Time for some Monday Muff Chat! This week I have a guest post for you from the lovely Olivia. She’s a recent convert to cloth sanitary pads and a familiar face on some of the online forums. She’s rapidly becoming a crazy paddict lady like me. In fact, I think it might be too late for her already. Why not give her a cheeky follow over on her Twitter account: @MrsBakesALot. Anyway, her husband is South African and they recently popped over to visit his family. So how did she manage two toddlers, a long haul flight, tiny airplane loos AND Auntie Flo in attendance? Let’s find out…
Going on holiday is exciting.
Travelling to get there can be all part of the fun.
Travelling long haul is not so much fun and often results in a numb bum and your pants giving you a wedgie.
Travelling long haul whilst on your period is just plain horrible and I shiver at the thought of it. Prior to discovering cloth I have travelled many times with Aunt Flo and whether using pads or tampons the experience was just plain unpleasant. The pads that stick to you with the pressure of sitting down for so long and imprint onto your skin. Or trying to change a tampon during turbulence in a tiny and smelly aeroplane loo. To call this less than pleasant is an understatement.
But wait! There is light at the end of your transatlantic tunnel! Let me tell you about the joys of travelling with cloth and save you all getting your knickers in a twist.
I recently went on a very last minute trip to South Africa with my family, we booked the flights on the Sunday evening and flew on the Monday afternoon and it was all very exciting. But there was one downer to my preparations, my period had shown up on the Saturday.
Now I need to add in here that I do not use cups and I am in no way shape or form a maker of pads (sewing machines break at my very presence) and this was only my second cycle using cloth … and yet I am already a fully committed paddict.
So back to the packing … what was I going to do? I considered for all of five minutes the possibility of going back to tampons for the duration of the flight, could I really take my fluff with me? What on earth would my mother-in-law say? But my brain stomped its metaphorical feet and said NO! I had a great new wallet from My Little Patch and plenty of pads to take with me, so that was that. I was now a travelling muff fluff circus. From this point on the hardest decision was what to take in my carry-on bag. I didn’t worry about what to put in my suitcase; I packed it ALL. Or at least everything that I hadn’t already used.
I packed at least ten pads into my carry-on as I had an hour’s car journey, a seven-hour flight, a two-hour stopover and a second flight of eight hours followed by a final two-hour car jouney to contend with. On top of all this, it being the middle of my period, it can be unpredictably heavy at times. I had decided on trying out a selection of my pads including the Cheeky Mama ones that I hadn’t previously used. I went mostly for medium to heavy flow lengths and absorption as I knew I couldn’t rely on always getting to the loo regularly, especially with Monkey Two sitting on my lap for the entire flight!
So Monday arrives and we hop in my father’s van to Heathrow, I am sporting a nice cotton Dimplemuff number which lasts until just before we board. My handbag is stuffed full with CSP, passports, Close Parent nappies and other toddler paraphernalia. So grateful that my bag seemed to do a Mary Poppins impression and take it all!
Just prior to boarding I do a last minute dash to the loo and change to my first Cheeky Mama pad. Now I showed these pads to The South African (my husband) whilst we were waiting in the departure lounge and he commented on the minky wings, “it will be like you are sitting on the clouds” and do you know … it was! The bamboo tops did their job and the wings were just divine against my skin. The fact that the wings also go the length of the pad mean that they stayed firmly in place even with all of the bum shuffling I did in my seat.
First in-flight change and I whipped out my My Little Patch wallet from by handbag and headed for the loo. First thing that I loved was that the wallet fitted perfectly onto the side, almost as if it was made for the sole purpose of travelling on planes.
The wallet did its job well, even keeping my clean pads safe and dry when I accidentally nudged it into the sink whilst washing my hands! When it came to storing my used pads there was no issue with smell or space and the wallet still closed properly.
Anyway, back to the pads … I changed from Cheeky Mama to a ten-inch heavy minky Dimplemuff for the second half of the first flight and again the minky was lovely and definitely the right choice for added comfort. Now I know many people think minky does make things ‘down there’ a bit warm but this wasn’t anything I noticed particularly during the flight. If anything the minky was added reassurance that something was there protecting me.
Back on the ground for our brief stop over and we were in Abu Dhabi where all the loos have a little shower hose with them, and actually it was quite a welcome refresher. As the Cheeky Mama had done so well I used another for the start of the next flight and changed once again two hours into the second flight to another Dimplemuff but this time using a ten-inch heavy cotton as it was a night flight and whilst nothing had leaked so far, I didn’t want to take any chances for the next six hours so I could try and attempt to sleep.
Just before we finally landed I scurried off to the tiny closet of a loo, brushed my teeth and changed pads to a heavy minky Eco Rainbow, I love the slim fit of this pad and thought it would be brilliant for the last leg of my journey. We landed safely, passed through customs (was very relieved no one wanted to check my bag), retrieved our suitcases and got into the minibus that The South African’s family had come to pick us up in.
I felt joyous. I felt such a sense of achievement. My second cycle in cloth and I had managed an epic journey without any … oh no!
Unfortunately, I think the bum clenching, hair raising, white knuckle journey through the Johannesburg traffic was just one request to many to make of my EcoRainbow pad. On arrival at the in-laws’ house, it had leaked a bit off the wing. This wasn’t due to any fault at all with the pad, it was purely being bounced around a mini bus for two hours had resulted in a pad shift that caused a leak. But it wasn’t a bad leak either and certainly hasn’t put me off using Bex’s pads.
So there you have it, my journey with cloth.
My holiday was exciting and taking my fluff with me definitely made it better. And if pads could talk I am sure mine would say they enjoyed their holiday in the South African sunshine too!
I have to add that I did have to broach the subject of cloth pads with my mother-in-law as I had to request to use the washing machine. But that is a whole other story that I may well tell on a different day.
A big thank you to Lucy for letting me be a part of Muff Chat Monday. It’s been an honour!