Switching to Bluebird Cloth Pads: Top Tricks & Tips

Hello Friends! First of all, thanks for being here, reading this post and consider making the switch to Bluebird Cloth Pads!

I decided to interrupt my post series on the Biggest Reasons to Switch to Cloth Pads (Your Body, Your Planet, Your Budget & Your Local Economy) to bring you this straight forward post on “getting ‘er done”. I am going to answer (as concisely as possible) the questions we hear most often. Let’s dive right in!

 

“Are Bluebird Cloth Pads hard to care for?”

Not. at. all. Washing Bluebird Cloth Pads is easy (not fussy, gross or time consuming as one might think). The most important thing to remember is that Bluebird Cloth Pads don’t like: bleach, fabric softener or ironing. The rest is up to you and what works best for your lifestyle and laundry habits. Here are the basics and a few suggestions.

  • Store.

After use, you will need a spot to store your soiled items until you are ready to launder. Wetbags are awesome (especially when you are out), but anything water resistant (especially if you opt for rinsing immediately) such as a bag, pouch or pail can work.

  • Pre-Wash Rinse or Soak (optional).

Pre-rinsing is a helpful step but not always necessary. Some women opt to pre-rinse if the item is very soaked or to help prevent staining. A couple ideas:

  • rinse under running water in the bathroom sink;
  • save up your items and rinse all together in a low-water cycle in your machine; or
  • put them on the bottom of your tub while you shower (saves water!)

That said, I don’t personally pre-rinse my items. I have found that they come out perfectly fresh & clean just being washed along with everything else.

  • Wash & Dry.

Wash & dry along with everything else as you normally do. Again, just remember not to add fabric softeners or bleach and don’t iron after the fact (they won’t need it – Bluebird Cloth Pads don’t tend to to crumple in the wash).

*Tip* Have a stain that is bothering you? Grab this Canadian made Bunchafarmers Stain Stick and (even if it has been washed and dried already) rub in and wash again. Works like a charm!

Another thing to *Note*. Our fabrics are made with low impact dyes so will naturally fade over time. Not only is low impact dye better for the environment, it is also better for the quality of your item! Low impact dye doesn’t compromise the integrity of the cotton fibres, so your items will stay stronger over time than traditionally treated cotton fabric will.

 

How do they stay in place?

Bluebird Cloth Pads have wings that fold under your panties and snap in place. They have long gusset (aka “wingspan”) that fits onto the narrowest part of your underwear. The widening towards the back and front of the underwear naturally keeps the cloth pad snugged into place. Also, unlike some cloth pads that have a slippery PUL backing, our organic cotton backing offers more “traction” as well! *Bonus!*

 

Are they waterproof?

Yes! All of our pads have a waterproof barrier. This layer will prevent any “leak throughs” from happening.

*Tip* The speed of absorbency increases with a few wash and wear cycles. If you have a heavy flow and want to make sure things go perfectly the first round, wash them a few times before wearing!

 

Will they be visible under my pants?

Short answer: no. Long answer: everyone’s shape is different! If you are a tiny person wearing thin tights and a large size of pad (Optimal or Super Nighttime) it is possible for it be visible. That said, Bluebird Cloth Pads are super thin – even thinner than some disposables! My best advice? Do a quick check in the mirror before you go for a confidence boost. No one will scrutinize your bum as closely as you will!

 

Will they work for me?

We believe that Bluebird Cloth Pads will work beautifully for every woman through various stages of life! They are a fantastic, healthy solution for young girls and great for the slight incontinence needs of the more mature – and everything in between. If you are unsure, message us! We are more than happy to help you figure out what items would work best for you.

 

How many do I need?

The answer to this question entirely depends on your flow, laundry habits and personal preferences. As a general rule, you may be able to “squeak by” with as few as five (especially if you work from home), be comfortable “on the go” with eight, and be able to go for two or three days at a time with 12. Starting with five to eight cloth pads will help ensure your success. You can always add a few more favourites to your stash as you go along.

 

Which side faces up?

Our pads are designed to have the pattern and label side down and the solid colour side up against your skin.

 

Final Tip:

My last (and possibly most important) tip for making the switch is to make sure your underwear fit well. Remember, your pad needs to be snug against your body in order to work most effectively. You pad will be wherever your undies are, so keep it snugged up where it belongs.

 

Summary:

Bluebird Cloth Pads are awesome. You should try them. We can help!

Yes, there are a few things to get accustomed to when you make the switch, but it really is simple! And, there are a few things you really won’t miss when you make the switch like:

  • dealing with the garbage created during your period;
  • having the cupboard under your sink crammed packages of disposables;
  • the unnatural feel of disposables;
  • the smell of synthetic fragrance or odour neutralizers;
  • itching, skin rashes, infections or other irritations around the time of your period. (you may even associate those with your cycle and won’t realize until switching that they are not a part of your cycle! *True story!* )

I hope this post has answered the questions that have been nagging at the back of your mind. If not, please feel free to ask us or check out my other posts on the topic, such as Wear Cloth Pads: Why Your Body Will Thank You

If you haven’t already, follow along with us on Instagram and Facebook as I continue the blog series covering the biggest reasons for making the switch to sustainable lady products like Bluebird Cloth Pads. Until next time ladies, cheerio!

Organic Cloth Pads: Your Body Will Thank You

Hi Friends! First of all, thank you for popping in to check out Why Your Body Will Thank You for making the switch to organic cloth pads. I fully appreciate the fact that making the switch to a new menstrual product is huge, but promise it is worthwhile!

Follow along with me on Instagram and Facebook as I cover some of the biggest reasons for making the switch to sustainable lady products.

  1. Your Body;
  2. Your Planet;
  3. Your Local Economy; and
  4. Your Budget.

HEALTH

Have you ever paused for a moment to consider what your menstrual products are made of?

Have you ever looked for the ingredients on the packaging of your feminine product of choice? If you have, you may have found a partial list – or none at all. Unlike packaged foods, the regulations for women’s hygiene products don’t require manufacturers to provide consumers with a complete, detailed list of ingredients. I guess we are supposed to “take their word for it”?

When I was in the drugstore the other day, I noticed that they had changed their aisle sign. Instead of “Feminine Hygiene”, it now reads “Feminine Paper.” I am not sure that “paper” is a very accurate term to describe the products on those shelves. Imagine if the sign offered a more accurate, thorough content description? They would need a much bigger sign.

AISLE 9:

  • synthetic fibers and/or cotton (what does and/or even mean here?);
  • rayon viscose;
  • wood pulp;
  • BPA, DEHP, BPS;
  • petrochemicals;
  • phthalates;
  • synthetic fragrances, odour neutralizers;
  • styrene, chloroethane, chloroform; and
  • bleach, dioxins, pesticide and herbicide residue.

With that signage, perhaps we would avoid aisle 9 altogether!

Dr. Mercola, among many others advocating for women’s health, has stated that putting products with these chemical additives against your skin (especially the highly permeable area in and around your vagina) is actually worse than eating them. Yikes!

Brands like Kotex, Always, Playtex and OB state that their products are safe. I am inclined to believe that the risk of “sudden-death-by-pad” is extremely low! However, I am also inclined to believe that exposure for a week out of every month for approximately 40 years of a woman’s life can add up.

Our choice of feminine hygiene products matters to our reproductive and general health. 

COMFORT

Health and comfort seem to go hand in hand quite often, don’t they? Menstrual products are no exception. Do you ever feel itchy and sweaty during your period or have severe menstrual cramps?

I don’t at all consider myself to be allergic to disposables (I know many women who are, and it is definitely not that bad for me). However, I did associate several discomforts with my period that have all but disappeared entirely since making the switch.

Menstrual Cramps. When I first read that women experience reduced menstrual cramps when they switched to products like our organic cloth pads, I was completely cynical. It is first hand, experience based testimony and has no scientific backing. However, when I made the switch to organic cloth pads, I realized it was true. Either I noticed less (because I was less “aware” of the pad and my period because of it’s “just undies” feel) or something else about the disposables was increasing my discomfort. I’ll let you know if/when I find a real reason for it!

Yeast Infections. TMI: I have struggled with yeast issues on and off for years. There are many aspects that contribute to yeast, but wearing plastic for a week every month simply didn’t comply with my doctor’s recommendation to “wear loose breathable clothing.” Wearing plastic down there decreases airflow and traps heat and moisture, leaving you susceptible to yeast overgrowth. I have had one “close call” since making the switch to organic cloth pads. Normally, I would have had many such “close calls,” (with a couple developing into a full blown problem) in that same time period.

Dryness/Itching/Rashes (and other non-descript irritations). The other problem with many disposables pads is that they are absorbent. Too absorbent, in fact. The absorbent “gel” may actually dry out your sensitive areas too much and disrupt the natural balance of healthy moisture in the area. In addition, synthetic fragrances and odour neutralizers may cause mild (or severe) reactions.

Unpleasant smells. Do you wear disposable pads? Do you occasionally (or frequently) notice an unpleasant smell? I used to change my disposable pad very often (far more than necessary) for just that reason. Once I switched to organic cloth pads, I realized a big change in “that department”. It isn’t your body or your period that smells that way, it’s the pad!

BLUEBIRD PADS:

At this point, I simply can’t resist saying that I want you to give Bluebird Organic Cloth Pads a try. My sister, mom and I just launched this little business last month, so I may be *just a little* biased. There are many great reusable options out there, but… our organic cloth pads are just a little amazing. Bluebird Organic Cloth Pads are predominantly comprised of organic cotton. Our top layer also contains 5% spandex (to create the “moves-with-me” feel) and we have a waterproof layer that is polyurethane laminate (created in North America using an eco-friendly process). The rest of the fabric is ALL absorbent, beautiful, 100% organic cotton created using colourful low-impact dyes. Our fabrics are CPSIA Compliant and/or GOTS certified. It doesn’t get any better than that.

GOODBYE DISPOSABLES, I WON’T MISS YOU.

So dive in and make the switch to organic cloth pads, we promise it will be worth your time! You will experience comfort you did not even know was possible during your period!

Thanks again for reading and considering making the switch! Don’t forget to follow along with us on Instagram and Facebook for more on why your body, your planet, your budget and your local economy will thank you for making the switch.

I am a “crazy cloth pads lady.”

#sorrynotsorry

It is seriously the stuff my childhood nightmares were made of. The other day I found myself clicking the little blue button on a post where I linked an article about tampons – with a picture of tampons attached. The article was about, you guessed it: tampons (and how women need to switch to sustainable options such as cloth pads)! Of course I made appropriate excuses: “sorry about the tampon picture,” “it’s a great article on a relevant topic,” “ignore the title”, but I clicked that button and it wasn’t the first time. I even added the #sorrynotsorry and meant it. I was (and still am) unapologetic.

Living the … nightmare?

So now I’m basically living my childhood nightmares. I am sure you know the feeling. Where you realize you are not *entirely* blending in and not in a good way. Awkward. You just blurted out a terrible idea or something plain stupid or crazy … and only received the sound of crickets in reply? Awkward. Just like that recurring nightmare about arriving at swimming lessons without a swimsuit, or in pajamas, or just with nothing on at all (everyone has those, right? … *chirp chirp chirp*). Completely Awkward!

So how did I find myself in this rather unusual situation? I make and sell organic reusable cloth pads. It certainly was not one of my youthful ambitions. Of course there was no such thing as social media back then *gasp*, but if there was, I would never have used: #faceyourfears #awkwardbusiness #iloveit #letsdoit #2017goals.

An idea & a little education.

Of course I am going to “credit” my sister Amie with the idea. Last year she had this idea about “making cloth pads for women who are allergic to disposables or are concerned about the environment.” Right. Those types. Gotcha.

Like a good sister, I started reading and doing some good old fashioned research to see if the idea would fly (yes, it’s a thing!). Then I read some more and took notes and then created documents. Then, of course, I made the switch myself (why on earth did I ever use disposables?). The documents started becoming website content that required more research and better sources. The “more research” led me to want estimates of volume. (“How much are we looking at here?) Those estimates led me to want really accurate estimates, which in turn led me to the “feminine hygiene” aisle in the drug store with measuring tape in hand. Awkward.

(If you are curious about said estimates, I had them made into little infographics for our website. Click here to see them www.bluebirdpads.com/why-cloth/ )

Tip of the Iceberg

Suffice to say, I learned a thing or two! I will share a few tidbits – in brief.

– Mainstream pads & tampons are almost entirely comprised of various forms of plastic and contain lots of yucky chemicals and ingredients.

– We don’t generally assume plastic is great for wearing, consumption or otherwise internalizing on a regular basis … but women do just that every month with tampons & pads. Why?

– Pads & tampons may seem “convenient & discreet” but that isn’t entirely the case. We use them, throw them in the garbage, take out the garbage and then the garbage is taken to the dump. Where they will remain forever.

– Just kidding. Almost forever. Scientists estimate disposable pads, diapers etc won’t break down for up to eight hundred years (and then they become what, plastic dirt…?). I personally feel that there is nothing “discreet” about the fact that many generations from now, our descendants will have the privilege of living with the special trash we have been making for the past 80 or so years en-masse.

“Aren’t disposable feminine hygiene products the least of our problems” you ask? Well… it is true. There are bigger environmental concerns. However, like disposable diapers, disposable feminine hygiene is no small matter. Every woman that uses pads will add approximately thirty-eight garbage cans (twenty gallon) to her local landfill, in pads alone.

– Now this may be the most shocking fact of all. Reusable menstrual products aren’t gross, unsanitary, crunchy granola, or even difficult to manage. Cloth pads are more comfortable, healthier for you, cleaner (for everyone involved) and more cost effective in the long run.

– Potential bonus: many users of cloth pads will say that they even experience less painful periods after switching. Whaaaa? I’m a cynic of such “pseudo-science” personally, but it actually has made a difference for me. You won’t know until you try.

Over to You.

So, there you have it. Don’t leave me hanging (crickets chirping). Tell me what you think, google, ask questions and give reusable, sustainable lady products a try! Gah! Now I feel like “Sam I am” in Dr. Suess’ book “Green Eggs & Ham.” Awkward.

PS. Thanks for reading! I’ll be covering more awkward topics like “Top Reasons to Try Cloth Pads” and “Tips for Making the Switch to Cloth Pads” in my next few blog posts. Curious and want to stay tuned? Follow us on Instagram: @bluebirdpads and Facebook: Bluebird Pads.