I'm going to start off with a TMI warning...because we are talking about mama cloth here. So if you want the full story, there may be a little TMI. If that upsets you, please stop reading now. Thank you!
I had been curious about mama cloth for quite some time but I was always afraid to take the plunge into the unknown. It was very much like my start to cloth diapers 3 years ago. What will the laundry be like? Will it be gross? What will others think? What do I need? How much do I need? What do you store them in? What about stains?
After being pregnant or breastfeeding for 6 years, I finally felt AF getting ready to make her appearance. I figured it was now or never, so I shopped around online, asked a lot of questions and finally made my first purchases. I had decided on GEM Cloth and Luna Pads. I got a starter kit of GEM Cloth - 2 each of 3 different sizes. I also got a Luna Pad with some extra liners.
The GEM Cloth are on the left, showing each different size. The Luna Pad is on the right with one of the extra liners. I really like how you can keep the same pad with the Luna Pad and simply replace the liners. They stay in place very well.
Now to answer all of the initial questions that I had wondered about.
What will the laundry be like? I am cloth diapering, so I just throw them in with all of the cloth diapers. No big deal. When we no longer cloth diaper (sniff, sniff) then I will probably change how I store them prior to wash and throw them in with our regular laundry.
Will it be gross? Honestly, this was my BIGGEST FEAR before I started. I couldn't help it - the whole idea had a bit of an "ick" factor for me. The only thing that got me past it was to actually do it. Similar to cloth diapers, you're still dealing with the same mess - it's whether you throw it in the trash when you're done or throw it into a wet bag/pail.
What will others think? Who cares??!? I don't care that people turn their noses up when I say that I cloth diaper. I don't care what they think when I say that I use mama cloth. They just don't know what they are missing out on...
What do I need? / How much do I need? I started off with not enough. But I didn't want to invest in too much to begin with. I would rather buy one of several different kinds, figure out what I like most and go from there. I started with 6 GEM Cloth in varying sizes and a Luna Pad with 4 liners. I was easily able to keep the same pad and add a new liner. But my flow is rather light. I would think that if you wanted to do the same, that you could get a liner with more absorbency. They make minis all the way up to heavy/postpartum liners. I also got a small wetbag to keep in the bathroom. That's it. I will definitely be getting more pads and liners - I don't want to run out mid-cycle. How many you need depends on your cycle, your flow, etc. NOTE - your flow will generally be less and your cycle will be shorter when you switch to cloth. I don't fully understand the science behind it but it's something about the chemicals in disposable pads and how your body is fighting to rid it of the chemicals - so it makes you cramp more and have heavier/longer cycles.
What do you store them in? Right now, I store them in a wetbag in our bathroom. When I'm done with them, I throw them in there until I do laundry. It works for us well because I'm doing cloth diaper laundry every other day. When we're done in diapers, then I will probably keep a small bucket in the bathroom filled with water. Then I can soak them in there until laundry time.
What about stains? Buy darker colors that way you don't even have to worry about the possibility of staining. I used mine for two cycles now and they don't have any stains...but then again they are all pretty dark in color. Honestly if they stain, I don't care. It's not like anyone is going to see them anyway!
All in all, I've had a great experience...well as much of a pleasant experience as you can have with your period. I had always heard that people who try mama cloth would never go back - now I understand that! Like I said before, I didn't have enough to get me through the cycle and I had forgotten to throw them in with my diaper laundry. So I ended up having to use a disposable pad. Ewwww!! The smell was worse, it felt awful and the sticky stuff kept on sticking everywhere BUT where it was supposed to stick! The cloth mama pads are comfortable, virtually odor-free and you can hardly even tell that they are there. I'm sold.
Next step...The Diva Cup! Well, I'm not that brave yet...maybe in a few months...
Now for the fun stuff for all of you who have read this far! For those that want to try mama cloth (or the Diva Cup), feel free to take 10% off your mama cloth order with coupon code MAMA. The coupon is good through 8/31 and is only applicable to mama cloth and Diva Cups/Wash. Additionally, one lucky reader will receive a Luna Pads Mini Pad and Liner. To enter, please leave only ONE COMMENT with your contact info and make sure that you are a fan of Fluff Envy on Facebook. One random comment will be chosen on August 8th. Open to US and Canada only. Thank you!