One conversation I’ve had to have with young girls before in my practice has been about periods. From a 10 year old coming to me at a camp and whispering “I just got my first period…what the hell do I do” to a teen in a group home asking me for tampons, I’ve gotten used to talking about menstruation openly.
One of the things that I think is important to remember is that almost every girl menstruates. I am confused as to why it has to be such a secret or made into a big deal. When I was in high school, if you got your period, you were up the creek without a paddle unless you were brave enough to go to a couple friends and ask for some products. Why does it have to be that nerve wracking? I think girls should embrace their periods, knowing that it is their body’s natural self doing what it needs to do to prepare itself for reproduction and sustaining life.
Getting your period can suck, trust me. I personally had very irregular and almost non-existant periods for several years because of a medical condition. Since I started medication to fix that problem, I started having severe cramping that was constant for at least 3 days. My first ‘regular’ cycle on medication was 13 days long and 5 of those days were extremely heavy. While researching pain relief for periods online, I learned about cloth pads.
Cloth pads are reusable menstrual products that snap to your underwear and you wear them just as you do disposables, but when you are done using the pad, you can wash it and re-use it. I was at first really weirded out, but thought this was the coolest idea ever after I started doing more research. I spent HOURS that night laying on a heating pad, taking medication, and researching cloth. I learned about materials, cleaning methods, pros and cons, brands, and colours. I placed my first order that night with Tree Hugger Cloth Pads.
I love my Tree Huggers. The lady who runs the company is a work at home mom named Crystal Burton, and she is fantastic. She makes pads that have a material inside called Zorb, and it’s made for cloth diapers. It’s really absorbent and I have not yet had a leak with this material. They are backed with fleece, which is water resistant, so there is less chance of leaking. She makes panty liners, light flow day pads, heavy flow day pads, and overnight/ postpartum pads. The top (the part that faces your body) can either be Minky, Bamboo, fleece, or cotton (cotton and fleece is a newer grouping of her products, I believe). Minky is stain resistant, which I love. I can take out a pad that might have been sitting in my wetbag (special bag that is water proof to store used pads) for a couple days, then take it out and rinse it under cold water. The blood comes right out, just like magic. Bamboo is super comfy and I love the feeling of it. I have yet to try her cotton and fleece products, but I plan on ordering some tonight!
The really great thing about Crystal’s products is that she is willing to help you in anything you need. I wanted panty liners that were longer in length (9 inches as opposed to 7 inches) because I have a bigger body and prefer more coverage. NO problems. Crystal is open to custom orders and is determined to help you meet your menstruation needs. You can even see a set online and be like “hm..I like this print from this set, but this print from another set…can we mix and match?” Customer services is top notch! Shipping is FAST and all her products are, in my opinion, very reasonably priced.
I have tried cloth pads from other companies, and now I am almost exclusively ordering from Tree Hugger because of the fantastic customer service and high quality product. And here is another added bonus. For every pad you buy, Tree Hugger plants a tree. How awesome is this for the environment!
Overall, I love these products from Tree Hugger. I even have a rainbow set of overnight pads (for the queer bleeder in all of us).
I have seen so many benefits in the short time I’ve been using cloth. For example, I only had one day of mild cramping on cloth, only 2 days of heavy bleeding, and my whole period went from 13 days long to 9 days long. Using cloth has been healthier for my body overall, and I love that!
Be well, don’t hesitate to ask me questions if you have any!