Postpartum Cloth Pads: GladRags

While preparing for Weston’s birth, I put quite a bit of thought into postpartum recovery. Since he is my second baby, I knew what to expect and wanted to make my recovery as comfortable as possible. With Paxton, I had a third degree tear and was uncomfortable for weeks post delivery. I also remembered how uncomfortable those huge disposable pads are and how much waste they create! Since I’m  already cloth diapering and know it saves money and how much more comfortable cloth seems over disposable, I decided to try postpartum cloth pads.

I looked at several different brands of cloth pads and purchased samples of the different brands so I could actually see the product before investing in several.

I was also given the opportunity to review a GladRags Night/Postpartum Pad:

This pad comes with 1 Night Holder {approximately 14" long and 3" wide at the middle} and 2 Inserts. It retails for $17.99.
The inserts are placed inside the holder {this side is what touches your underwear}. You snap the pad in place around your underwear.
Once the pad is snapped in place, this is what touches your body.
When this pad came in the mail, I was shocked at the length! It's huge as you can see!It's pictured with a ruler to give you an idea of the length.

My first impression was this thing is huge and there’s no way it will be comfortable. After wearing it the first time, I realized I was wrong! It was so comfortable, so much better than the pads from the hospital. I didn’t feel like I was wearing a diaper, like the disposables feel, even though it was large and provided full coverage. As far as postpartum pads go, this is really bulky, but that is the purpose of a postpartum/overnight pad. I started wearing the cloth pads at 1 week postpartum and by that point, I was only wearing this one at night.  Of course this postpartum pad will make a fabulous overnight pads beyond the postpartum recovery. This one piece pad system with inserts is so easy to use, it’s really no different than disposables, only you wash and reuse instead of throwing away!

How many pads are recommended? I just guessed on how many I would need. I ended up with a total of 11 pads {3 postpartum pads, 4 long/heavy pads and 4 maxi pads} and 4 liners which were more than enough with my wash routine. I would recommend a minimum of 5 pads per day.

How often do you wash them? I washed every day and a half along with the boys diapers. I simply put them in the diaper pail and they were washed along with the diapers which was no extra laundry.

What about staining? I have had no staining issues so far after 5 weeks of use.  I rinsed the pads with cold water and then stored them in the diaper pail to wash with diapers. My current diaper wash routine is cold rinse, hot wash with detergent and another hot wash {to make sure all the detergent residue is gone to prevent build up issues in the diapers.}

Recommendation:

If you’re tired of spending money on pads and exposing your body to chemicals, then look into cloth pads! I invested around $75 into cloth pads which should last 5 years or longer. I’ll save a ton of money and prevent so much waste!

All of the GladRags are made of a comfortable cotton flannel and come in a variety of prints as well as undyed organic cotton.

About GladRags:

Inspired by the simple utility, earth-friendliness, and comfort of cloth diapers, GladRags was founded in 1992 in Portland, Oregon. It began as a home based business that quickly outgrew the extra bedroom and moved to its own building.  Today, GladRags is still a small company but with a big presence, promoting positive attitudes toward menstruation and making the environment a safer, cleaner place. GladRags can be found in health food stores and natural pharmacies nationwide.

Here are some informative links regarding disposable feminine products:

The Shocking Truth About Feminine Hygiene Products

Scary Tampon Recall May Change Your Periods Forever

I’d love to answer any questions you may have  about cloth pads! Either leave a comment or send an e-mail to rachel@frugalandsimple.com. Please don’t leave any rude comments saying this is ‘disgusting’ or ‘extreme’, menstruation is a natural function that is neither disgusting or nasty. Women’s bodies are doing just what God intended for them to do and it’s nothing to be ashamed of or disgusted by!

Disclaimer: I was provided a GladRags Night/Postpartum Pad to review. I was not compensated in any other way. All opinions expressed in this post are my own!

23 Replies to “Postpartum Cloth Pads: GladRags”

  1. I really wanted to use cloth pads postpartum, but we could not afford the up front cost. I had a huge stash of disposable pads that I had gotten for free from my couponing days, so I felt like I needed to use those. I did try making my own, but it was a huge flop. By that point in my pregnancy, i was too tired to try again. I bet if I had a serger, it would have been very easy though! On the days when I could not stand pads any longer, I would use a barely damp washcloth instead, and it was sweet relief! So I know cloth pads must be so much better!

    The one thing I did manage to make postpartum were cloth nursing pads. These were soooo easy to make and are the BEST! I LOVE them- so comfy and very absorbent!

    1. They are expensive up front and it's no fun shelling out $75-100 but I'm positive they'll save me so much money!! I don't blame you for saving money and using up the pads you already had though! I've heard of mamas using newborn pre-folds as cloth pads, that'd definitely be a cheap way to do it and I'm sure you could frugally modify pre-olds into a pad! How did you make your nursing pads? I made some homemade ones with Paxton but they were a flop! I'm currently using a mix of the Avent cloth, Bamboobies & a pair of wool FussyButt pads. I much prefer cloth nursing pads…I never wore disposables this time {I did those first few weeks with P!}

      1. it was so easy to make my own nursing pads and I love them! I just cut out 3 circles of flannel and 1 circle of fleece (I used a CD for my pattern). I then sewed them in a circle all together (the 3 flannel on top of the fleece), then I went back over it with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying. I love them! I made 18 pads (using scrap fabric) which is plenty for me.

  2. Thanks for the review! I've thought about buying cloth pads, especially since we made the switch the cloth diapers when Benjamin was born. I may just try to save up for a set before Baby #3 comes in October! Even though I've only had 5 periods since we got married (in May of 2008) due to pregnancy and breastfeeding (nursing kept my period away for 10 months the first time and 12 months the second time), if we keep having a baby every 22 months (so far, that's the pattern!), it would seem that cloth pads would pay for themselves over time even with just postpartum use–and I just *hate* buying things that end up getting thrown away after one use. 😉

    1. Just using cloth pads for postpartum with one baby over disposables just about pays for them! Then you still have them to use with other babies or for periods! And really, if you're already cloth diapering it's no extra work! I'm also hoping to not have to use these for several months now due to breastfeeding! One of my favorite perks of nursing!! 🙂

  3. I love my cloth pads. (My husband calls them underpants decorations.) They're so much more comfortable than disposables and so much prettier and more fun. One of my friends in college told me about them (thanks Meredith!); I'd never heard of them before, and I'm so glad she wasn't too shy to share! My favorites are the ones Renee makes at New Moon pads. Yes, the overnights are huge, but then I don't have to worry at all about staining my pjs or the sheets. I'm so glad you like them!
    Re: staining. Mine stain because I'm too lazy to rinse them asap. I let them air dry and then toss them in the laundry. They still work. And it's not like other people are going to see them!

    1. So glad to know you're a cloth pad user! I don't know anybody 'in real life' that uses them yet! I didn't even mention in this post the fun prints which does make them much prettier than disposables! I haven't heard of New Moon pads, thanks for sharing about those (although I don't plan to purchase any more since I'm hoping the little stash I have will last awhile!) And regarding staining, you're right, nobody will see them so it really doesn't matter! 🙂

  4. Great post! Do you use homemade washing soap for them? Could you do a post on how you make the soap and other household products instead of paying for store bought cleaning supplies?

    1. Since I'm washing them with my diapers, I'm using Charlie's Soap to wash them. I do make my own laundry detergent, I'm making a note on my 'blog to do' list to share about that sometime soon!

  5. I am so happy you reviewed this company! I have been wearing Glad Rags since I was 24 for my periods – and I am now 33! I also use a menstrual cup for my periods. Mine is called The Keeper. (TMI, but if you buy one, I suggest cutting off the "stem" as their site says many women do for comfort) Oh and I started with the "pre-baby" size back then and after having a baby am still wearing that size. (oh boy, talk about TMI!) LOL, but I just want to encourage other women to try this very frugal and eco-friendly alternative!
    (if you have any more "TMI" questions, feel free to e-mail me. I've already said enough on the comment board! haha)

    1. Wow!! 9 years…that's awesome!! And regarding the menstrual cup, it's not TMI, I have a Diva Cup that I purchased in college. I haven't used it in over 2.5 years due to pregnancy and breastfeeding but will once 'aunt flow' returns! So glad your pre-baby one works still…I'm hoping mine will too! And if I have any questions, I'll send you an e-mail! 🙂

  6. Hooray!!

    I wanted to do this after we had Rita, but I was unsure of making my own and we also didn't have the upfront cash. But…it's four and a half months before baby #2 arrives so if I get my act together I may try sewing. I remember with Rita, postpartum I used disposable organic cotton pads, which cost $20-$25 per month and my period (despite EBF) returned at six months postpartum- wasteful and nowhere near frugal. Thanks for this post! It's the best resource for this topic that I have encountered.

    In Addition, how did you prepare for frugal food for the first few weeks after Weston? I remember just taking a bath was exhausting!

    1. They are expensive upfront but you'll save so much money! And of course you'll save even more if you make your own! I found this tutorial for making cloth pads from pre-folds: http://www.diaperswappers.com/forum/showthread.ph… If you have a serger/snap tool they look like they'd be super easy to make and cheap!! And ask me any questions if you have any along the way regarding preparing to use cloth postpartum.

      As far as food goes, this time around I didn't do much freezer meal prep like I did with Paxton. {Here's a post I wrote while expecting him: http://frugalandsimple.com/2010/03/02/preparing-f… The foods I prepared for the freezer aren't exactly healthy but they're better than no food or take out! Paired with a salad they made decent meals though! This time I made a list of about 15 simple meals like Baked Pork Chops, Spaghetti and Meatballs or Chicken Noodle Soup. Add salad and bread as a side and it's quick and easy. Since I had a long list of meal ideas, it made deciding what to have easier, the hardest part was remembering to lay meat out to thaw {and honestly that's always the hardest part of making dinner anyways!} My hubby was the main meal preparer when we didn't have family visiting and feeding us! Also, I wrote out a list of the only things we needed to worry about which included preparing food, washing dishes, washing diapers, doing laundry. Those were the basics that had to be done in order to keep our household operating and everyone fed and clothed. We just didn't worry about things beyond that for the first week or two! It made life for this perfectionist much easier since I gave myself permission to let everything go but those necessities!

  7. Has anyone had any experience with working at a job outside of the home while using cloth pads or a menstral cup? I would love to transition to cloth/cup, but being at my office for 10 hours a day seems like there may be "disposal" issues in a public restroom. I have a feeling they would only be used on the weekends and evenings for me which would be better than nothing, but I would still have to be purchasing disposables on a regular basis. Any suggestions or comments?

    1. Most menstrual cups can be worn up to 12 hours (I know the Diva Cup can!) Once you get the hang of it and get comfortable with it there shouldn't be any issues being out while wearing it. As far as pads go, I have a Planet Wise Mini Wet/Dry Bag (like this: http://www.planetwiseinc.com/Planet_Wise_MINI_Wet… There's a pocket for clean pads and a place for soiled ones too. This wet bag makes it discreet and no different than using disposable products…only you take them with you. Most of the cloth pads also fold up into a nice little square so all the 'mess' is contained!

    2. Hi Amanda!
      I work full-time outside the home, and I've used both cloth pads and a menstrual cup at work. The cup was super easy because I only had to empty it twice a day, so I didn't bother with it at all at work. It did take me several cycles to figure it out, though, and during those, I only used it at home.
      Now I wear cloth pads almost exclusively because … I just do. I go through phases. The cloth pads are more fun. (And seriously, sometimes, you need all the fun you can get.) It's really not a problem to change them at work – I have a black makeup bag I use for them. There's none of the weird "hiding" that I bet we all did in middle/high school where you had to throw the disposables out and what if people saw?! I would recommend thinner pads for you; they tend to be easier to fold up and pop in the bag after use.

    3. I used to work in an office pre-baby and yes, sometimes on heavy days, you might have to change the cup at work. What you do is you empty it directly into the toilet (while you are sitting right there) then insert it again right away. Then you can keep baby wipes to "wash" your hands before properly being able to wash your hands at the sink outside the stall. When at home, you obviously have it a bit easier being in your own personal bathroom of course.

  8. Rachel, you are a wealth of information!! Thank you! Thank you!

    I appreciate your openness to helping me out with questions along the way. I bet I take advantage of that! I love living in the "deep" South but it is so hard to find people living in these frugal and simple ways – I just love reading all of the comments on this topic! I will eventually get into a menstrual cup too…so I know I'll be asking about that too. I will let you know how my sewing adventures turn out – that link looks great!

    WOW! Great info about the meals! One store around here runs a special on their french bread – that would be so easy to slice and freeze ahead of time too. Your meals mentioned all seem crock pot worthy – which will probably be another life saver! Oh girl, I had a chicken to bake last night and when I grabbed it from the fridge…still frozen! So, we had quiche! 🙂 Loving the idea of focusing on the essentials too. With Rita I totally did NOT let go = unhappiness for everyone (only at first though). Honestly at some point I probably spent too much time sitting on the sofa reading blogs when she napped (oops!) but I feel so much more confident (and less lazy/scattered) with #2 on the way!

    1. You're so welcome! Ask anything, anytime, I'm happy to share what works for me! 🙂 And I had a similar dinner incident last night…I pulled a big bowl of frozen chili out of the freezer and when it was time to eat dinner it was still about 90% frozen! So, we're having chili tonight!! And I felt much more prepared for number two, you learn from your 'mistakes/regrets' with the first and realize that all that matters is the basics when it comes to housework and loving on your babies…the rest can wait!

      1. I miss all of your little posts about what you guys eat, your grocery trips and your monthly budget goals. But with two little guys now, I'm sure your time to blog is limited! (sometimes I look back in the archives for some budgeting/kitchen inspiration!)

        1. I'm hoping to share a glimpse into our grocery budget, meal plan and what I buy at the grocery store soon. I plan on covering the whole month and sharing everything we buy and how much we spend! I just have to pick a month and do it! And I shared my 2012 goals at the beginning of the year and I may share updates quarterly. And yes, the boys keep me busy with not much time to blog but I'm working on managing time better so I can have more devoted time to blog!

  9. I had noticed a while back that you had the Diva Cup and always wondered how it worked. Now,after reading what others have written here, I think I may get one from Amazon when I have enough Swagbucks! Personally, I never really liked pads, but tampons are so wasteful (the cardboard applicators hurt me, so I buy the plastic which I know is awful for the environment)! I wish I would have known about the Diva Cup a few weeks ago when I picked up another box of tampons. I really appreciate you bringing these things to light!!

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