Apparently everything old is new again. It seems that women are taking another look at re-usable sanitary products for “that time of the month” rather than just reaching for the disposables. Frankly, I can’t see myself going back to the old ways. I still remember my mother sharing memories of her mother washing out her used strips of flannel back on the farm during the depression. Mom made sure I knew how much better I had it than grandma did!
That being said, I know there may be other readers out there that do have an interest, so let’s take a closer look. For a good tutorial on sewing your own pads, try reading this helpful post at the Hillbilly Housewife website: Homemade Sanitary Pads
I also found a website about sewing diapers that had a pattern (with lots of pictures for guidance) for homemade sanitary pads: Cloth Menstrual Pad Pattern
Believe or not, some women also have an interest in re-usable tampons. You can try crocheting your own tampons with this pattern: Crochet Tampon Pattern And for even more information on re-usable tampons here’s a site with a whole directory: Re-usable Tampon Ideas.
So after looking at these different instructions and ideas, I think women need to consider the following:
1. Are You At Home? It seems to me that dealing with cloth pads is going to be the easiest if you can be at your own home for much of the day. I just can’t picture myself using this system while I’m at the office for 8 hours. That’s a long time to keep the soiled pads in your purse.
2. Do you have space in your bathroom? The women who are using the cloth pads are putting the soiled pads in a pail of water until they can wash them, same as you would use a diaper pail. It’s the most convenient, of course, to have that pail in the bathroom. If you have the space and don’t mind that addition to your decor, then you might be willing to try this method.
3. What’s your motivation? This system creates more work so it helps to be motivated. Most of the women interested in this subject fall into two groups. One group is motivated by saving money. By re-using and re-washing your pads you eliminate the monthly expense of buying the disposables. The other group is motivated by being eco-friendly. Using cloth pads keeps waste out of our landfills. If you fall into one of these two categories, chances are you will be motivated enough to make the change to cloth.
4. Are you crafty? I got the feeling that most of the women who had good things to say about the cloth pads were pretty comfortable getting out their sewing machines and fiddling around until they had a good design. Same with the women who got out their crochet hooks and started creating their own tampons. If you have a crafty side, you might have more success with the homemade method.
So after taking all this into consideration (and only being able to answer Yes to question #4), I say Thanks, but No Thanks. However, this is a very personal choice and women should feel free to do what is best for them and for their bodies. Also, I have not tried any of these methods and cannot vouch for their safety, so try at your own risk.