I once read that "cloth diapers are the gateway drug of green parenting" and I have to say, after 2 years of CDing our daughter, this is bang on. Cloth diapering has opened my eyes to the fact that there are a plethora of other reusable alternatives to personal and household items that most commonly come in a disposable form - for example, cloth wipes, (un)paper towels, coffee filters, straws, wrapping "paper" and, yes indeed, feminine hygiene products.
My first foray into a reusable option for contending with Aunt Flo was The DivaCup, which I had the opportunity to review this past winter (in the nick of time - got to use it for a single period and then boom, Li'l Man decided he was ready to start camping out down there!) The DivaCup is a specific brand of menstrual cup, which is one main type of reusable monthly solution. The other type is cloth menstrual pads or, as they are often affectionately referred to as, "Mama Cloth". So basically menstrual cups are the reusable equivalent of tampons (an internal solution) and cloth pads are the reusable equivalent of disposable pads (an external solution).
I did have a positive experience with the DivaCup in the limited time I got to try it and certainly plan to use it again when my regular cycle returns, however I've been eager to try "Mama Cloth" as well for a few reasons:
- A menstrual cup (such as my DivaCup) is not an appropriate solution for postpartum bleeding, which I'll obviously be contending with shortly!
- The DivaCup does take some time to insert, remove and clean. As such, I feel like I would likely prefer cloth pads at times when I'm in a hurry, when I'm out and about, on lighter flow days, etc.
- Cloth pads come in the coolest variety of styles, patterns and textures! Similar to cloth diapering, I can see it becoming almost addictive trying a bunch of different varieties. :)
- Menstrual cups have recommended replacement guidelines (e.g., one year for the DivaCup) whereas cloth pads should last much longer than this, assumimg they're well-made and cared for properly.
Curious to hear - how many of you have already tried mama cloth? Love it? Hate it? What about menstrual cups? Feel free to share your preferences and your stories! :)