Is Postpartum Mama Cloth Going to Be a Headache?

I was in the feminine care aisle at the store the other day and briefly glanced at the products since I knew I would need something after I returned home from the hospital. Disposable would make life so much easier, right? After looking at the prices, brands and package sizes I could not bring myself to buy any without seriously considering a reusable option. I already have a stash of mama cloth with a few overnight/postpartum pads and I did not want to buy a package of disposable pads and have half a bag left to sit and go unused. After thinking about it this past week I got a few more overnight cloth pads to add to my collection and I think I have what I need to use them after I deliver. My plan is to use the disposable pads they provide at the hospital and switch to cloth after I return home.

Purchasing a stash of six to eight overnight cloth pads probably will not save money compared to buying a package of disposable pads if you only plan to use those particular pads postpartum, but reusable cloth pads save money and waste if you plan on switching to reusable full time. Cloth pads are soft, absorbent and a lot more comfortable than their disposable alternatives, and a good option that I have used in the past, but they are still a little work. After I fell in love with the reusable menstrual cup last year, which was easier for me to care for and more similar to the tampons I had previously used, I did not use cloth pads as often but still used them on occasion.

Since the menstrual cup is not recommended postpartum and I already have a good number of cloth pads, I have concluded that it makes sense for me to put them to good use. Part of me thinks that I am a little out of my mind, since my husband is deployed and I will have my hands full as we adjust to another member of the family, but at the same time another load of laundry is not a huge deal. It has been a couple of years since I have used mama cloth full time so I definitely need a little refresher in my wash routine. The obstacle I had in the past was with staining and I seem to recall that wet storage worked better than dry storage to minimize this. I am a little nervous that it may be just another thing on my to do list to make me overwhelmed, yet at the same time it will save me from a trip to the store if I run out of disposable pads and I know I will be a lot more comfortable than the crunchy, dinosaur-sized disposable pads.

Have you used mama cloth postpartum? What were some of the similarities and differences from using them on your normal cycle and do you have any tips to make the washing easier when you are sleep deprived and recovering from birthing?

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By Emi Stapler. I am a cloth diaper advocate, green parenting blogger, mother of three and a military wife who enjoys sharing my motherhood adventures and advice. Follow me at The Cloth Diaper Report on Facebook, Twitter @TheCDReport , Google +, Pinterest and Instagram.

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  1. When I gave birth a year ago, Tena was providing fabulous coupons ($7 off/package). I didn’t care that they were for bladder control. They got the job done.

    I didn’t have a good stash of mama cloth at the time (just a few I’d made myself, and they leaked) so this was what worked for me.

  2. I would recommend buying pads with a minky top layer, so staining will be a non-issue. I just wash with my cloth diapers so its no extra laundry. For my cotton pads, I rinse them out and use a buncha farmers stain stick before putting them in the diaper pail. It’s an extra step though so for post partum, I like to stick to minky pads only. Best of luck.

    • I have one that is velour top and dark, but no minky. It sounds like a nice excuse to get some, it’s such a fun, soft fabric. And tell me more about this farmers stain stick!

  3. I was going to use mama cloth postpartum & had started building a stash since I have not otherwise used mama cloth (but plan to after this baby) – however, my baby #3 came 4 weeks before the EDD, thus throwing a small monkey wrench into the planning. So I had my husband go buy me some disposable pads, opened, started using, only to discover I still had the last half of the package of disposables from the last baby in my closet… :/. Now I have two half packs of disposables that I can’t return. :/ C’est la vie, no?? Fortunately baby #3 is healthy and doing just fine!!

    • You can donate them to a food bank! Menstrual needs are a huge thing for women in poverty.

      • Would they take an open bag of disposable pads though? Definitely something for mamas to consider!

    • Isn’t that the way things happen? My little munchkin is doing the opposite for me right now– I have never gone past my due date and am nervous she is going to wait until the last minute of my mom’s visit and I will have little to no newborn help with my husband gone!

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