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Aug. 13th, 2013 @ 08:24 pm Thinking of trying...
I'm currently entering the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy and am considering making my own panty liners to use for the remainder of pregnancy and some super absorbent ones for postpartum mommy time (ew...). I absolutely hated pads/adult diapers during postpartum time the last time I was pregnant and I loathe panty liners more than I can say (who knew something so small could be so uncomfortable!)

I'm considering making them out of the same materials that my son's cloth diapers are made of (that I made of course!) which would be flannel, cotton batting, and I'll probably throw some fleece in the postpartum ones. I'm avoiding the PUL on these if possible. Thoughts or suggestions?

Also, on the care, I should just be able to launder them with my son's (and soon to be daughter's) cloth diapers right? I figured this would be the easiest and most efficient way to launder them as the diapers get washed everyday and then hung out to dry on the drying rack over night.

Thanks for your input!
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Date:August 14th, 2013 04:20 am (UTC)
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I use cloth pads most of the time (mostly as a panty liner, I'm not a fan of pad only, but that's my own touch issues), but postpartum, I really found I needed disposable. That said, I wouldn't suggest cotton batting. It moves around when washed, which means you can end up with areas of no real absorbency. I also prefer a PUL layer, because postpartum bleeding was *heavy* and I bled thru every single non PUL pad I had.

But I just laundered them with everything else. I would rinse them out first, though.
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Date:August 14th, 2013 12:40 pm (UTC)
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I wouldn't use cotton batting, here's a good article why not. I would use the flannel and maybe some terry instead.
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Date:August 14th, 2013 02:03 pm (UTC)
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I used my own pads I made as panty liners during pregnancy (pregnancy is just so ... moist. Ew.) and also post-partum, But different ones.

The liners I made are simple cotton cloth on top, a layer of terry cloth in the middle, and cotton jersy on the bottom. I'm sure you could use cotton batting in place of the terry if it was thin. Thick would make it hard to launder/dry and probably susceptible to yeast and bacteria. I make "wings" from cotton jersy and use sew-on metal snaps for attachment. THe jersey makes it a bit stretchy and comfortable. I just sew all three layers together leaving a hole, turn, stitch around the edge to "seal" and then stitch a couple of lines in the middle in a >< curvy shape to help keep the layers together. Works awesome. You just need to be careful that the wings face the inside when sewing together with wrong sides out so they end up on the OUTSIDE when you turn.

You don't need disposeables for post partum, but you will need to change your pad frequently. For post partum you bleed a lot, way more than a regular period. I made pads that had a top of terry cloth and a bottom of flannel, but longer and a bit wider than a regular pad - similar to what you would use as a nighttime pad. The bottom layer is in two pieces with the middle open, thus making two pockets. Then I use a rectangle of flannel (two layers zip stitched together) folded in three stuffed into the pad. Assemblign the pad is easy and taking it apart to launder (and dry quickly) is also easy. Same idea as a pocket diaper. The size of the flannel rectangle is about a half inch smaller than the length of the pad and three times the width of the pad minus an inch and half (so that when you fold it into three to put in it's slightly smaller than the pad and fits with ease). My post-partum pads and my overnight pads are the same.

Post-partum you can also just use a newborn's cotton prefold folded in three in your underwear. For me I already had mystash of overnight pads so I just used those and washed them like every day, but the diaper would work fine as well. Or if you want to make something really simple you can take one layer of terry cotton and one layer of flannel and zip stitch aroudn the edge, then fold in three and stick it in your underwear. FOr those first few days post partum mothers are generally doing a lot of sitting around adoring their baby in their pjs, so you don't need something fancy, just something very absorbent. In the hospital they tend to stuff your underwear with a little towel immediately post birth to absorb the blood so the same principle works at home for the first day or two until it slows down. This would be a bit uncomfortable to use as a regular overnight pad but for a day or two post partum until stuff slows down and you're not leaving the house it's perfectly functional :).

Immediately post-partum you will have to change that pad every hour or two, then maybe every three hours into the second day, then slowly increasing. You can indeed wash them with the diapers. As with diaper laundry do a cold rinse first, then a hot wash, and at least two rinses (i.e. the rinse in the wash cycle plus at least one extra).

I've done it with two pregnancies and wearing cloth post partum was far more comfortable on my girly bits. It worked great. Good luck!

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Date:August 14th, 2013 05:00 pm (UTC)
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I would not use the cotton batting. Here is a different post on why: http://cloth-pads.livejournal.com/929809.html It's better to use layers of flannel with cotton terrycloth (for the liners you can just use 2-3 layers of flannel). Batting is not designed for absorbency, only for insulation like in quilts. Polyester fleece is not something I would put in the absorbency area of the pad either, it doesn't absorb well, it just traps moisture, it also kinda repels liquids.

Postpartum flow is incredibly heavy, and polyester fleece may not be able to handle such a heavy flow, so PUL may be better for the postpartum pads. For liners, the polyester fleece is excellent because it doesn't allow moisture/sweat to go through it, it's great for the back of the pad. I also heard that some women use pre-folds or long folded cloth wipes as postpartum pads, it's easier and simple.

Soaking is a habit with my cloth pads, everyone has their own preference, but it's a laundry tidbit of getting things extra clean :)