Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Mama Cloth"

disclaimer: This post may contain TMI (too much information) for some readers - namely, men!

I gave birth to my baby girl 18, almost 19, months ago. I breastfed for 14 or 15 months. My dear Aunt Flo, thank God, did not bother to visit during most of those breastfeeding months. She showed up once around 13 months, and then not again until I had completely stopped breastfeeding. The very idea of using tampons in that sensitive, episiotomy-scarred area was akin to fingernails screeching across a chalkboard. So I was in no way going that route. Disposable sanitary pads are, well, gross. And stinky. And uncomfortable. And a waste of money. And generate a lot of trash for my tiny bathroom trash can that I am too lazy to empty everyday. You get the point - not going that route, either. Are there really alternatives? You betcha! I discovered "mama cloth" in the course of cloth diapering and participating in a few different online communities of cloth diapering mamas. Turns out, there are a plethora of mama cloth makers right on Etsy! It really is less gross than disposable pads, they do not stink, and they are super comfortable.

I have tried a few different brands now, and my favorites so far are April M Designs. They are all 100% cotton flannel, which is soft, trim fitting, and absorbant. I am definitely liking the more natural fibers like cotton, hemp and bamboo better than synthetics. Just look at this adorable panty liner she has available right now! And, I can't say if it's for sure from using cloth, or maybe just from being different since giving birth, but my cycles are definitly lighter. I wish I could say they are also shorter like some people supposedly experience when using cloth, but they are not. Another plus for me though is way less cramping! I have read that all the chemicals in disposables contribute to excessive bleeding and cramping. And, I'm doing laundry all the time anyways, so it's not any harder or adding more work to my day.


Brianna Heldt said...

Okay I'd never heard of this! (Although I have thought about what women must have done before disposable feminine hygeine products were available.) So interesting!

Erin said...

Hey Jenna,
I have been wondering about mama cloths ... I tried washable breast pads, but was very disappointed. (I just got the ones at the drug store - probably would have had better luck from a WAHM.) Do they stay in place? Do you wash with regular laundry? Do you carry a wetbag for dirties on the go?

Jenna said...

Hi Erin - I used the Dr Brown's breast pads and liked those, but I found that I was not a heavy leaker. If I was, I would have tried some WAHM ones with bamboo or hemp as the absorbent layer.

For the mama cloth, all the ones I have purchased have wings that snap together underneath, and I've had no problems with shifting or slipping. I keep them in a small wetbag that I made just for them. At first I was soaking them in cold water before washing, but then I read it's not necessary and that it will actually start to break down the fibers and they won't last as long. So now I just store them dry and wash every other day with dipes. When I no longer have diapers to wash, I will probably just wash them with towels or something. Just make sure you do a cold rinse first and then a warm or hot wash.