Monday, October 20, 2008

Money Saving Monday

Ditch the Disposables

Disposable feminine products (tampons, pads) to reusables

At the request of a reader I'm going to talk about feminine products today. My husband often reads my blog, but I don't know if there are other men. I encourage any man reading this right now to turn back...and any squeamish women. I will try to be vague, but that only goes so far when talking about things of this nature.

There are so many good reusable products on the market. The best I can offer, of course, is my personal usage of them.

I'll start with my favorite. For postpartum usage, and overnight, I have found the softest, most comfortable pad. It's called New Moon pads. They are really big! GREAT for PP especially! So comfortable. They cover everything and everywhere. If you have ever used a cloth diaper during the PP time this is way better. The cloth diapers can be a little uncomfortable on the sensitive area but these pads are too soft.

wide across, with a leg cut out, and long
soft outer material against skin
material that faces panties stays put
beautiful fabrics
great price
beyond absorbent, one pad will last hours, even PP...I have NEVER had a leak

no wings (not great for overnight but perfectly fine for PP when less is better)
You have to hold the pad when you go the bathroom or it falls in the toilet. With the longer PP pads, that's fine. With the shorter ones she sells, you often grab some hair, if you know what I mean. NOT comfortable. But if you don't hold the pad, it goes in the toilet.
Not great for tighter clothing

I see on her website you can get pads with wings now. Hands down, these are the best pads I've used. I don't like the regular sized ones because of the holding the pad issue. But now that I can get them with wings, I think they will be the best. I will order some soon and report back. All other pads I've used with wings stay in place when going to the bathroom.

Also, she often runs specials. Just check back often. I don't know if she offers any kind of referrals specials, but tell her I sent you. You never know.

Is this post getting long???? Sorry. I guess I have a lot to say.

I've tried Glad Rags, didn't like them. They have too many have to stuff them. The one I bought I had to stitch up after one use. I've tried lots of other work at home brands, bought off ebay for the most part, and none were as good as New Moon, for both absorbency and comfort. I only found one pad I liked from ebay and now I cant find her. They were soft and very absorbent and wide. (That is the key, they have to be wide enough and long enough.)

I never use disposable pads now because in comparison they are terribly uncomfortable.

I also never NEVER EVER EVER EVER (you get it? NEVER) use tampons. I've always thought they were uncomfortable, but whatcha gonna do? Pads get to chafing after a while and sometimes you just need more discreet coverage. So I had to find an alternative to tampons. I use a sea sponge.

Sea sponges can be bought through Frontier Coop for under $10. I have an account with them so I don't know the retail price. I've had them since I was preggo with Millicent and they are still going strong.

you cannot feel them AT ALL
easy to insert

cannot wear them for long periods of time
messy to remove so not great for changing in public restrooms

Despite the disadvantages I found them immensely better than a tampon. Way more comfortable. Tampons rubbed me sore going in and I always had to take them out so slowly or I would be even more sore. Not so with sponges. You have to stick your fingers way up inside you to get them out and you get blood on your fingers, but you can tie a string on them to make them more like a tampon and avoid that. But seriously, so much more comfortable that the disadvantages do not bother me a bit.

Another alternative is the Keeper Cup. I read an awesome blog post on this and it seriously made me want to buy them and try them out. So as soon as I do, I'll let you know. (That may be another couple months as my cycles are not back yet.) I can't find that post, but if you recently blogged about this, please post here. Or be the first to try it and let us know how it goes. According to the post, you can leave it in for up to 12 hours!!! WOWSERS. Nothing tops that. Completely comfortable and you forget you have it in. Reasonably priced because it can be used for a year or two.

One thing I realized after reading that blog post was that my periods are shorter. I mean, I knew they weren't as long. I would have a 3-4 day period and keep thinking I still had a few days left and I'd still be wearing pads. I just never realized it was because I was only having it for 3-4 days. She attributed it to using the pads and the cup that were more natural. I have to agree. I think not having those chemicals in my body changed it. I have no proof of that. But when you talk to other women using these products, they all seem to have the same experience. Let me know how it goes with you.

So wow, here is my really, super long post. I hope you stuck around, or at least skimmed the post. I'm excited to hear how it works for you, so please come back and post about your experiences.


Skinnyontheinside said...

Michelle, I too use the pads form new moon. I have the ones with wings they are GREAT! I love them. I have never tried the sponges but I have used the diva cup. It too can be messy to remove until you get use to it. It is very comfortable but being I have a heavy flow I could only wear it for 3-5 hrs before I had to empty it. Still so nice when you need something more discreet then a pad and I always had to change tampons every 1-2 hrs anyway so this is an improvement. About the length of period changing. I would have to agree. When I used tampons almost exclusively my period would last 8-9 days, now using cloth my period is 4-5 days and I experience way less cramping as well.
Sorry my reply is so long, I guess I have alot to say on this subject too :0)

Brightonwoman said...

I use a diva cup and cloth pads (I make my own). I love both. I used cloth postpartum and it was AWESOME!! I have also recently been working on making washable tampons (knit, that roll up, something like this: )

Michelle said...

New Moon is the best huh?

Guess it is true that woman are seeing lessening periods. Isnt that interesting. Wonder why no one is doing a study on that??? Yes, I don't have cramps AT ALL now. Forgotten about that..thanks for the reminder.

How very creative of you. I've seen those but I just am not crafty in that way. What are you using to make the pads?

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle!

We already do most of these "ditches" and although I'd like to say it's for the's mostly a money issue!

I'll have to really think about ditching TP and reuseable pads (never even thought of those).I am nursing a 4 month old and haven't started my cycle back yet (this is my first time nursing, and I'm hoping this is normal...I had no idea breastfeeding kept you from menstruating...wish someone would have told me that 11 1/2 yrs ago), so I'll use this as my excuse to not worry about it yet.

2 questions...

First, what is BPA?We use the Playtex sippies when the boys are running around and the tupperware tumblers at the table.When Ben drinks formula he uses Advent bottles.Is this not OK?

Second, where did you buy your cloth much did you spend?We've been tossing this idea around for quite awhile, but the start up cost seems sooo expensive, and there are sooo many choices.I want cheap but good diapers.I do laundry EVERY day, so I don't need the recommended 30 diapers a piece...or do I?We use baby washcloths most the time as our wipes.

P.S. I totally stole your "Our Quiver" bios idea for my blog...hope you don't mind:)

Michelle said...

Yes, I mostly do it for health and money. The environment is a nice by-product. LOL.

BPA is a plastic that research has shown is bad for babies. MOST bottles have been recalled and are now off the shelves. I'm pretty sure both of those brands are BPA free. Playtex states they always have been.

OH YEA, benefits of nursing are numerous...not to mention no periods for a while. Of course a drawback periods, no fertility.

The first place I would check is You can see ALL the different diapers and WAHM's. You can try some used ones for cheaper. I like to buy some new too. I almost always buy from (I think it is). Just tell her I sent you. She has great deals. And the best advice.

Watch next week for my diapers post and I'll talk all about picking diapers. I've actually gotten several real life friends interested.

Stacey said...

I know this is a super old post, but I just had to chime in! Since my daughter was born, I switched to reusables too. Cloth pads and recently, The Lunette, which is another menstrual cup. It fits better than the Diva, and has a more flexible stem.

My favorite pads are either from Punky's Pads or Homestead Emporium (formerly Homemade Mama) Both are awesome! I have pads from New Moon too, but I didn't like that they didn't have wings. They are very comfy though. I actually added my own wings to them, and now they're OK. I prefer pads that are a bit more shaped though.