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Helping the Environment One Cycle at a Time

March 21, 2008

Today seemed as good as any to revisit the issue of environmentally friendly feminine hygiene products.

Three years ago, when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with Juliana, a group of friends and I got together for an old-fashioned sewing bee, after the sister one of the friends had a serious case of toxic shock syndrome. We all came with bundles of flannel or terry cloth, a pattern, a serger, two sewing machines and a few scissors and whipped out more than one hundred pads and couple dozen liners in an afternoon. We had old flannel found at thrift shops and new flannel. We just stuck the ugly flannel in the centers so it wasn’t visible and used the new stuff on the outside to make them pretty.

How well do they work? It is probably what most women are thinking when contemplating using them. They work great. They are far more comfortable than paper pads. They do leak if worn too long, but so do conventional ones. These don’t have any waterproofing material because all my friends and I decided that we didn’t want to have plastic near our lady parts. I toss soiled ones either in the diaper pail or our family cloth buckets.

If you are of the tampon-preferring set, there are natural sea sponges and also The Diva Cup, The Moon Cup and The Keeper. The sea sponge is probably self-explanatory. The Diva Cup, The Moon Cup and The Keeper are cup shaped devices which fit against the cervix and catch your menstrual fluids; The Diva Cup and Moon Cup are made of silicone and The Keeper is made of natural gum. I’ve never tried any of these methods, but I’ve only heard good things about them. You can wash all of these in vinegar to disinfect.

When Maddy reaches the age of needing pads, I will be sewing a celebratory set for her. There are so many nasty chemicals in processed paper products that I don’t want her (or myself) using conventional pads or tampons in such tender areas.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. Evelyn permalink
    March 21, 2008 1:24 pm

    Long before I had to have a hysterectomy due to endometriosis, I quit using tampons because I kept cramping up alot. I also kept getting yeast infectons on a consistent basis. As soon as I quit using them, I also quit getting infections and the cramping went away. And I am not talking about regular menstrual cramps, these were the kind of cramps that you just instinctively know aren’t normal.

  2. Angelina permalink
    March 21, 2008 6:54 pm

    I haven’t used tampons much in my life because I find them really uncomfortable, even the small ones. So I’m interested in making some cloth pads. I think I’ll wait until I move though.

  3. jocelynstorm permalink
    August 26, 2009 8:01 am

    What a great idea! I had never heard of this before. Where do you get a pattern?

    • August 26, 2009 1:14 pm

      It’s been several years, so I don’t remember. I only remember one of my friend’s had googled a pattern and then we altered it slightly. They were quite easy to make. Sorry I can’t remember specifics!

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