Green Living

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 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


Easy, money-saving ways to go a little Greener!

by shethinksmedia

This week I want you to take a one-cup measuring cup out of your cabinet, fill it with water and set it down. That is how much crude oil it takes to make one disposable diaper:

http://www.diaperpin.com/clothdiapers/article_diaperdrama4.asp
Now, imagine that multiplied time 352, then multiply that time 2.5. If you only use one cloth diaper a day, for the roughly 2.5 years a baby is in diapers, that is how much oil you are *not* using on your baby to diaper them! Pretty incredible, isn’t it! Just an example to give all of our customers a little pat on the back, whether you use cloth part time or full time, youi do make a difference, thank you for your efforts to ditch disposable options for reusable ones.

Cloth diapering can be a slippery slope, for my family and for many of our customers, I know that once cloth came into the picture, other disposable options came into the picture pretty quickly, this week I wanted to cover two easy and money-saving ways to incorporate some reusable items into your busy family schedule. We start with some easy ones this week, next week we dig a little deeper into bigger challenges.


1) Paper Towels:
Now, you can get really cute “unpaper towels” from many stores, but even if you don’t go the route of buying specially cut absorbent cloths, the wash rags you already have for wiping up the counter and cleaning small messes make easy replacements for paper towels. Take the one week challenge, see if you can use rags and hand towels you already have for messes you would usually use paper towels for. I was amazed at how easy it is to go paper-towel free, and you see a big difference in the monthly grocery bill, paper towels are expensive!


2)Sandwich Baggies:
I never realized how many goofy little plastic bags you need when your babies get older. As toddlers reuseable plastic dishes keep those goldfish from crumbling, but in school lunchboxes just don’t always have room for 4-6 plastic cups to hold sandwiches, veggies, fruit and crackers. Your options become saran wrap, wax paper, fold-and-close sandwich bags or other variations of these wrappings.

Planet Wise has affordably changed the scene of lunch and eating out of the home: http://www.abbyslane.com/Planet-Wise-Reuseable-Bags_c_94.html  Reusable, food safe, affordable, made in the USA and CUTE! I made the switch very gradually, and while I still have plastic bags in the house, I restock them maybe twice a year, rather than twice a month. My challenge to you is to try a sandwich bag, especially if you have school aged children. If you do laundry every other day in your house, that gives you three days out of five your child can take a reusable bag to school. 3 days a week times the roughly 40 weeks school is in session, that is 120 bags saved in one school year by one reusable bag. The prints are cute, icing on the cake, and kids love having them in their lunches.

Have a great weekend everyone!
Stephanie
www.AbbysLane.com


Family Cloth Explained

by shethinksmedia

This week we are discussing the topic of “family cloth”, and a challenge to our fan base. Family cloth refers to the system of using reuseable wipes in place of toilet paper. WAIT, DON’T RUN AWAY YET! I will admit the first time I heard this idea my face contorted into a mix of disgust, fascination and nausea all at once.

Now, as with most things, there is a wide spectrum of family cloth. On one end you have families who use cloth wipes only for both number 1 and number 2, with no toilet paper in the house.Family Cloth

In the middle you have family cloth users who use cloth wipes for both 1 and 2, but have toilet paper present for guests and if they have a messy job they want to use TP for.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have families who use it only for number 1, and always have toilet paper present for any need or want, and always for number 2. This week my family and I are at that starting point. I honestly don’t know if we will branch beyond that, but I have to give credit to my daughters for the switch! In our house we have 7 people, 6 who use toilet paper. For those of you who have young children, you know that asking them to only use a few sheets for pee-only still results in half the roll going down the drain (literally…). We go through enormous amounts of toilet paper, both wasteful and costly! We ran out for about 12 hours one week, and had to use the baby’s cloth wipes. My girls thought it was heaven, and we are giving this a try.

Now, I have a diaper system going so it is easy for me to wash our wipes daily, if you don’t have diapers, you can accomplish this system with a small wet bag hanging in your bathroom and a little basket of dry cloth wipes. For those who use them for number 2, a thermos of hot or warm water, or running them under the tap is what is usually preferred. I have heard a few objections in my years on natural forums to this system, some being:

1) Ummm…..ew? Well yes, it is odd to think of this with the norm being toilet paper in the US. BUT, if you are using cloth diapers, haven’t you already bucked the trend? You are already in the minority, even if you only use cloth diapers part time.

2) Isn’t that unsanitary? I think if it this way, if I am trusting my baby and toddler’s HUGE bowel movements to get clean in the laundry (which I do or I wouldn’t use them, and I know they are clean because they are odor free-and remember-you can’t hide the smell of poop!) I know that I can trust the cloth wipes to get clean. At this point we only use them for urine removal, I have no doubt that my hot water and Tide powder can do the job. Also, from experience your hands touch nothing compared to toilet paper that shreds and tears, you really keep less on your hands by using a wipe, anything that conveys is gone with a good handwash anyway.

3) Should you be mixing pee and poo from adults to baby’s diapers?  Granted there are less potential contaminants in a newborn’s bowel movements than an adults, but you are still completely getting them clean with a good wash routine every time. Also, if you have two in diapers you know you are mixing both “bacterial sources” together as well, your sniff tests you do with diapers will be a good indication of cleanliness on the washed items, because you can’t hide the smell of poop.

Consider taking the challenge, I started with a few dozen Thirsties wipes and a Rumparooz wet bag in the bathroom, right now we are at number 1 only, and will always have toilet paper available. The money savings are immediate, the comfort is evident right away, and less waste is a great benefit as well :)

How to wash? Same as diapers, take a peek at our washing advice on that:

http://www.cloththatcounts.com/?p=997

Using cloth toilet paper is considered by most to be “weird”, today’s culture wants us to instead use the earth’s resources and make money off of it in the process. There isn’t much money to be made by a company on cloth wipes, they last forever and only need a renewable resource to clean them.

SO, if you want to start being a “weirdo” with me, or if you already are a family cloth user, I welcome you to the Family Cloth Challenge.

-Stephanie


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