*I received these Naturals R Dino-mite products free for review, but all opinions expressed are my own.*
I lucked out and went almost TWO years without a period after the birth of my son in 2013. Now, after the birth of my daughter, I’m not eager to see it back once again. I didn’t miss it then and I sure as hell don’t miss it now. And while being pregnant hasn’t exactly been everything I hoped it would be in that I battled intense morning sickness both times around (the second time even worse than the first), I would still take being pregnant and delivering a beautiful baby over having a monthly period. I know that this may not be a common opinion, but my periods before baby were agony. I always thought that I knew what early stage labor would be like thanks to menstrual cramps and I was totally correct. Now, don’t get me wrong, having a baby and having a period don’t even compare with each other, but I’m just saying at the end of labor, you get that lovely baby. At the end of a period, you get slightly less hormonal.
So, yes, when mine came back in 2014, quite unexpectedly, I was irritated and not at all prepared. I had no supplies besides some JUMBO diaper pads from right after giving birth. Moms, you know the ones. Freaked out, I ventured out to Whole Foods for some organic cotton tampons.
Now, I’m not sure if I’d just been living under a rock before I got pregnant back in 2012 or if in about a year and half the period game really had changed that much. I mean, I had seen these fascinating menstrual cups in stores and heard whispers about mama cloth from other moms, but I arrived at Whole Foods to find my feminine hygiene supplies much altered from what I knew previously or even what I was comfortable with. I had to ask the lady manning the toiletries area for help. Head hung in shame, I asked her if she used the Diva Cup. As I listened to her explanation, I was both intrigued and equally horrified at the prospect of using a menstrual cup. I mean, I don’t even buy tampons that don’t have applicators, but here I was considering buying a piece of silicone to stick into my lady business every month. Ultimately, I guess I just figured after delivering my son, it’s not like that tiny cup could be WORSE. My own trepidation towards the cup was why I was extremely surprised to hear the woman tell me about how much she loved it. From there she began asking me questions. One in particular made me sad. Have you had kids? Yes, why? Then you’re a size 2. Now, logically, I get it. You pushed another person out of that hole, it’s bound to have changed, but I felt defensive, like, “Yeah, lady, I had a baby, but I do my Kegels, and everything down there is doing just fine, thanks!” Not that any of this was this poor woman’s fault. We’ll blame hormones. But that nice young woman’s testimonial had a huge impact on me and I walked out of Whole Foods that day with a box of organic cotton tampons as planned. And a menstrual cup. I bit the bullet and I haven’t looked back.
So without further ado, let’s discuss the safer options for dealing with your period.
There are so many more menstrual cups out on the market now and when my period comes back this time, I will probably try different ones. Not because I’m unhappy with the Diva Cup, but because I’m truly curious about the different fits. But for now, I have used and loved the Diva Cup, and that’s the cup I’ll be referencing for my experiences below.
Like I previously mentioned, I was a bit apprehensive about trying a menstrual cup, which is absolutely the worst thing to be because it causes you to tense up. You’ll want to be as relaxed as humanly possible. Unfortunately, the first time I ever used my cup, I just kept thinking, “What if I put it in and I can’t get it back out?” I’ve now read enough trouble-shooting articles and blog posts to know I’m not the only one who had this panic attack and I won’t be the last. And yes, the first time that I “lost” it, I freaked out. You will, too, but luckily if you know how to bear down (thank you childbirth), you’ll get it out no problem. So, don’t freak out! It’ll happen, you’ll be fine.
After getting it in, I thought I had done the hard part, but that wasn’t the case. I needed to get that sucker open all the way and establish a seal so that I wouldn’t have leaks. I must’ve done a terrible job because it took about 20 minutes to get it in and I still had leaks. I was frustrated, disappointed, and irritated that I had wasted good tampon money on this thing.
Determined to not be defeated, I got online and starting scouring the forums for information. Feeling relatively confident after reading other women’s honest testimonials, I tried again. By the end of my first postpartum period I was feeling pretty confident that I could use this new period tool. Then my period stayed away for another 76 days and I worried that I would be back at square one, but apparently, it’s a lot like riding a bike because the next period and all the ones after that until we conceived Baby K, I’ve done great with it! Hopefully that is still true when you haven’t used one for over a year.
Either way, ladies, I highly recommend a menstrual cup!! Definitely over tampons (I’ll go into detail below.) Don’t give up during the first period you use it. Give it a try over the course of a couple periods. It takes a bit to get the hang of it, but once you do it’s straight up period bliss!
My first two pieces of mama cloth came from super amazing WAHM, Lana–owner of Naturals R Dino-mite. I’m remember being seriously blown away with how adorable mama cloth could be. Honestly, it adds a beautiful aspect to an otherwise kind of gross situation and I know it makes me feel better about myself. Maybe it’s a little silly, but using it makes me feel sexier at a time when I never would’ve felt like that before. Cute prints, soft fabric? Why wouldn’t you upgrade from disposables?
Lana kindly created two styles for me to try out, which was perfect for a first timer. The first was organic cotton fleece (LOVE!) with a fleece backing and the second was multiple Zorb layers with a wool backing. The wool gets lanolized just like our Truly Charis wool cloth diaper covers for the kids to increase absorbency/prevent leaking.
Two years later, I’m still aboslutely thrilled with both! In fact, I threw them into my postpartum lineup alongside my Just Fussy cloth pads. They are so soft, easy to care for, and hold up well with washing. One of my favorite features is the snap closure that closes the pad around your underwear and holds it in place. This option is 100x’s better than disposable pads. Those sticky wings NEVER stay put! I honestly can’t believe I wasn’t using mama cloth before. And I might not have used them at all because I didn’t want to mess with washing them, but after cloth diapering our son and now little girl, mama cloth is no big deal.
I’m so glad the Lana came to me about her products back in 2014 because not only are they are wonderful, but it opened the door to mama cloth for me! Naturals R Dino-mite can customize mama cloth to work for you! Do you need more absorbency? Let her know and she’ll find the perfect option for you! Do you have allergies to syntethic fabric–try organic cotton! The one thing I know for sure, is if you’re willing to wash them, there is a perfect mama cloth design for everyone!
If you want to know more consider checking out Just Fussy and Naturals R Dino-mite on Etsy.
Organic Cotton Tampons (with/without applicator)
I primarily used tampons from 14 until 22 because I hated pads with a fiery passion. As soon as I was old enough to realize there was another option to pads, I was done with them. And as I become more aware of the toxins that are in name-brand feminine hygiene products, I moved to natural tampons. The hang-up with these, in my opinion, is that a cardboard applicator is like one giant splinter. And it’s not easy to push the tube up to actually insert the tampon. It got to the point where I don’t even know why I kept buying them. Since I started my journey with mama cloth and the Diva Cup, I haven’t bought a single box of tampons and I’ve more than recouped my intial mama cloth+menstrual cup payment.
Now, if you do just love tampons–then the natural, but ideally organic, cotton ones are the only way to go. The tampon itself is wonderful since it’s very soft and you can’t feel it at all once it’s in place. Isn’t that the mark of a good feminine hygiene? If you’re cool with it, just buy the ones without the applicator. Personally, I know I found that applicator-less process to be more than I cared to tackle, which is why I continued to suffer through the giant splinter, ahem, cardboard applicators.
Seriously though, just give mama cloth and a menstrual cup a chance. With these two options you will have every manner of activities covered! Don’t keep throwing money away on disposables. If I haven’t convinced you, read this article about the dangers of toxic chemicals on feminine hygiene products. ASAP!
Make the choice to keep chemicals out of your vagina. Make the choice to limit your household waste. Choose a healthier and reusable option. I promise you won’t be sorry you did!