I had been wanting to switch to cloth pads ever since my period returned at 19 months postpartum. However, I was hesitant to do so because I didn’t know how to start and was unsure if I could sustain it. Finally jumped the gun and imported several brands through my online store. Use of cloth pads is still new in the Philippines but several brands are now available.
|Unfolded cloth pad|
|Jane’s Cloth Pad Stash|
So why use cloth pads? Jane shares “[c]loth pads are not only healthier, they’re earth-friendly, budget-friendly (if you use disposable pads 5 times a day for 7 days each month for 40 menstruating years, it all adds up to quite a lot!), and so much more comfortable, too!”
Another recent cloth pad convert, Margaux shares that her period has become shorter and lesser compared to when she was still using disposable pads. Imagine if you menstruate for 33 years (12-45 years old) and use up about 20 pads per month? That would be 20 x 12 x 33 = 7,920 – almost 8,000 pads being thrown away by each woman! And that’s not counting the pantiliners if you do use them!
I think a major concern that women have with using cloth pads is washing them. Jane shares her laundry tips – “Washing is easy — simply rinse them under running water, or soak them in cold water for 20 minutes, then throw them in with the rest of your laundry!”
Read more of Jane’s laundry tips HERE. Just like cloth diapers you can choose to include your cloth pads with your laundry or handwash them. I hand wash my pads and usually soak them overnight to get rid of the stains. Right after using the pads, I scrub the stain with PERLA soap, then soak overnight. I’m usually able to wash the pads clean the next day. For persistent stains, I scrub the stain with PERLA and let it hang outside under the sun. The stains then wash right off!
|My cloth pad stash|
The choice of cloth pads is very subjective and use varies from woman to woman. I’d recommend that you do your research about the brands locally available and try to buy at least one cloth pad at first. Similarly, using cloth pads is not an all or nothing approach. You can start with just one or two pads, then slowly increase your stash as your body adjusts and you find the best mix of cloth pads to suit your needs.
I didn’t purchase all my cloth pads at once but built up my stash slowly. Also, I started by mixing cloth pads with disposables until I found the best cloth pad to use for a specific time or day. Happily, 2 periods before I got pregnant, I was able to use cloth pads fully during my cycle. Now, my cloth pads are on a break until after I give birth and with my experience with N, it will probably be about 2.5 years before I get to use them again!