How many pads do I need?

How many you need depends on how frequently you run washes and how frequently you like to change your pads (personal preference and flow heaviness variable...) How many pads do you currently use? I would use that to gauge how many you need. I personally prefer to have fewer pads that I wash more frequently than to have too many pads to store and clean.


Which pads are right for my flow?

Every woman has different needs to provide the proper protection at different stages of the cycle or during the postpartum period. Only you know best what is the right pad for the right time. I like having a mix of different pads in my collection because the pads I love for my heavy days are different then the pads I love for my light days!


I am confused about the naming of the pad. Can you help me figure out what I need?

This is very confusing to me to because each pad maker uses their own definition of the words mini and maxi. Sometimes they describe length and sometimes they describe absorbency. Pads are usually sold in different lengths and different thicknesses, longer pads frequently (but not always) being thicker then shorter pads.
Some makers use the words day pad and night pad which is also confusing to me. My flow is lighter at night but less predicable where it lands, so do the words night pad mean heavy absorbency or long length? In most cases it means both, but not always. If you cannot figure out what these words mean in the discription by the maker I include please send me an email (inge at diaperware dot com) and I can help you sort it out!


There are so many to choose from which one is the best?

There is no one best pad for everyone? Things you need to ask yourself are:

How heavy is my flow? Do I need a waterproof liner? Does it need to be PUL? or do I want breathable fleece or wool? PUL is most waterproof and trimmest. But fleece or wool allow more airflow and thus less heat buildup and more comfortable and possibly less risk of conditions favored by heat buildup like yeast. Fleece will not shrink, wool used in pads is felted so should not shrink much, but might shrink slightly and change the shape of the pad slightly.
How are my washing conditions? If you have lots of minerals in your water or hand washing or other you might need to look for a pad that is easy to wash with layers instead of an all in one layer pad.
What materials do you want? Are you a natural fiber or performance fabric girl? Do you want a pretty pad? Different people have different preferences? Are you looking for a staydry layer of polyester on top? Do you want a microfiber inner? Or do you want an all natural fiber pad? Do you want soft cotton or super absorbent hemp or silky absorbent bamboo? Do you want hand dyed fabric art?

Answering some of these questions should help you decide which pads to look for. Look at these charts for more information on these details!


Do cloth pads shift?

What kind of underwear are you using? As long as you are not using slippery materials the shifting should not be a problem at all. To prevent shifting use cotton underwear which is not slippery and do not use PUL next to it, since PUL is also slippery.


Isn't hemp too stiff and stinky for menstrual pads?

Cloth pads made from hemp fleece should not be stiff. However if hemp is allowed to get detergent residue in it, it will become stiff and will smell bad when used. AIO pads with PUL on one side and microfleece on the other will be most prone to have detergent residue since the water cannot go thru the PUL and would have difficulty getting thru microfleece.

Different pads have different washing recommendations, what do I do?

Pad care should be simple. Please do not make it complicated. I would consider pad care to be the same for all pads. They are all machine washable (except maybe use delicate for wool backed pads) . For pad care on all pads I recommend rinse under cool water until the water runs clear, then wash with the next family load of similar color. Staining occurs with heat or time. So rinsing under cool helps reduce staining and washing frequently instead of waiting a week helps a lot with reducing staining. If you do not want to wash them with family wash but want to wait until you have a load of pads then soaking may help reduce staining. However with soaking you must change the water every 8-12 hours to prevent soaking stink into your pads. I do not recommend soaking in anything but water as soaking in powerful cleaning solutions wears material out faster. For longest life of material not soaking but more frequent washing so your pads are clean most of the time will cause the least wear and tear on the fabric in my opinion. Make sure that whatever you wash with they are all well rinsed out, as detergent and other residues will be very irritating to your skin. Some pad makers recommend soaking in hydrogen peroxide solutions. I have not found this to be necessary and recommend to keep your pad care routine as simple as possible, because life is complicated enough, pads should make your life easier and more comfortable, not more complicated!


What should I do with the money I save using reusable menstrual products?

Buy flowers and celebrate miracle of your fertility cycle! Or find a way to celebrate that feels just right for you!

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