Making the switch: Mama cloth and menstrual cups

Well, I’m pretty sure the title of this post has already scared a few people away. If not, please be aware that this post is going to discuss some of my Army latrine (or lack thereof) experiences. It might be a little yucky, so if you’re grossed out by bathroom discussions, please choose another one of my posts to read!

Before I started researching cloth diapers for my son, I’d never heard of cloth menstrual pads. It’s the same concept as cloth diapers, really. Read my post on choosing cloth diapers over disposables HEREWhy shouldn’t I have the same comfort and lack of chemicals touching my skin that my son gets? At first, the thought of washing bloody cloth menstrual pads seemed disgusting. But poopy cloth diapers seemed incredibly gross at first too, so I think I can get over my uncertainty regarding mama cloth. Just in case, though, I’m starting with cloth daily panty liners. There’s really no icky factor in that for me.

Menstrual cups just sound absolutely genius to me. I can’t believe I’ve never heard of them until recently! Even if I decide mama cloth (reusable menstrual pads) is not for me, I think I’m going to love menstrual cups!

Disclaimer: I’m about to share some gross toilet-related experiences, so please beware.

I used to be quite snobbish when it came to toilets. Growing up I avoided public restrooms or even bathrooms at others’ homes. Then came the Army. In basic training I once used a latrine that was basically a concrete hut built over a deep pit of urine. The ammonia fumes from urine were so strong, my eyes were burning and tearing, and I was actually choking. Then there are the hundreds (maybe thousands?) of porta-jons I’ve used. The ones here in the States aren’t that bad. In Afghanistan, often the doors locks are broken, and some doors even have gaping holes from shrapnel, so there’s not much privacy. Then there are the toilet tents. Basically a bunch of toilets on a platform inside of a large tent. The tent flaps can be opened from the outside, and be assured…there will be some unbelievably pervy male service member who wants to watch you on the TOILET. And the drug testing…that’s a fun one. Pee in a cup in front of someone of the same sex (possibly with Soldiers of the opposite sex walking by the open bathroom door) and then parade by dozens of people carrying your urine practically over your head. Then there’s all the squatting in bushes…squatting behind buildings while your opposite sex battle buddies overt their eyes…squatting by the tires of your gun truck while some insurgent is probably eyeballing you from the mountainside…and my personal favorite memory: using a plastic bag as a toilet and then throwing said bag with disgusting contents into a pit of burning feces. Of course previously mentioned opposite sex battle buddies are watching. I mean, seriously, guys??? You KNOW I was just using the “bathroom.” Do you HAVE to turn around and stare when I walk out of the shack and over to the burn pit???

I say all of the above to make the point that it takes a lot to gross me out now. It really does. I don’t think mama cloth is going to faze me at all. But I guess we’ll find out! I’ll be posting more soon, including a tutorial on making a cloth pantyliner or light days pad.

Have you made the switch to mama cloth or menstrual cups? Would you ever consider it?

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