Intro to Mama Cloth

Intro to Mama ClothWhile pregnant with my second son, I sought to change our lifestyle to a more natural and sustainable way of living. Having cloth diapered my baby, I looked into the options and information on “mama cloth.” Reusable cloth menstrual pads are both sustainable and environmentally friendly. Mama cloth are soft, reusable menstrual pads that are typically made from fleece, cotton and flannel.

The benefits of mama cloth are many. Plastic disposable pads and tampons are made from the same materials as disposable diapers, including viscose rayon and wood pulp. Dioxin is used to bleach the materials. Many irritations and infections are caused by the chemicals and plastics in the pads and tampons, which cause a change in vaginal pH and temperature.

Disposable pads do not just “go away” after use, and just like disposable diapers they sit in landfills for years and years. The environmental benefits are also eye opening. An estimated 12 billion sanitary pads and 7 billion tampons are dumped in North America every year. More than 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999.

Along with the environmental benefits, just the feeling of cotton or fleece against the skin is remarkable–who wouldn’t want something soft and natural in your most intimate areas? I have found that my skin does not like the feel of plastic and since beginning mama cloth I’ve had much less irritation.

If you cloth diaper using mama cloth is really not much more different. I store them in a small personal wet bag when used and then wash them with the cloth diapers, following the rinse, wash, rinse and dry routine. Using a natural, dye-free soap and vinegar to rinse helps ensure a clean, non-staining pad.  I have sewn many of my pads but there are many companies who provide wonderful ones with all the bells and whistles – Lunapads, Gladrags, are among the most well known. Most cloth pads sit in the panties and use a snap, velcro or button to hold the “wings” down to provide extra protection.

I hope you give mama cloth a try, they really feel amazing, hold moisture away from the body, and help the environment.

Pia Watzig is a stay at home mom to three boys, the youngest of whom is currently screaming for her attention. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

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