Natural Menstrual Pads - NightI admit completely that this is an uncomfortable topic for many women to talk about. Which is sad - because a woman's monthly cycle is completely natural and normal! How do we live in a day and age where there are tons of ads for Viagara with descriptions of a man's "problems" with his male body parts - but when we talk about female body parts we want to hide from them? We are not diseased. We should not be embarassed. We are doing something normal, healthy, and part of who we are.
I imagine we all agree that baby diapers should be cloth so we are not pouring thousands of dirty, gross diapers into landfills where they sit until eternity. Baby diapers are full of all sorts of smelly things. Why can we talk about that - but not talk about adult women taking the same care with their own bodies? Babies only wear diapers for a year or two. Women menstruate for decades. Surely that is much more important to get a handle on!
Here is how this Nighttime pad from GladRags works. You have an outer organic cotton casing which has a pair of snaps on it. There is a flap (sort of a tunnel) that lets you insert one or two additional pads within it, for heavier flow nights. If you look at the left-most set in the photo, you slide the pads UNDER that cross-piece of fabric in the middle of the unit.
You insert one or two pads into that flap if you want. Then you put that flap-side (the side shown, with the tag) down against the inside of the underwear. The snaps wrap around the underwear to hold the unit in place. You have the smooth, flat, soft side of the unit against your body.
It is very comfortable to wear. There are no chemicals or dyes like you can find in many commercial sanitary napkins, so it is less irritating for your skin. When you're done with this unit for the night you drop it into a pail of disinfectant, just like you do with cloth diapers. Then when it's relatively clean you toss it into your washing machine. So you'll want to own 4 or 5 of these so that you have enough for the number you tend to use in a half-week before you do a small wash cycle.
I find these comfortable to wear. It is $20 for one "set" of the holder unit with two insertable pads. This means it could cost you $80 for 4 nights worth of pads (assuming one a night and that you do wash at the end of the 4th night). It's an investment that you quickly make back after a few months!
I bought these from GladRags.com - there are several other vendors as well with different styles and colors. I imagine you could make them yourself too, with some fabric and a few snaps!
Highly recommended. I want to reiterate that this isn't some bizarre hippy crunchy-granola issue we're talking about. It is a very serious environmental issue of billions of sanitary napkins with plastic covers filling up our landfills. We should all take responsibility for what we create in the waste stream and work to have a minimal impact on the world. Especially for something as easy to do as this.
I had started using the GladRags options on 04/04/09. I now have three different styles (companies) of pads I use and rotate between them.
Unfortunately I have to say that while GladRags is comfortable, it is the worst of the three. Just tonight I went to dinner with my friend. I took a shower before I left, went to a sushi dinner, and came home. By the time I got home I had soaked straight through the pad and the underwear beneath too. With my other two pads that never would have happened. It wasn't an especially heavy flow, either.
Yes, I could have "loaded up" the pad with the other two inserts - but then that gets very bulky. The other two companies provide the same amount of protection in a pad that is the same thinness as the base pad here.
Also, these pads tend to get "curled up" after a few washings. So they aren't flat and straight which makes them slightly more of a pain to use.
So to summarize, while I appreciate the organic cotton of the gladrags, they are not the ones I will continue to use. They will be my last-choice backup.
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