Healthy Living,  Homemade

Menstrual Cups and Cloth Pads

** Disclaimer, if you are a guy you may not want to read on, there is some personal stuff here.
Yep! I went there. You know the moment when you are standing in the feminine hygiene aisle at the grocery store and you are dreading buying another box of tampons or pads because they are uncomfortable, leave you dry, itchy and just feeling gross. I mean it’s not like your period doesn’t make you feel gross anyway. I know it’s a right of passage;  what us women have to deal with, but did you know that there is an alternative to that grocery aisle???
It totally came up on my radar, that many women don’t know about menstrual cups or cloth pads, while at a women’s retreat a few months ago. Yes, sometimes I live in my own world and forget that not everyone is into the eco/natural lifestyle. But when one of the women piped up and said to my friend who is also a cup user, “You’ve been using one (Menstrual cup) for how long and you never mentioned anything to me!”, this really clued me in to share with the masses.
This may not be a lifestyle choice for everyone, but if you want to save some serious dough by not having to purchase tampons or pads every month this can definitely be an economical one.
So, about seven years ago, the menstrual cup came up on my radar. Let me tell you I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. I was newly married and had our honeymoon baby on the way so I wasn’t exactly in the market for something like this. I had joined a local cloth diapering Facebook group and saw a few posts about them. I decided to order a Diva Cup from Amazon to try out when dear old Aunt Flo returned. Lucky me! It was about 4 months postpartum.
It took a little getting to know you period because fitting some funnel like object around your cervix is definitely different than inserting a tampon applicator. Once in you almost forget its there, but 6-12 hours later you’ll need to empty that sucker. Don’t be alarmed when the toilet water turns quite bloody. Then you wash it out with warm water and reinsert. Don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it! In the mean time you may want to use a cloth liner to protect against accidental leakage. Many of the women that I have spoken to or consulted about using a cup say once you get the hang of it there should be no leakage. Women who tend to have a more heavy flow the first few days may need to empty every few hours during that time.
The great thing is just about every woman can wear one, from first menses to menopause.
There are some great websites out there where you can compare all the different types and see which one might be right for you.
*Word of advice: When emptying your
cup in a public restroom try your best to find one with a sink. Be wary of those automatic flushing toilets, you might accidentally loose your cup if you drop it and lean over to grab it. Those suckers are fast and then you are left with no protection! Eeek!
Check out Amanda @ The Eco Friendly Family blog for more tips and info on menstrual cups.
** A little bonus: Both the Mayo Clinic and Cleveland Clinic are helping cups become mainstream! They are also recommended by many midwives and gynecologists, and a eliminated the risk of toxic shock syndrome! Using a cup has even shown to reduce cramps!
Typical disposable pads are filled with chemicals, in case you have not seen reports about pesticide residue left behind. Many of these chemicals cause irritation and make wearing a disposable pad extremely uncomfortable. After having my babies I felt doomed to have to deal with disposables! But since I was already cloth diapering I took the plunge and tried a few out.
A few things I noticed right away was how much more comfortable they were. The cloth pads were softer and didn’t stick to my skin or make me feel itchy. They work great for me postpartum. No Leaks!
Modern Farm Baby original
 I love brands like Luna Cloth and Glad Rags. I have even made my own. (see photo above) Mine aren’t perfect but they work great. If you aren’t ready to jump into making your own, there are tons of etsy shops that you can purchase from and a great community on Facebook that can help answer any of your questions.
As for this Eco Mama, I am so glad to ditch the disposables!  I’m also glad I am able to share with my daughter who is sneaking up fast on this right of passage. Are you ready to take the plunge?
Katie from Modern Alternative Mama has some great tips on cloth pads.

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