menstruation alternatives

Menstrual Alternatives for MOM, Part 3: All about menstrual cups!

by shethinksmedia
This section (Part 3) concludes our reusable menstrual alternatives series by discussing Menstrual Cups. Our first week was spent covering the “why” of Sea Sponge tampons, Cloth menstrual pads and Cups, week two covered Sea Sponges and pads in detail, and finally this week we wrap up with cups. About a dozen customers have taken the plunge over the past two weeks into reusable devices, I couldn’t be more excited to help a mama make her period less “ick” and more comfortable!

 

The menstrual cup we sell is the Lunette:http://www.abbyslane.com/Lunette-Menstrual-Cup_p_674.html

Unique in that the sizing isn’t based on childbirth experience, but rather flow level. We are finding customers greatly prefer the fit to the Diva cup, so in favor of the Lunette we are sticking with their brand. Lunette is made from medical grade Silicone, with FDA approved dyes on the colored cups. It also does come in clear.

 

HOW THEY WORK:

Cups are held in place by vaginal muscles and can create a very slight suction. They are inserted by folding them, using your fingers to push them gently into place, then pinching the base to release any suction and gently pull it out, folded, to prevent any pressure or discomfort.

Our webpage has some great tips for folding them prior to insertion:
http://www.abbyslane.com/Lunette-Menstrual-Cup_p_674.html

That page has great resources about using and inserting the cups, and I will provide my two cents on them as well.

I used a menstrual cup for several years, only in the pat 2-3 years have I used sea pearls reusable tampons as my primary menstrual device (with cloth pads for backup on the heavy days). To share a little of my birth history, when my second daughter was born, her forceps delivery did a number on things ( to put it lightly ), and despite practicing kegels at every darn red light in Northern Virginia for 7 years, I have accepted that cups may not be best for my needs.

However, we have worked and spoken to many women over the years who were able to successfully use cups even after trauma to the vaginal muscles. My unscientific conclusion is, like everything, it varies from person to person, and I think a lot has to do with where the muscle damage may occur.

When the cup is in properly, you should not feel it. At all. This is very important to note, as we find some women wear them too low, and it will cause a good deal of pressure and discomfort. You *cannot* lose these cups in your vagina, and it is best to wear them as high as you comfortably can. This may mean having to reinsert after a bowel movement, as your muscle will nudge the cup down. Also, you may find your cup will be worn at different heights in your vagina as your period progresses, because your cervix will rise and fall during the course of menstruation, and that changes where you can wear the cup comfortably and effectively. I say this all not to dissuade anyone from trying a cup, but I feel the education can be power in overcoming common hurdles to make a cup work for you.

When you get your cup, this is how I advice finding how your body needs to wear it:

1. Best to try after a shower or bath, when you are not having you cycle, in order to be fully relaxed and able to take your time.
2. Personal lubricant is great here, it just makes it a bit easier to find the right place to let it sit. Not a lot, you don’t want it to pop out of your hand, but a tad to help insertion.
3. Lunette advises standing, sitting or squatting to insert. If you cannot get it high enough, try these tips:

  • Sit down on the ground, legs spread to the sides, almost in a “birthing” position with your knees bent. Aim the cup down. Not back, and not up, it will naturally follow your vagina towards your cervix, which is downwards in that position.
  • “Bear Down” while you are pushing it up and folded
  • When it is as high as it can comfortably go, stop “bearing down”, when you release those muscles, they will put it up just a tad higher, which can make a big difference in your comfort level

 

Now, obviously this isn’t possible every time you have to insert it, but for that first time or twice getting to know how your body needs to wear it, we have found those tips to be helpful.You can trim the stem of the cup if it pokes you, just be careful not to snip any holes of the bottom of the cup, which pretty much gives you a funnel rather than a cup-LOL

 

Wash in between insertions with handsoap, and between cycles you can disinfect either with boiling, or antibacterial wipes/soap. In a public restroom? Take your water bottle with you, or a baby wipe. Next time you can, wash it out with soap, but you can skip a washing if you don’t have access to a private sink.

 

IF YOU HAVE AN IUD, Prolapse, or other medical devices or issues involving your vaginal muscles, you must consult with your obgyn about the safety of using these cups. We cannot make the determination if they will be safe for use, please consult your doctor prior to trying a cup.

 

Cups are intended for menstrual use only, and are not advised for postpartum use, birth control, prevention of STDs or for pregnancy loss.

 

Please let us know if you have any questions!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com

Menstrual Alternatives for MOM, Part 2: What method should you choose?

by shethinksmedia
In Part 1 we covered the “why” of menstrual alternatives, in this part we go over the “what” of some of the methods we sell at Abby’s Lane.  This time we’ll cover mama cloth and sea pearls, next week we will go over menstrual cups.

Cloth Pads

The first method we are going to cover is our mama cloth reusable menstrual pads, taking the place of disposable menstrual pads. We sell a great brand that is made in the USA-  Pink Daisy:
http://www.abbyslane.com/Pink-Daisy-Stay-Dry-Menstrual-Pads-3-Pack_p_690.html

The best part about using cloth menstrual pads, you can wash them with your diapers, if you have a good wash routine going with your diapers they can be tossed right in!
While out and about, use a mini wet bag, or a wet/dry bag to store the clean ones as well, and you can easily keep any odors and liquids contained. Cloth pads are hailed by customers as being far less irritating to sensitive skin, and are a postpartum dream. Pads can be used solely, or in conjunction with a tampon or menstrual cup. Absorbency will vary based on the brand and style, as well as size (they even make thong-sized pads!) Washing is a piece of cake, the same routine we advise for diapers can be used for mama cloth, it can all go in together.

Sea Sponge Tampons

The next product I love to chat up is the Sea Pearls reusable tampons:
http://www.abbyslane.com/Sea-Pearls-Natural-Tampons_p_13.html

This is the easiest product to use, but also tends to have the most hurdles to overcome in trying a pack. Sea Pearls are actually the shell of a living creature, harvested from the ocean (and the harvesting process is actually really neat to read about, when they do harvest the sponge, it releases thousands of eggs into the water, thereby increasing the species and ensuring reproduction). The sponges are then purified and dried out, and result in what looks like little art sponges often used in crafts and painting. They are inserted with your finger into your vagina, and removed easily by simply bearing-down and pulling out with your fingers. One sponge will last 4-6 cycles, so your pack can last for 8-12 months. Every few hours, or when it is full, just wash in the sink with regular hand soap and reinsert. Between cycles, wash with antibacterial soap and/or hydrogen peroxide, and they are good to store for the next cycle. They are easy to trim down if needed, and are painless to wear and can be used overnight and during swimming and sports.


Here is what we hear (and admittedly some were my hurdles as well to trying them) most frequently from mamas intrigued by them:
1. Are they gross to rinse out?
2. What do you do in public?
3. I don’t like using applicator-free tampons, how are these any different?

To tackle the three hurdles above:
1. From years of experience with tampons, I honestly can’t remember one time having to remove a soiled one where I came out “clean”. I say it is a draw here between which is messier to actually take out, BUT, with reusables, as you are washing it out in the sink with hand soap, you are also washing your hands, so while you do have to handle the soiled sponge, it is a very quick and easy process to  get it and your hands clean. The best part is you don’t then have to worry about flushing them ( a no-no for septic users, and the most common plumbing-causing issue for homes), or wrapping them up in a hundred toilet paper sheets to dispose of, then remember to take out of the bathroom trash can soon.
2. In public, if you are at a restroom without a private sink and find yourself needing to clean out the sponge, you can skip the hand soap for that intermittent time and use just plain water. Bring in a water bottle with you and rinse while holding it over the toilet. It will empty all of your menstrual flow from the sponge and let you reinsert, then you can wash your hands as usual outside of your stall. No worries about bringing in your tampons with you to the restroom, or being stuck if there is no small trash can in the stall itself.
3. I have used applicator-free tampons in the past (OB was the name brand when I was a teen/young adult), and they are worlds different than reusable tampons. From memory, I can remember OB tampons being so painful to insert, they would start to open and flare out when out of the packaging, then you are trying to push them high enough to work well while scraping along your skin doing so. The string hanging out was irritating enough, but finding the best place to leave them was all trial and error, and usually painful if not done perfectly correctly. Sea Pearls are almost error-free when finding where to put them, they are not drying devices to insert or remove, and placement can be low, high or in the middle, wherever you are able to land them.
To get graphic for a second, but trying to stay very honest about the reality of these devices, one big perk you may notice from sea pearls over tampons (and this is more evident if you have lower vaginal tone from childbirth), is when you have a bowel movement and have to “bear down”, you will notice your tampon will shift. You then have a choice to make, trying to use your finger to push it back up to where it will sit in your vagina without sliding out, or removing it and potentially having to take out a dry tampon. The same thing can and does happen with Sea Pearls, but you can easily push it back in without any pain or discomfort, or wasting a tampon to throw it away because it was partially opened and not able to go back in.
So there you have it, the good, bad and ugly of how to use Mama Cloth and Sea Pearls!
You may have questions we did not address above, my inbox is always open, and I have used all of these methods going on 10+ years now, plus working with thousands of mamas and their unique situations. Please email, nothing is “TMI”, and if it helps make a decision either way I would love to be able to help!
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com

Menstrual Alternatives for MOM, Part 1: Why Choose Reusable Products?

by shethinksmedia

This is the start our series on menstrual alternatives, a look at new products in a product line that can be truly life changing (no exaggerations, but more on that later..).

I know many of you will stop reading at that first sentence, I was in that place for years, but if curiosity has piqued you just a tad, hear me out, and decide if it may be worth less than $15.00 to invest in your health and comfort! For every woman who says “yes” to alternative menstrual devices, about 20 will say no. Unfortunately, we have become ingrained with the idea that the idea of using a reusable method is gross, unclean or too much work. But, my guess is that if you are on our list serve you are using cloth diapers, and have conquered those myths as well.

This week we are focusing on the “why” behind menstrual alternatives, part two will go over our different products in detail, and part 3 will cover tips and tricks to make them work for you.

The most popular reusable alternative we sell are our Sea Pearl sea sponges in addition to two brands of Mama Cloth (reusable pads) and a Silicone Menstrual Cup (Lunette brand).
At this point, you are asking, WHY ON EARTH DO I WANT TO TRY A REUSABLE TAMPON?
Here are a few reasons that may come to mind…
1. A much lower to non-existent risk of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome present in tampons)
2. Savings in your wallet
3. Great for mother earth
4. Avoiding that awkward, uncomfortable and drying feeling of having to put a tampon in “just because” your period may be coming, in order to prevent being caught with stained underwear at work or while out and about.
5. Avoiding having to remove that dry tampon if it doesn’t get used because your period is running a day light. Ouch!
6. Similarly, at the end of your period, having to insert and remove tampons with little to nothing on them to finish out your cycle. Ouch!
7. The financial waste of using/tossing unused products just to be prepared for when your period comes
8. That awkward ritual of being at a friend or family members house, and having to wrap your tampon or pad in 400 sheets of toilet paper to put in their trash can, hoping they change it soon. Or, wrapping it to tuck in your purse, hoping your toddler doesn’t yank it out at cousin Rachel’s baby shower.
9. Being caught without tampons/pads, and making a late night store run
10. Having a barely used pad at the beginning/end of your cycle rubbing against your skin, irritating and completely drying it out
11. Get read for this one…did you know reusable tampons and cups can actually lead to LESS CRAMPING during your cycle? Absolutely true, many customers and women report less pain, the reason being your body is not working nearly as hard to discharge a foreign, drying object from your vagina. Re useable tampons and menstrual cups are not drying, and do not disrupt your vaginal flora and do not dry it out nearly as much as disposable products.
12. You can completely avoid the chemical process of using a chemically bleached paper product in your reproductive organs
13. This one is for the moms of daughters here….but can you imagine being able to give your daughter the option to use a reusable tampon…think of those awkward high school moments that would completely be solved by reusable options! No having to keep supplies in your backpack, switching them out in crowded locker rooms where the bathrooms may not have had an individual trash can, being caught at sporting and band events when you realize you need to change your tampon ASAP, having to ask for a bathroom break in the middle of class and sneak out with a tampon up your sleeve….practice using your method now, and be informed to offer the same to your daughter when she enters that time of her life! The beauty of reusable tampons is you can put them in early, leave them in late, there is
no pain or discomfort with doing so, and the reality of being caught without protection can be eliminated completely.

One main objection I hear is…what do I do in public? If these devices need to be washed with hand soap, how gross will that be in a public sink? Yes, these devices *should* be washed with hand soap in a sink, -when you can-, meaning if you have an 8 hour work day with a public sink, or a 7 hour school day, you can completely skip the soap in between and just rinse with water in the toilet. Take a water bottle in with you, hold over the toilet and rinse/wipe out with toilet paper. It will just sound like you are urinating (done this several times), and no-one will know what you are doing. Reinsert, and you are set for several more hours. For mama cloth, we sell adorable mini wet bags that look like cosmetic bags, they seal in odor and wetness, no-one will ever know you have a pad in them!

Next week we will go into some product details, if you have any questions please email me at AbbysLane@aol.com, hopefully I have intrigued some mamas to give it a shot 😉

Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Green Mother and Earth Giveaway! Win a Lunette Cup and Pantiliner Set from Abby’s Lane.

by shethinksmedia

New Giveaway from Abby’s Lane and Green Team Enterprises Distribution!

Products just for mom and mother earth!  Green your menstrual cycle with these excellent reusable menstrual products.

The Prize:

  • Lunette Cup in the Size of your choice
  • Lunapads Pantiliner Set

Open to the USA Only.  All winners entries will be verified.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Love Mama and Mother Earth Giveaway from Abby’s Lane! Ends 04-05-12

by shethinksmedia

You’re going to love this giveaway.  We know that as a mother you don’t always spend money on yourselves, at least not like you used to before having kids.  So we’re doing a giveaway just for our moms and our mother earth will thank you if you win!

You can totally “green” your monthly cycle with these great products!

  • A Diva Cup in the size of your choice!  It is made of medical grade silicone, which is latex-free, 100% hypoallergenic and odorless.
  • One Regular Cloth Mama Pad, Reusable menstural pads are comfortable and easy to use.  Reduce the amount of waste you produce and provide yourself with a healthier and safer alternative to disposable maxi pads.
  • One pair of Sea Sponge Tampons, Sea Pearls are completely natural sea sponge tampons containing no Dioxin or synthetic fibers. Sustainably harvested and reusable for three to six months or more, Sea Pearls are economical, easy to use, and earth friendly.

For more great information and explanations of reusable and eco-friendly menstrual alternatives please refer back to our recent blog post on the topic.  It’s full of helpful information and personal testimony.

This giveaway will remain open for two weeks and the winner will be announced via the blog and facebook as well as contacted by email.

Enter to win by clicking “more” and you’ll see the Rafflecopter to submit your entries.

Read the rest of this entry »


Natural Menstrual Alternatives Explained: Sea Sponge Tampons, Mama Cloth, Diva Cup and more!

by shethinksmedia

At Abby’s Lane we sell Sea Sponges, Many Moons cloth pads and Diva Cups.
*Diva Cups are being restocked on 2/17 (Friday), Sea Sponges in about 10 days, cloth pads are in good supply :)

To start with sea sponges:

Sea Sponges are actually animals! Harvested from the ocean floor, here is a blurb from the Jade and Pearl website about how they are collected:
Our sponges come mainly from the Gulf Coast of Florida, the Bahamas and occasionally, from Greece. We work closely with the University of Florida Sea Grant Extension Program to insure that sponge harvesting remains a sustainable resource. Sponge production in Florida has been consistent in recent years. Field studies have confirmed that commercial sponges are a small fraction(less than 2%) of the total sponge community and commercial sponges are not found in coral reef areas. Our field work has also documented the remarkable regenerative capability of sponges. Sponge tissue left attached to the substrate when the sponge is harvested can actually grow to produce a new sponge within months.

They are very easy to use. No adjusting to get it in the right spot, if you push them in as high as you can, you get a perfect fit every time. They are soft, absorbent, and conform to your body. There is no suction keeping them in place, so there is no seeping around the sides that can occur. Like any of these devices, use a backup pantyliner when trying them out and at nighttime to collect any overflow.

No risk of TSS, no dioxins to carry any harmful after effects, no bleached paper products that dry out your vagina.  For those who use tampons exclusively, how nice would it be to:

  • Be able to insert something early so you don’t have to worry about the “when” of your cycle catching you off guard in the mall with 2 kids in tow? Especially for that first post partum period that you never see coming? Now, picture being able to have that protection with out the horrid dry feeling of pulling out a dry tampon to change it when your cycle starts not on cue. That scratchy, skin-pulling feeling that stings after that tampon is removed, knowing you have pulled on your internal skin to get it out.
  • Not have to worry about finding a trash can to dispose of tampons in. Especially at friends or family’s houses, when you don’t know when they will take out their bathroom trash, and you leave behind embarrassing odors. Or, in your own house not having to worry about taking out the empty trashcan just to throw away one tampon?
  • Saving $$ over disposable products
  • Protecting your health, and mother earth with the lack of more disposable products.
  • Having to leave in that last tampon and pulling it off barely used, encountering the same pain and discomfort as the first tampon of the cycle.
  • That great feeling of having a huge bulging tampon in on your heaviest day

Many women confirm their cramps are LESSENED by sea sponges, when you have a non-drying device in place, your body isn’t working so hard to discharge it, This isn’t the case for all women, but isn’t it worth a try?

Sponges, I have found, are cleaner than tampons. I could never use tampons with completely “clean” hands 100% of the time, since you wash your hands anyway after using a tampon, wash your sponge with them!

In public, carry a water bottle in your purse with you, rinse them out as best you can, wash fully when you get home. Caught without a water bottle? Squeeze out as best you can, reinsert and clean later. I have a very heavy flow for the first 3 days, and I clean my sponges every 3 hours during the day with no problems, and use a panty liner at night to protect myself.

Really, for the price you have to give them a try. One sponge can be reused for 3-6 cycles, just wash thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide in between cycles. A 2 pack that comes with them lasts you for 6-12 cycles.

The Diva Cup:

The Diva Cup is a medical grade silicon collection device, it sits in your vagina just under your cervix. Your empty it 2-3 times a day, washing it with handsoap during your cycle, and antibacterial soap in between cycles. If you are in your home, wash it out with soap and water in your bathroom sink before reinserting, if you are in a public restroom, wipe it out with toilet paper, and wash it when you get home. When inserted properly, you should not feel it. IF you have an IUD or prolapse, this may not be the device for you, it just depends on how low your cervix is and where your IUD falls, it may not be comfortable, but we do have customers who can wear it successfully with their IUDs. The Diva cups lasts upwards of 10 years! FOr $32.50, that is $.27 cents a month. I have had mine now for about 4 years, please don’t be embarrassed to e-mail me with questions on how to use it or insert it comfortably. For the first time, I always recommend a little lubricant and inserting it while it in the shower, you will be relaxed and the KY Jelly will help guide it in until you get the hang of it. You can sleep with it, swim with it, play sports with it. If you have had a traumatic vaginal birth (forceps, vacuum, extensive tearing), you may find the Diva hard to wear comfortably. For extended periods of time the muscles may have a hard time keeping it high enough.

Lastly, we have our Many Moons menstrual pads:

Cloth Pads were one of the original products when we opened our store almost 5 years ago, and I still love them after seeing many other brands come out. They are pocket pads, you have a shell with waterproof backing, and liners you can insert to customize your absorbency. I use them as a backup for the Diva, you can use them solo, and still have the proper absorbency for a very heavy flow. Cloth pads can be washed with cloth diapers easily, they need the same wash routine as the diapers do.
If you are at all unhappy with your current menstrual products, give one of the above products some thought. I am very thrilled to offer my daughters something other than a box of tampons to cart around in middle school when the time comes. I don’t dread that time of the month as *much* (I mean, who really looks forward to it?), but you can make yourself a bit more comfortable, save $$, help the environment and keep chemicals away from your reproductive system all at the same time.

Let me know if you have any questions! If you have specific health or birth control questions, I may refer you to the staff at Diva or Jade&Pearl if I cannot help, I want you to have 100% confidence in what you buy for your circumstances.

Email me with any questions, nothing is “TMI”, and I am very passionate about helping you find a safe and comfortable alternative to your cycle.

Sincerely,

Stephanie, Abby’s Lane


How my trip to Canada made me a believer in sea pearls

by abbyslanehype

Well, my adventures with sea sponges continue!

I had to go to Canada for about four days for my grandfather’s burial. We were going to be in Inverness, a beautiful little beach town on Cape Breton Island. But then I realized …. that my dear Aunt Flow was going to be coming along for the ride. Oh. Joy. (In fact, she decided to join me en route to Canada – on the airplane to be precise, but that’s another story)

I was staying in what I affectionately refer to as “the frat house.” Myself, and nine other adults. And at least one of those people was another woman who was having her cycle. With one bathroom.

I had brought my sea pearls for the beach, and some pads. And I saw that this house had one (ONE!) bathroom and I thought, my goodness, I’ll never be able to use these while I’m here. And I don’t have enough pads.

Boy, was I ever wrong. Somehow, all over this tiny, tiny island, I had no problem using the sponges. Public restrooms often had just one actual bathroom, so rinsing out in the sink was no problem. Just like home. It was great. And I mean, really great!! Especially in the frat house. Where the trash was always full, and you didn’t exactly want to throw your used pads in there on top of it.

So trust me, ladies: if I can survive using the sponges in a foreign land, anyone can do it!


More mama cloth

by abbyslanehype

If you are like me, you saw the Diva Cup or the aforementioned Sea Pearls, and after you picked your jaw off the ground, immediately laughed at the crazy hippies using reuseable menstrual supplies in their communes and tents. I am here today to proudly lift my head and say I not only came around to the idea, but still feel like an idiot for NOT using them for many years past, and have nothing but 110% confidence that you will feel the same way if you decide to try them.
Here are the things I realized and researched about tampons:

-They are expensive! One pack of generic tampons is around $6.00, I always had to buy pads anyway for backup, so a year I was throwing away, literally, over $80.00 on supplies.

-They are painful. You have two choices when Aunt Flo is coming, use a tampon or pad early, and waste money tossing them unused while you wait, or be caught without them in a messy situation. Also, you know how removing an unused tampon feels, it truly is damaging to your vaginal walls to drag out absorbent cotton that is clinging to your internal skin. You know that burning feeling and pain after you remove it? Not good for the insides.

-Toward the end of your cycle, tampons are painful to use again! Even the “light” ones hurt like the dickens getting them out, so you either put up with the pain, or use bulky pads to finish your cycle, and I always found lightly used pads “stuck” to me, and hurt to remove their adhesion to my skin.

-The mess. Now, I realize you can wrap it in toilet paper a million times (wasting toilet paper that costs money and makes more waste), and toss it, but now you have to remember to take your rarely-used bathroom trash can out every day or we all know how that makes the bathroom smell when you go in.

-Remember being a teenager and your mom telling you about “TSS”? It still happens, and is very serious. Reuseable menstrual solutions have virtually no tisk of TSS, they are not devices that promote the growth of bacteria, and put your health at risk.

-There are countless other reasons related to health, between them chemicals in tampons, how your body treats a foreign object in your vagina, etc….
Here are the devices we sell, why I love them, and why you should consider giving them a try.

The Diva Cup:
A medical grade silicon collection device, it sits in your vagina just under your cervix. Your empty it 2-3 times a day (really, it won’t overflow). If you are in your home, wash it out with soap and water in your bathroom sink before reinserting, if you are in a public restroom, wipe it out with toilet paper, and wash it when you get home. When inserted properly, you should not feel it. IF you have an IUD or prolapse, this may not be the device for you, it just depends on how low your cervix is and where your IUD falls, it may not be comfortable, but we do have customers who can wear it successfully with their IUDs. The Diva cups lasts upwards of 10 years! FOr $32.50, that is $.27 cents a month. I have had mine now for about 4 years, please don’t be embarrassed to e-mail me with questions on how to use it or insert it comfortably. For the first time, I always recommend a little lubricant and inserting it while it in the shower, you will be relaxed and the KY Jelly will help guide it in until you get the hang of it. You can sleep with it, swim with it, play sports with it.

Sea Pearls:
My latest love for these reuseable tampons came after I had my third baby. My second birth was traumatic to my nether-regions, thanks to a forceps delivery on a very stubborn Camille after 4 days of labor. I could still use the Diva, it took a little more effort and tweaking to get it in comfortably (which is why i say to e-mail me, I have lots of tricks for the Diva). After Lucy was born, despite her being a very easy birth with minimal damage, it required even more effort with the Diva, and I looked for something else. I stumbled upon Sea Pearls, which are 100% natural real sea sponges, one little sponge lasts for 2-4 cycles, so for a pack of 2 sponges, you can use them for 4-8 cycles. Even few hours, when you use the restroom, remove it, rinse it out with soap and water and reinsert. It sits very comfortably in your vagina, you don’t have to worry about positioning it or any leaking. For mamas with little or no vaginal tone, or damage from a vaginal birth, these are really fantastic. You can sleep with it, swim with it, play sports with it.

Lastly, we have our Many Moons menstrual pads. These were one of the original products when we opened our store almost 5 years ago, and I still love them after seeing many other brands come out. They are pocket pads, you have a shell with waterproof backing, and liners you can insert to customize your absorbency. I use them as a backup for the Diva, you can use them solo, and still have the proper absorbency for a very heavy flow.

Really, just think about it, and see if you are open to the idea. If you are unhappy with your current menstrual products, give one of the above products a try. I am very thrilled to offer my daughters something other than a box of tampons to cart around at high school when the time comes. I don’t dread that time of the month as *much* (I mean, who really looks forward to it?), but you can make yourself a bit more comfortable, save $$, help the environment and keep chemicals away from your reproductive system all at the same time.

Let me know if you have any questions! If you have specific health or bith control issues, I may refer you to the staff at Diva or Jade&Pearl if I cannot help, I want you to have 100% confidence in what you buy for your circumstances.


Almost Granola

by abbyslanehype

We’ve already spoken about how dealing with Stephanie has lead me on the path to a more natural life. Well, gentlemen out there, you may want to step aside for this series (and by may, I mean, please do, because I’m a lady and I don’t wish to discuss my *ahem* womanly bits with you!).

I’ve always been a girl who used sanitary napkins. My mother terrified me with tales of toxic shock syndrome, and when my teenage rebellion over rode those fears, I found tampons immensely uncomfortable. I had plenty of friends who felt the same and plenty of self confidence, so I used pads for the next…oh…15 years with little regret.

And then Stephanie posted this article. I wasn’t too interested: except for this fact. She posted this article in the summertime. When I have four small children who want to go to the pool. And “mommy can’t go in the water right now” wasn’t really cutting it anymore.

So I order some sea sponges. The day they arrived I eagerly tried them. So weird! Yet so great! I immediately fired off an e-mail to Stephanie:

Soooooo for this sponge (which oh my gosh, I think I’m in love already) are you really not supposed to feel it AT ALL??? Or can you kinda sorta notice it?

Steph replied:

You can feel it when it is too low. Push it farther up, I promise it can’t get lost~

Not really buying this hype, but never knowing Stephanie to be a liar, I obediently followed her advice and shoved that thing up as far as it could possibly go. Bingo. Totally comfortable. You literally CANNOT FEEL IT AT ALL.

That’s day one. Wore the sponge for about six hours. I decided not to sleep with it in, since my cycle is still (for lack of better phrasing) completely wack after having baby #4. It’s hard to tell how light or heavy my cycle will be, so I slept with a pad instead.

And now, for adventure part two: will I ever get the hang of taking the dang thing out? Stay tuned.


Men folk may not be interested…

by abbyslanehype

For Diaper Chatter this week, we are starting with our chapters on menstrual alternatives. Today we are talking about Sea Sponges:

http://www.abbyslane.com/catalog.php?category=828

Next week we chat about the Diva Cup, which was my first device after the use of many years of tampons. Sea Sponges have become my preferred method since the birth of my second daughter. I can still use the Diva, but here is why I like the sponges better:
-They are very easy to use. No adjusting to get it in the right spot, if you push them in as high as you can, you get a perfect fit every time. They are soft, absorbent, and conform to your body. There is no suction keeping them in place, so there is no seeping around the sides that can occur. Like any of these devices, use a backup pantyliner when trying them out and at nighttime to collect any overflow.

No risk of TSS, no dioxins to carry any harmful after effects, no bleached paper products that dry out your vagina.
For those who use tampons exclusively, how nice would it be to:

-Be able to insert something early so you don’t have to worry about the “when” of your cycle catching you off guard in the mall with 2 kids in tow? Especially for that first post partum period that you never see coming? Now, picture being able to have that protection with out the horrid dry feeling of pulling out a dry tampon to change it when your cycle starts not on cue. That scratchy, skin-pulling feeling that stings after that tampon is removed, knowing you have pulled on your internal skin to get it out.
-Not have to worry about finding a trash can to dispose of tampons in. Especially at friends or family’s houses, when you don’t know when they will take out their bathroom trash, and you leave behind embarrassing odors. Or, in your own house not having to worry about taking out the empty trashcan just to throw away one tampon?
-Saving $$ over disposable products
-Protecting your health, and mother earth with the lack of more disposable products.
-Having to leave in that last tampon and pulling it off barely used, encountering the same pain and discomfort as the first tampon of the cycle.
-That great feeling of having a huge bulging tampon in on your heaviest day
-Many women confirm their cramps are LESSENED by sea sponges, when you have a non-drying device in place, your body isn’t working so hard to discharge it, This isn’t the case for all women, but isn’t it worth a try?

Sponges, I have found, are cleaner than tampons. I could never use tampons with completely “clean” hands 100% of the time, since you wash your hands anyway after using a tampon, wash your sponge with them!
In public, carry a water bottle in your purse with you, rinse them out as best you can, wash fully when you get home. Caught without a water bottle? Squeeze out as best you can, reinsert and clean later. I have a very heavy flow for the first 3 days, and I clean my sponges every 3 hours during the day with no problems, and use a panty liner at night to protect myself.
Really, for the price you have to give them a try. One sponge can be reused for 3-6 cycles, just wash thoroughly with hydrogen peroxide in between cycles. A 2 pack that comes with them lasts you for 6-12 cycles, They are worth a try, if you are open to giving them a shot, now is a great time :)

Email me with any questions, nothing is “TMI”, and I am very passionate about helping you find a safe and comfortable alternative to your cycle.
Have a beautiful weekend!


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