Sunday, June 28, 2009

About Cloth Menstrual Pads: FAQ, How To, and A Review on Betty's Site

Curious about the whole cloth menstrual pad thing?
Here are the answers to the questions I get the most often. 

Pads can feel like fluffy clouds, pads can love you without leaking on you, once you've tried our pads you'll marry them and most of all, Unicorns exist.

On a more serious note... with the invent of disposable menstrual products we have come to associate menstruation with filth. It's a symbol and reminder of women's ability to create life and is absolutely NOT trash, its not dirty or filthy. By washing your menstrual pads rather than throwing them away you are not only doing something good for the environment but you are honoring yourself and your body.

*How do I use my cloth menstrual pad?
They are almost identical to using disposable pads with wings. Rather than sticking to your panties they fasten closed with a metal snap.

How often do I change my VLL cloth menstrual pad?
Gush! cloth menstrual pads are more absorbent than disposable pads, so you will be able to go longer with out having to change the pad. Average is about 1 every 4-5 hours, but that varies in your flow. Like with disposable pads you will learn while using them how often you personally need to change your pads.

How absorbent are VLL cloth menstrual pads?
Our regular flow pad consists of 2 layers of flannel, 2 of cotton terry cloth, a waterproof barrier and a stain resistant vegan fleece center. How do you like them manzanas?
The waterproof barrier lines the entire bottom layer of the pad, and to top it off terry cloth is much more absorbent than the treated cotton you find in a disposable pad.
So, what does that mean? 
Well, I have one customer that uses the maxi versions for her mother who has some problems with incontinence (which we love! Listen, when I'm old I don't want to wear a diaper- I want to wear a freaking  unicorn pad) and she swears by them. That's how absorbent they are.

What do I do with them when I need to replace them and I am not at home?
Excellent question. :)
VLL's cloth menstrual pads are designed to be able to fold and snap closed, like so:

All of the moisture is on the inside of the pad and the back of the pad- the part of the pad with the waterproof lining- is facing out, this does wonders in preventing leaks.
The easiest thing to do is fold them up and place them in a waterproof bag. Many women use zip lock bags. If you are looking for something more eco-friendly and discreet we sell leak resistant wet bags that have two separate sections: one for used pads and one for clean pads.

How do I wash my Gush! cloth menstrual pads?

Give your pad a good rinse in the sink, wring them out and repeat until the water you wring out is clear. If you have dark colored pads and see no stains your done! Just throw your pad in the wash with your other clothes.

If you see a stain and you want it gone, fill the bathroom sink or a plastic container with warm water and hydrogen peroxide. Let it sit for an hour or so. {If you have a really stubborn stain pour some fresh warm water and mix in one scoop of Oxyclean. Let it sit for an hour or so. Works every time) Then, wring out one last time and throw it in the laundry pile. That's it. Seriously, wring it out- throw it in a pile and move on with your life. 

How much money will I actually save by switching to VV cloth menstrual pads?
If you spend just $8.00 monthly on your disposable menstrual products (likely you spend more) you are spending $96.00 yearly. Every 5 years you are spending $480. 2 sets of  VLL pads will cost you $115.00, saving you $198. If you care for your pads they will last even longer than 5 years, saving you more.

How many do I need?
This really depends on your personal flow and how often you do laundry.
Our basic sets are a beautiful way to start-
Find out how often you need to change them, how often you wash them and go from there. We find that the heaviest of flow with the woman that hates laundry the most (ok, yes, Im talking about me...) only needs 5 liners and 1 maxi to go the entire week without washing clothes. We sell the main sets with 4 pads each and then if you find you need to add only 2 you can totally do that-  and in a different, fabulous pattern.
Variety really is the spice of life.

Are VLL cloth menstrual pads comfortable?
The base of the pad is made of soft vegan flannel- on both sides. And the center piece is made of this ultra soft vegan fleece that molds to your body like some kind of.. Vulva magic.

We promise you no crinkling, no bulkiness, and none of that taking a small breath before pulling out your tampon feeling.
When we say they feel like clouds, we are 100% for real.

Will my VLL menstrual pads leak?
They hold 3x more liquid than other cloth/store bought pads and they are fully lined with leak-resistant fabric. Now, just like any menstrual product if you are having a really heavy day and don't check on them or change them for hours you may end up with a leak- but with our pads you are much less likely to run into that problem.

Is there an odor problem with Gush! cloth menstrual pads?
VLL pads breath more than disposable pads- which should make them smell, right?
Actually, it helps keep your pad drier- so you will find that you don't have an odor care in the world.

How long will they last?
At the very least they will last you 3 years- if you totally don't bother to take care of them.
Depending on how well they are cared for they can last up to 7. Instructions for care are included with your order, but they are pretty much the same as you find here. So, taking good care of them really isn't hard.

Are they sanitary?
Yes. When you prick your finger it's not un-sanitary, same concept. Plus, like you panties, VLL pads are worn outside of your body, not in- tampons really just holds the menstrual blood in the vaginal canal and that can cause some problems. Not from the blood but from the tampon. Toxic shock much? And if you don't think it happens, take a look.
Menstruation is a natural, harmless substance that is in no way harmful or unsanitary.

So this all sounds too good to be true, but we can prove it. 
Use tampons? 
We promise once you try our cloth pads you will never go back. Don't believe this fairy tale? Here is a review we got on Betty Dodson's site. Yes, Betty Dodson. {Freakin love her}

Friday, June 19, 2009

Disney, oh the things I have learned: Part 1

I went to the Magic Kingdom for my birthday. I had not been in years and quickly came to the realization that a lot didnt register. I went back, watched some old movies and some of the new shows.
Let me share with you what I, and likely many children, have learned from Mickey:

Lets start out with a favorite:
Snow White

Snow White has very soft, feminine facial features. Her jaw line is soft, her eyebrows up high, and her nose small. She is the 'good girl' in the story.

The evil queen on the other hand has very masculine facial features. She has a defined jawline and cheekbones and her eyebrows are lower, thicker. She is obviously the 'bad girl' in the story.

What I learned: Masculine women are not as attractive as feminine women. Masculine women hate feminine women and want more than anything to be considered conventionally 'pretty', not to mention the fact that the masculine female is the evil character.

Jack Sparrow is cool, right?
Pirates are awesome, no lie. Apparently, so is the objectification of women.
Look, a wench auction! You can just buy women! And the one in red seems ok with it.
Now, dont get me wrong, I understand that historically pirates and the rape/kidnapping of women go hand in hand. But just like portraying smoking in childrens movies is a no no, in a children's theme park you might want to avoid this imagry. And yes, young children around the age of 5 do enjoy this ride. They were sitting infront of us looking adorable.

The Disney Channel rocks my socks:
In just under one hour of watching the Disney channel these are some things that zipped by me:

From the Suite Life of Zac and Cody:

Women are obsessed with precious stones – the episode begins with a character counting her stones and throwing out gold. Gold is so cheap, eww.

Women are complete idiots and they are not expected to work- “Oh no, daddy is going to fire me!” “You don’t work here…” “He’s already done it?!?” “Calm down, you never did work and you never have to work” “Yay me!”

When women have the voice of an infant they are more likable.

Hungarian women are overweight, have unibrows, manly voices, and its humorous to make fun of them.

Men are clumsy – The plumber bumps his head, wrecks the lobby, injures the butler dispenses mail throughout the lobby and the crowd there-in, the boys ruin a painting/frame, the butler knocks over a precious vase…

Men are greedy “Mom, we want you to get that bonus so that you can spend it all on us”, the Butler holds the family hostage so that he can obtain a raise

Women and gay men cook, straight men eat and judge their food : there is a kitchen scene 5 women and 1 gay male are cooking, the straight male (the chef) does nothing but go around tasting everything and informing everyone of how terrible it is

Women are jealous of one another and fight over their appearances: Two girls fight because one has taken the ‘look’ of the other, they proceed to rip hair/clothes and break heels. Because that is how all girls fight.

Asian women don’t know how to drive: A character does not know what the gear shift is, then crashes the car into the hotel lobby.

All in one episode! Amazing!

Hannah Montana

Women wear makeup in the morning and when going to bed.

Men are filthy, spit, leave their filthy underwear in every place imaginable, eat someone elses week old sandwich

Only ugly women play chess. Also, its humorous to make fun of them.

I cant watch this any more.

Even Stevens:

Intelligent, studious girls are bitches that will step on anyone to get ahead.

All in under an hour. Now that is some Disney magic. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

Have you seen it?

There is a part of your body that changes daily. It serves as a passage way for old blood and new life. It expands, changes color and if you watch it you can tell whether or not you are ovulating, where you are in your cycle, and if you pregnant.

Have you seen it?


Isnt that crazy! There is a part of your body that is completely epic and you have never seen it. I thought it was completely insane and I had to take a look.

I looked for at least an hour. I couldnt believe that the small thing I was looking at, my cervix, could do something like bring a person into this world. I started to look at her daily. Now I can tell you whether I am ovulating, about to ovulate, or when I am just a few days away from menstruation. If it ever happens I will know very quickly that I am pregnant.

Perhaps you should take a minute to look at yours.
Here is what you need:
A speculum (you can get one here:
A flash light
A hand mirror

How to do it:

  1. Put some KY jelly or water onto the bills (the rounded part ) which you will insert into your vagina) . Take a deep breath. As you exhale, let your muscles relax. To insert the speculum, hold it in one hand, handles up, bills together. Using your other hand, spread the labia and insert the bills of the speculum as you would a tampon.
  2. When you have inserted it as far as it will comfortably go, open the bills using the mechanism on the handles that you practiced with earlier. You will feel the speculum stretch your vagina open. Lock the speculum into place. Then you can let go of it. With both your hands free, you can now hold the flashlight and mirror. Shine the beam of the flashlight into the mirror so it reflects into the vagina lighting up the internal space. Or shine the flashlight directly inside. Adjust the mirror and flashlight so you can see inside. At the back of your vagina is your cervix. It looks like a small donut with a very small opening in the center.
  3. When you are finished, unlock and close the speculum. Then slowly and gently pull the speculum out. You may smell the speculum to become familiar with your natural smell of secretions and examine the mucus picked up on the speculum. An acidic smell is not unusual. A yeasty or fishy odor may indicate an infection.
What you see
The cervix appears as a rounded or flattened knob about the size of a quarter or half-dollar. The hole or opening in the center is called the cervical os.

If you cannot see your cervix, unlock the speculum , change the direction the bills are pointed, then reopen it. It may help to sit on a firmer surface, like the floor. If after a few tries you are unable to find your cervix, wait a few days and try again. The cervix moves somewhat during the menstrual cycle and may be easier to see in a few days.

What to look for:

Mucus: Mucus is natural. The character of the mucus changes throughout the menstrual cycle in response to hormones. It ranges from pasty-white (non-fertile) to clear and stretchy egg-white texture (fertile). The picture below is a cervix during ovulation.

Color and Texture: Cervical bluing may be the first sign that a woman is pregnant. Fifty percent of women who are pregnant will have a blue or purplish colored cervix due to an increase in blood circulation. During pregnancy, the cervix may also look puffy and softer and the os more open.

So, now you know. Go a head and take a look!