it out and reinsert it.

I love this thing! Once in and in place I couldn't feel it. I liked not having to worry about checking or changing things throughout the day. I just checked it in the morning and before bed. I had some minor leaks but I think that was due to not getting it in place more than faulty product. The leaks were only one day. The cup is supposed to last for at least a year if not more depending on each woman.


If you are interested in this here's where I got them and how I made them.

If you are in the OKC metro area, I bought my mama cloth and wet/dry bag at The Green Bambino The ladies there are super helpful and use mama cloth as well.

I bought the Diva cup on Amazon but here a link to their site where you can get more info and buy it as well.

If you want to make your own mama cloth this is what I did. I took a disposable and traced the shape on the fabric. This was the easiest way for me to get the size and shape I wanted. After making one I altered it a bit till I had what I wanted. For fabric I used terrycloth for the absorbent layer and some cotton flannel for the outer layers. I've read many combinations of what you should use, but this is what I found at the fabric store and so far it's working for me. I've heard of women using old towels and flannel shirts cut and sewn to make the pad. Right now I'm using a safety pin to hold the wings and keep the pad in place since there isn't any adhesive. Snaps are recommended and again if you are OKC local the Green Bambino can put snaps on for a small fee, or do them yourself (I don't know how to do that yet). Here's a link to a tutorial that I followed to make mine. Oh and you can get pretty fabric if you want to make it just a bit more pleasant!

All in all I'm very happy with my changes. I did spend more money upfront (just like cloth diapers) but the cloth will last a long time, many years and the cup hopefully a couple. They are all very comfortable, much more so than their disposable counterparts. They will save me money in the long run and I don't need very much to take care of my needs. At the end of my week I just throw the pads in the wash or put them in with the diapers. The cup is washed out with mild soap and stored for next month.

You really have to know your cycle to be able to buy accordingly. I think the first month is a bit of a learning curve but I'm very pleased with everything.

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