I bought pads from the lovely Lindsay of Naturally Hip several months ago. These are my thoughts:
- I was quite flawed by how much they absorb. They're like Mary Poppins' bag. I have no fears of leakage overnight, or any other time.
- They're made from a really soft flannel on the outside. Regular pads aren't uncomfortable, but you can generally feel them being all plasticky down there. These cloth pads are much nicer to wear.
- They're easy to wash. I'm a bit crap at getting housework done, and if I can manage, so can you. I mostly only use them when I'm at home, so I rinse them well as soon as I change them, then either put them straight into the wash (with other laundry), or put them in a bucket filled with some water until I put the next load on. There's also wet bags you can buy for storing used ones that have been changed while you're out.
- The only problem I had was that the liners without wings ended up where they shouldn't be. They don't have a sticky section like store bought ones and the listing says that they should stay in place with snug-fitting undies. A lot of my undies were one or two sizes too big (in terms of dress size), so I actually went out and bought more of my size undies, and the wingless liners still moved around as I walked. I'm not sure if it's because I'm small or something else, but I recommend you get the liners with wings. Trying to figure out how best to sew in wings so the ones I have don't go to waste.
After I made the initial blog post about cloth pads, I started a thread on the Etsy forums about it which got a lot more attention than I was expecting. Lots of responses were about the Diva Cup, an alternative to tampons and a new idea to me. At first I thought it was a gross idea: basically it's a reusable little cup that 'catches' your blood, and then you empty it periodically. As I read on further, I realised it's not much more gross than tampons and, really, that perspective was just because I wasn't used to the idea yet. If everybody was doing it I wouldn't give it a second thought.
Here are the benefits:
- You can leave it in for up 12 hours, so you can change it twice a day and not have to think about your period the rest of the time, because if it's in properly you can't feel it.
- It's reusable so you don't need to send tampons to landfill all the time.
- None of this toxic shock syndrome stuff to worry about.
- It makes activities like hiking, swimming, yoga or whatever else easy while you're perioding.