Wearing a cloth pad is almost the same as wearing disposable pads. The only difference is that a disposable pad has a sticky strip that you use to stick the pad to the fabric of your underpants, and sticks the wings together to keep them closed. With a cloth pad, the wings fasten together with a snap/button/velcro or other closure, and the fact your underpants are snug fitting and the backing of the pad being fabric, helps keep the pad in place.
Which way up?
Sometimes it can be difficult to tell which way up a pad should go, particularly when there is no standard fabric use. Cotton prints, fleece and even velour can be used as a top layer by some and as a backing by others. If there is stitching on top forming "channel lines", then this sewn surface is the top and goes against your skin. Some pad makers place a clothing tag for their business on their pads, which will usually be done on the back/underside which goes against your underpants. Unless the pad has waterproofing, it probably doesn't matter which way up you wear it, but if you are not sure, contact the pad maker and ask them which way up the pad should be worn.
Flared and longer ends
Some pads are wider and/or longer on one end. Generally pads are made so that extra length or width is at the back end to cover more of the buttocks, however some women like to wear the pads with the wider section at the front. Whichever way works best for you is the best way to wear them.
|Comparison size between Snowdrop Cloth Pads and Kotex|
When to change pads
How long you can go before changing pads will depend on your flow and preference. Some women like to change their pads frequently to remain dry, other women are happy to leave the pads on longer. This of course will depend on how much you flow, and also the fabric the pad is made from can make it feel wet quickly or feel dry for longer. Many women change their pads when they go to the toilet, as this is not only most convenient, but pads can feel very cold and wet after the brief moment they have been away from the skin! Changing every 2-4 hours is about average for a moderate flow and a medium absorbency pad. You would change as often as you would do with a disposable pad. Pads without waterproofing should be checked for leaking through every so often until you are familiar with your flow and how well the pad performs. Simply look at the under side to check that the blood is not seeping through. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell when a pad needs to be changed, particularly if they are dark fabric, or synthetic topped which can feel dry even when the pad is quite full. One way to tell when the pad needs changing is to feel how heavy it is. Pads become heavier as they become more "full", so comparing how the pad feels in the centre, front or back (wherever you bleed most and least) can give an indication of how full the pad is. If in doubt - change! Because you're not paying for pads you use once and throw away, you can afford to treat yourself to a fresh pad more often ;)
Not at home?
A small cloth wet bag makes it easy to store your pads when you are away from home. You can pop them in as they are or rinse them first. Just remember to take them out when you get home, so they don't get all nasty. Some wet bags have separate pockets for clean and used pads. Just make sure that your bag is water resistant if you plan to rinse the pads first.