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The word “Reusable” itself specifies the call for cleaning, caring and proper storage of a product in order to ensure it is Hygienic and long lasting.
After sharing my first experience on the usage of cloth pads which has gained much popularity for supporting eco-friendly and sustainable menstruation and are easily available online, though these are expensive but prove to be a one-time investment. Now before making such an investment it is important for every consumer to plan properly in order to make the purchase meaningful. So here we go with the following points:
Let me explain it little better:
a. Ancient women used Cloth;
b. then in the 1990s era came the pads,
so the equation for TODAY is a x b
i.e. Cloth x Pad= Cloth Pads
So Completely Modern and updated method for handling periods; Hence Proved :)
2. Plan your routine – Find out the washing time in your schedule. Make it a habit to wash immediately after use or collect soiled pads and wash them all at once. Find out by trial and experimentation what works out best for you and freeze a routine which suits you. For more details refer my previous article explaining cleaning, washing and storage here.
3. Understand your flow – It is important to analyze and understand how many pads you require in a cycle. Identify each day of heavy flow, normal flow, light flow or spotting respectively. Though every brand offers a customized full cycle kit, but not necessary that it should meet your requirements.
4. Consider your requirements – As said above, keeping in mind your flow you may want to check on the varieties available in the market such as pads with and without leak-proof layer, ready to use pads or pads with extra inserts, thickness etc.
5. Research Material used in Different brands - Waterproof lining is one point to be considered, but also consider whether you want the top layer of cotton, cotton flannel or combed cotton on your pads. Cotton will tend to feel colder, while flannel feels warmer. If you associate coldness with wetness, flannel may be a better option for you. However, cotton has a smoother texture very similar to most of the under-wears. So, select your pick accordingly.
6. Guesstimate the correct size for your pads - Roughly measure your underwear width-wise from where you place the disposable pad. Pads should be as wide as your panties. If length is important for you, measure the size of your preferred disposables and select cloth pads accordingly.
7. Buy a few trial Pads – Similar to the switches for different brands of sanitary napkins you may have done earlier, same applies to different pads from each of the brands. Buy a few different styles, sizes, and patterns. This is a good way to test the capacities, and figure out which kind you like the best.
8. Stock up on your favorite pads – After doing a few trials from each brand compare it with your requirements and the Cost. They range from economic to very expensive versions. Generally, you get what you pay for. Decide on your budget and buy the needful.
9. Buy other requirements – If you are happy making an Eco-friendly switch, you may also like to gift yourself a separate bucket, essential oil for dipping along with your purchases. This option is completely on your discreet and not mandatory.
10. Other options – If you find Cloth pads too expensive and you are handy with a needle and thread, it is advisable to consider making your own reusable pads at home.
Remember – Usage of Cloth Pads is no rocket science, it is very easy and women have been handling it since ancient time. Cloth Pads apart from being environment friendly also ensures that your body is not exposed to any toxic or harmful chemicals as those in disposables.
This is part I, read Part II on Menstrual Cup here .
To know more about alternative Eco-friendly products for a sustainable menstruation visit the volunteer funded website www.greenthered.in