Have I ever mentioned how much I love sustainable, environmentally friendly products? That's right, I have! And in my opinion, reusable sanitary products are the best out there.
Given that half of the world's population menstruates on a monthly basis, and each menstruator (a new gender-inclusive term that I'm so happy exists) will use on average 3 to 5 pads or tampons in a day for a period that lasts 3-7 a month, I think it's very safe to say that maths isn't my gig anymore and that is a lot of money gone directly to landfill clog that is destroying our darling planet!
Well, at risk of sounding too preachy, I will stop the doom and destruction talk right there (I definitely won't). But I did take the rough calculations into account when I decided to switch to reusable products.
I bought my first reusable pad in 2016 after realising just how much money I was throwing down the drain - that added to the fact that I absolutely hated the smell of disposable pads made the switch a no-brainer.
I won't lie, at the start, it was strange, ("I have to rinse my own blood out of cloth three times a day?!") but it was definitely something I was happy to do knowing I'd spent about £20 on something that would last at least 5 years as opposed to the £1,000 I would spend on disposables over the same time period.
I was already due to update my set of pads at some point in 2019 since I'd come off the pill, and, having been on it for the past seven years, I realised that I didn't know what my real cycle was like.
Death. It was like a monthly death. Warm and wet and a uterus that literally tried to kill me. Every. Single. Month. Until I got pregnant, probably as a side-effect of being pill-free. We still don't really know what happened there.
So, yeah. I got pregnant which meant no period for at least a year since I planned on breastfeeding too, which I didn't know was considered a natural contraceptive* since it suppresses the hormones that release another egg and risk your body going through all that bloody (geddit?) trauma again.
(Un)fortunately for me though, my cycle started itself back up again once the breastfeeding slowed down at 8 months postpartum. So, it was time to find a new set of pads to suit my new postpartum body.
That's when I stumbled across Floating Lotus, a small, UK run business specialising in reusable period pads. But there was an extra bonus, as stated on their website, they are a committed to combating period poverty, and supporting climate change charities.
Their pads are vegan-friendly, cruelty-free, and made largely with recycled material. The packaging is also recyclable, and compostable. And the best part of all, their initiatives towards ending period poverty are probably the best I've seen so far as they've been able to gift pads to those who otherwise wouldn't have access across the UK, Asia, and Africa, and with your order, you can choose to plant a tree and help Mother Nature stretch her lungs the way She was supposed to.
Find out more about their donation initiatives here.
And now, the pads!
Nah, just kidding.
They are great, but a little more detail would be nice, no?
Well, I can tell you that it felt like a nice, soft hug for my vulva.
They come in four sizes: small, medium, large, and extra-large for different times of the month when you need them. If you're anything like me, you'll need all of them because my uterus feels the need to torture me for three days straight and then act like we're besties for the next three. Yep, that's right. My own uterus is gaslighting me.
On the plus side, they're super easy to wash. I like to soak them in water with a couple of drops of Tea Tree oil for a few hours, rinse them out, then bung them in the wash with the rest of the washing. I generally use about 3-4 on the heavier days (the XL size is perfect for if I need to wear it longer, like overnight) and on lighter days I can get away with one or two changes. The colour-coded poppers also make them super easily identifiable, although I do still get confused with the blue and the green because I'm a mum and my child stole my brain.
The website, has lots more information on how the pads are made, how to care for them and why to make the switch.
I've been using these pads now for 5~ months, and the only thing I would warn new cloth pad users is to make sure you don't put them in the dryer - this could destroy the waterproof PUL layer, and don't use too much detergent when washing. Too much detergent causes product buildup in the already super absorbant bamboo used for the pads, and mixed with blood, has a shockingly pungent amonia smell to it. Yep, I made that mistake and had to put the pads on a few extra rinse cycle to get the buildup out, and now they're as good as new!
So there you have it, my first ever reusable pad review.
If you have periods, what are your go-to products? I'm constantly looking for new things to try out, not just for the blood, but also the pain, headaches, and, of course, those darned mood swings! Please do let me know, nothing illegal though, this is still a family blog after all (feel free to send me a private message though *wink* ).
Thanks for reading. Now go forth and fix your period woes with reusable pads!!
*Definitely not 100% reliable, so if you have it in you to have sex soon after birth and don't want another baby just yet, definitely invest in another back-up contraceptive just in case.