Many people have asked me if you can really use it postpartum and if I did. I’d love to tell you that I proudly packed all my mama cloth and carried it with me to the hospital, but I didn’t. I knew I’d be tired, I knew I had a history of postpartum hemorrhage and very heavy postpartum bleeding, so I took the ‘easy’ way out and packed a box of giant maxi pads. However, I do wish I’d taken my cloth as it would’ve been far more comfortable. The disposable pads did their job well, but they also caused more soreness and chaffing than my cloth does. As soon as I got back home, I grabbed my cloth and it was more than adequate for my postpartum flow.
Which cloth pads work best postpartum? It depends solely on you and your personal postpartum needs. If you’re someone whose postpartum flow is like a regular period, you can probably get by with whatever mama cloth you currently use. If you’re like me and those first several days are far heavier than a period, you’ll want to go with a cloth pad designed for postpartum use and then ease back into overnight or regular pads as your flow decreases. If you’re in between, a nice overnight pad will likely work well. For me, one of the keys was that the pad be longer than what I’d ordinarily wear. Postpartum care can be rough. There will be vaginal and perianal swelling, you may even have stitches. A pad that is longer will tend to be more comfortable as the edge won’t be hitting any spots that are understandably very sore. Longer pads will also give you more absorbency and can allow for a bit of a looser fit as their coverage area is wider. I didn’t find tight-fitting underwear very appealing during my postpartum period.
If you’re handy with a sewing machine, I would highly suggest purchasing this pattern and making some of these for postpartum use. What didn’t I love about the Mamma Can Do It Postpartum Pad pattern? Nothing, I loved everything. It really is a winner, and no, I wasn’t paid to try it or say that. It’s longer than your regular flow cloth pads and it acts like a shell that you can reuse a few times without laundering if it isn’t soiled. You can put an ice pad or a rice bag in it for relief from postpartum swelling. You can use it with cloth pads OR disposable pads. Heck, you could even fold up a flat or prefold diaper in a pinch and put that inside this shell. The bonus of making your postpartum pads yourself is that you can customize the length and width to fit your preferences and needs.
What if you don’t sew? No, fear. The lovely cloth pad makers out there have you covered with postpartum pads available for purchase. Pink Daisy has postpartum pads available with stay dry tops or organic cotton tops. Pink Lemonade pads are some of my personal favorites and they have some truly gorgeous 13″ postpartum pads that work great. Wee Essentials is another personal favorite.
Can cloth pads really work for your postpartum flow? Absolutely! They can work great and they can make it a little more comfortable because sitting on plastic, even if it’s cotton topped, is just not fun. With lush fabrics like minky, postpartum care can be far more comfortable with cloth.
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