Tyrae - posted on 07/22/2011 ( no moms have responded yet )
Why use mama cloth?
"In a nutshell, the materials in the tampon can produce Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and this leads to TSS. Tampon manufacturers have taken out 3 of the 4 dangerous synthetic components in tampons, however, highly absorbent viscose rayon, which produces toxins, is still used. Tampons should not be left in for more than six hours – but how many of us have left in an ultra-absorbent tampon overnight?
Tampons are also believed to lead to infertility, endometriosis, and the fibers left behind from tampons can cause odor and inflammation and give rise to tumorous growths. Why risk your health – or your teenage daughter’s?
Disposable sanitary pads have the same concerns in terms of the chemicals in the cotton used and the bleaching process – not to mention the use of fragrances. Although they are in less contact with the internal vaginal wall they are still in contact with the external mucous membrane. Pads are also often made with a dry-weave plastic cover which can cause irritation, sensitivity, and allergic reactions. Many women (including me) have mistakenly believed they have had (and treated) several yeast infections, when in reality, they were suffering from a reaction to their disposable pad.
What about the smell? There isn’t one, in fact many women, have even reported having a lighter cycle and less odor after switching to cloth. It makes you wonder about the disposable pads and tampons all over again doesn’t it?"
Cloth menstrual pads are environmentally friendly and do not contribute to landfill as they are reusable and do not come in or contain plastic packaging. When cloth menstrual pads wear out (after years of use), those made from natural materials can be composted whereas disposable sanitary napkins made from synthetic materials cannot be recycled or composted. Fewer chemicals are used in the cloth compared to disposable menstrual products. They create less overall waste compared to disposable menstrual products as they can be made from reused materials, including old pillow cases and towels. Some cloth pads use hemp as the absorbent core which is more environmentally friendly to grow when compared with cotton or wood pulp. Organic options, such as pads made of organic cotton grown without pesticides and chemicals, are available.
In the long term, it is less expensive to buy and produce cloth menstrual pads compared to disposable menstrual products. They can be made by hand for little or no cost.
Cloth menstrual pads are highly customizable.
While less convenient than disposables, they are still convenient as they can simply be cleaned in the washing machine.
Cloth menstrual pads are less likely to cause rashes, contact dermatitis, as well as helping women afflicted with certain types of vaginitis. Women with sensitive skin and allergies may find cloth pads to be more comfortable against their skin, particularly cloth pads made of undyed organic cotton. They do not use adhesive.
Cloth menstrual pads reduce the scent of menstrual blood on the cloth pad. As they are more breathable than the average disposable sanitary pads, they carry less odor.
Cloth menstrual pads, like all menstrual pads, remove the risk of TSS associated with tampons.
Some cloth pad makers run or donate a portion of their proceeds to programs that provide reusable feminine hygiene products to women in developing countries so that they can continue to go to school or work while menstruating.
Washing reusable pads requires water. The desire to reuse must be balanced against any local need to conserve water. Also, it is important that the water used to clean pads be disposed of appropriately. Even "biodegradable" soaps take a long time to break down. This is most likely balanced if you take into account the chemicals and water used in the production of disposable menstrual pads. However, cloth pads are small and can be washed in with your regular load of towels or linens, creating no added water or soap usage.
Cloth menstrual pads are generally more time consuming due to the need to wash, dry, and care for the pads.
Special care may need to be taken if the user has a Candidiasis infection (i.e. yeast infection). Once the infection is treated, the cloth menstrual pads may need to be sanitized in order to prevent reinfection.
Initial cost for reusable menstrual products is typically higher per pad than for disposables, although savings over time make them more economical."