Using Cloth Pads: A Bloom & Nora Padvocate tells all

Aoife from @zerowasteinthevale tells you why she loves using cloth pads and gives her advice on making the switch.

We’re big fans of Aoife’s @zerowasteinthevale Instagram account, it’s jam packed full of super helpful tips and tricks for living a zero waste lifestyle, so naturally we were over the moon when she said she’d be keen to try Bloom & Nora cloth pads. We sent her a pack to try and she loved them! Now a huge Bloom & Nora fan and firmly in the padvocate camp, she shares her reasons for switching and gives advice for any newbies thinking of ditching the disposable.

Choosing

Why did you choose to use cloth pads? We’re self confessed zero-wasters so our aim is to reduce waste wherever we can. I chose to use reusables after using cloth nappies on my baby for a couple of months as I’d figured because the cloth nappies weren’t hard to use and they significantly reduced our waste; it seemed only right to give cloth pads a try. Then when I realised how much money I‘d be saving too I was completely sold on them.

What do you love about Bloom & Nora?

I love how comfortable and reliable they are. I’ve never had any leaks or discomfort wearing them, especially post-partum. I also love that they’re ethically made with sustainability as a main driving factor for their production.

Do you have a favourite print?

It’s very hard to choose but I’m a big fan of the lush peacock feather print 😊

Are you a bloomer or a nora? I’m a bloomer. I love that they’re made with natural fibres but also how soft they are.

Using

Did you have any reservations to switching to cloth pads? Yes, I was worried about storing/washing and concerned they would leak. I was convinced that I would have to deal with blood-stains and I wasn’t comfortable at all with any of that. I was also a bit embarrassed at the thought of having a bag of used period pads in the bathroom. I realised after my first time using them how silly my worries were and that there was nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve become far more open and proud of my period since using reusables.

Do you use any other types of reusable / eco period products? I use a cup too, which I also find to be incredibly useful especially when I’m doing an activity like hiking.

You’ve recently had a baby, did you use them post-partum? I did and they were the best thing. I hadn’t used them after my first child but did for my second. I had some tearing and couldn’t bear the idea of using disposables again so I decided to use my stash of maxi bloomers. I was initially worried that they wouldn’t be absorbent enough but they were amazing. So soft, so comfortable and the best thing for my sore bits! I had no leaks, even in those very early post-partum days. They were really quick to wash and dry too, I had about 13 pads in total and that was enough to keep me covered, washing every 2 days.

Do you use them out and about? I have done yes, but if I know I’ll be out all day I use my cup.

How do you find reusables v disposables? Reusables are the clear winners from an environmental, economic and comfort perspective. I don’t go near disposables now and take every opportunity to sing the praises of reusables.

Did you worry about them being bulky or people seeing them? Initially yes, but not after I wore them and certainly don’t care now.

 

Giving Others Advice

What do your friends / family think? Have you converted anyone to cloth pads? It depends on the group, most of my close friends are already on the bandwagon in one way or another but that’s because we’re all environmentalists at heart. Outside of this group it varies a lot. I find some people are very open to the conversation and others don’t want to discuss periods at all. My sister was absolutely never going to use them until she became pregnant and now she’s planning on using them as post-partum pads. I’m hoping she’ll keep going with them in the future.

Do you have any advice for anyone considering cloth pads? My only advice is to not give up on them. It might take a cycle or two to find out what really works for you and your flow but if you stick with them you’ll actually start to enjoy your period. I used to get cramps and a lot of discomfort when I was using disposables but when I switched to reusable products it was almost like I wasn’t having a period at all. I don’t worry about leaks or running out of pads anymore. It has become a completely stress-free experience.

Any top tips on using cloth pads? Make sure to give them a rinse under the tap before you store used pads in their bag. If they seem to be curling up a bit when you take them out of the wash, just give them a little gentle stretch and re-shape and they’ll be good as new again. Line drying is best if you can do it.

Wow! We just love how passionate Aoife is about cloth pads, there’s always a little hesitation before trying something new, but Aoife’s story is proof that if you take the leap you’ll thank yourself for being brave enough to do it. Using reusables isn’t scary, it’s just different to what we know, and if one cloth pad can make your period a little bit better then why not give it a go? We have trial kits, singles or full kits plus a range of accessories to make the storing and washing easy, go on try cloth pads and maybe you will be our next padvocate!