Swapping clumpy hospital pads for soft reusable sanitary pads
Aoife runs the ZerowasteintheVale Instagram account. "Post-partum pants pampering" was a line she never thought she would hear, let alone write down, but reusable sanitary pads became her saviour!
Having a baby is tough. Really tough. You’ve finally gotten used to your pregnant life when baby decides it wants to make its entrance. And then everything changes. You’re sure you’ve everything prepared. You’ve a million baby grows, a stack of muslins and 15-20 reusable cloth nappies (I hear TotsBots are pretty good by the way). The baby is sorted, but what about you.
Before I had my first baby, I’d no idea that I would have any post-partum bleeding. It just hadn’t really been mentioned despite all the ante-natal classes and oh so helpful Emma’s diaries we received in the post. I think the most I’d heard about it was someone saying, “oh you’ll probably need some night time sanitary pads for the first few days”. That was it. So, I got one pack of 12 disposable liners thinking that'd be fine. Nope! Over the next six weeks, I went through the discomfort of wearing plasticky, sticky pads next to my fairly fragile bits and it was horrible.
Between my first and second child, we got really into zero waste living as a family and I finally got around to buying myself some Bloom and Nora reusable sanitary pads and a cup. My life changed instantly. Suddenly I was actually looking forward to my period. It was so much more comfortable, hassle-free and somehow less painful. I vowed that if I ever had a second child, I would use reusable sanitary pads for my post-partum life.
Along comes baby number two and outcome the reusable sanitary pads. I had a stash of nine, but it wasn’t enough. As if by magic the wonderful people from Bloom and Nora got in touch and asked could they gift me some pads from their new collection. And it truly is a magical collection.
I used the maxi and mighty bloomers for overnight protection and in the early postpartum days when my flow was heavier. They were so soft and absorbent that at no point did anything feel leaky, sticky or sweaty the way a disposable pad would. It made the whole aftermath of the birth a much nicer experience. The Noras are just as lovely and the polyester upper lining keeps you feeling dry. It almost feels like you’re not wearing a pad at all!
The best part was I didn’t have to worry about running out of pads. I stored the used pads in my lovely Hourglass waterproof bathroom bag (after rinsing them in cold water first) and washed them every two days. They all wash well (no stains anywhere) and dry quickly but the Noras are particularly fast drying, so they’re great if you need fresh pads in a hurry.
The out and about bag was another revelation. With separate pockets for dry and wet pads they had me covered when I managed to get out of the house. There was even enough space in the pocket for me to bring spare reusable breast pads and my tube of lansinoh! The bag folds over on itself and is held together by a popper, so it takes up very little space in my bag.
Six weeks have passed since the birth of my baby girl and I’ve been so happy with how well my pads have kept me covered in that time. I’m now mostly using the gorgeous Amelia midis. They are the perfect size and absorbency for my lighter but irregular flow. At no point were there any leaks or painful moments with sticky pads attaching to the wrong places! These chemical free, eco-friendly pads are a girl's best post-partum friend. Plus, when my period returns, I know I’ll have some posh pads waiting for me to use again, and again, and again for years to come (up to ten years apparently!).
Imagine that; not ever having to rush to the shops to buy plastic sanitary pads that get used once, make you feel yuck while you’re wearing them and then spend 500 years in a landfill or worse yet floating off to sea! No thanks.
If you're still not convinced think of how much money you can save by using reusable pads over single-use pads. You could save hundreds of pounds over your reproductive lifetime. The money you save could be spent on something far nicer for you and the planet than plastic pads.
So, if you’re looking for reusable maternity pads for your post-partum private bits then look no further than this beautiful collection by Bloom & Nora they are reusable panty liners and pads that give your privates a bit of pampering!
A bit about Aoife:
My name is Aoife and I run the ZerowasteintheVale Instagram account (formerly called ZeroWasteCardiff). I’m Irish but live in South Wales with my husband and two babies, Brecon and Oonagh. We started trying to live by the zero waste ethos (the 5Rs: Refuse, reduce, reuse, recycle, rot) after my son Brecon was born. Reusable nappies were our gateway drug into zero waste living and things escalated from there. We try to reuse everything we can and avoid anything single use as much as possible. We’re not perfect and still produce waste but our output is a lot lower and we’ll keep striving to reduce our waste however we can. If you’d like to know more about how we as a family are lowering our impact, then check out my instagram and get in touch.
Editors note - This article has been edited and was originally published on Bloom & Nora 5th July 2019. We've updated with our new product range.