I just love the name of Jenna Doneff’s reusable pad business… Cotton Candy Eco Cloth. It’s just such a fun, fluffy name that makes you kind of curious to give her pads a try. If you’ve been following along with the preparations for the #PostPartumPadParty, the proud Papa of the pair about to become post-partum refers to the stash of PP pads we’ve collected for his partner as “Beaver Canoes.” [Side note: Can you believe my alliteration there?!] [Second side note: Can you believe that “Beaver Canoe” is actually the name of Target Canada’s house-brand of clothing?!] So if I’m choosing between a Beaver Canoe and Cotton Candy Eco Cloth… ya, I’ll take the latter, thank you very much.
So, do Jenna’s creations live up to their delightful name? Newly minted Mama-of-Four, Adrienne, (she who shall wear the “Beaver Canoes”) will be the judge of the post-partum version, but I am happy to report that I love my 10.5″ inch heavy flow pad that Jenna sent me to review. The top, printed layer is high-quality woven cotton and the inner core is 3 layers of heavy organic bamboo fleece.
Okay, so I realize that, even less so than cloth diapers, the prints on cloth pads don’t matter. Nobody sees them except you… but you know what? YOU matter. And YOU deserve the prettiest things, even if those things are just collecting menstrual fluid. You’re taking a very concrete step towards protecting your body and the planet, so why not do it in the most beautiful way possible? So yes, the first thing I love about this pad, and about all the pads displayed at Jenna’s online storefront, is the gorgeous choice of fabric.
Adorable nautical print aside, did this pad do its job? Why yes, it certainly did! I wore it out of the house today, and I’m still not totally familiar with my darling Auntie Flow since getting her back in May, so I’m never totally sure what to expect. First full day of my period was today, and while Cub and I were out at the Biodome, I admit I was wondering if my pad was going to last til we got home (I had a back up, but I didn’t feel like dragging Cub to the bathroom). Well, it totally did! When I gave the pad a quick rinse, it was obvious it had absorbed a lot of fluid into its core (and I was so confused… I thought my menstrual fluid was supposed to be blue, like on TV!).
The backing of the pad is made of water-resistant fleece, so keep in mind this is not water proof. The benefit of this is breathability, however, I experienced some leakage through the pad the second time I wore it (I washed it so I could have it for period Day 2!). This was after 3 hours (about the maximum I’d expect from this type of pad and my current flow) and I suspect that it was partially because I was seated for a long time (thus causing pressure that could push fluid through the fleece) and mainly because the interior bamboo fleece has not reached its maximum absorbency. Like with bamboo diapers, I’m too impatient to wash multiple times before use to reach maximum absorbency. But, like bamboo diapers, I should also remember to change a pad that’s not fully prepped more often! Jenna is currently experimenting with other ways (besides PUL, which lacks breathability) to reinforce heavy flow pads, including a double layer of fleece or added absorbency that spreads through the wings.
As for comfort, despite all the walking, crouching and stair climbing, the pad didn’t budge. I wouldn’t say that you don’t notice you’re wearing it, I definitely feel it there, but in a “I know this pad’s got my back” kind of way. I wore it with my yoga pants (because, you know, I do yoga ALL the time) and I checked in the mirror… no extra lines!
Compared to my other pads, this design is a little bit wider, even on the smallest snap setting. As she points out on her site, this makes them fit well in boy shorts and wider-gusseted panties (you know, the kind you wear when you have your period!).
The one thing I like less about my Cotton Candy Eco Cloth pad is the longer dry-time. Even after a full dryer cycle it’s still a bit damp, so I have to hang it to finishing drying overnight. Jenna recommends not putting her pads in the dryer at all to ensure their longevity, but I confess to not having the patience to air dry my pads. You can’t have the absorbency of natural fibers without the longer dry time, so it’s certainly not a design flaw, just something to be aware of.