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Postpartum Period Health: Products and Choosing the Right One For You

Depending on how you entered your mom era, you may have carried your little human and went 9 glorious months without a period. Yes, we had swollen ankles, a bowling ball belly to carry around, and the whole labor portion but wasn't a period free 9 months amazing?!? However, when Aunt Flow came back she was a whole different level and 100% that beeeeeech.

If I'm being honest, I had to relearn how to go with the flow and what worked for me. Some things weren't comfortable anymore, pains were different and durations were like a dart board that kept moving. Having been off birth control and my cycle adjusting, then going back on birth control, and getting my tubes tied left me searching for a new normal and comfort. My postpartum period health journey was marked with a lot of questions.

Thankfully as I was going through these many seasons my amazing friend, Christine Hetzel of Time for Brunch, and I worked on an entire series of running with your period. Even though the show had a heavy flow of running knowledge (I know, horrible pun) so many of the same principles apply to motherhood.

In each episode (linked below) , we broke down the pros and cons of some of the most popular products and ideals when it comes to cycle health and gave a fresh perspective to a conversation that is too often considered taboo. The first episode is a great way to open the conversation before digging into the rest of the series.

Light peach background with a womens hand holding a white square pad

Pads vs Tampons---This was very polarizing. I never loved using tampons pre-birth but after birth and recovery, I loved them even less. (Mind you that you actually can't use them postpartum for a good while so be sure to have that convo with your doctor). I kept the mega pads in rotation for a good while even after recovery and hands down still recommend pads due to my #mombrain. I get on autopilot and am afraid of forgetting they are there---pads I can't miss!

Light tan background with two women, one with brown skin and one with white skin, standing in cream colored underwear

Period Underwear vs Free Bleeding---After personally testing out period underwear I fell in love. While I think the free bleeding movement is awesome for some, it's not my thing. Too many logistics to think about and prep to be done that I personally don't wish to put the energy towards. The period underwear was the perfect solution and middle ground. No pads to mess with or change, no shifting second layer that had to be adjusted after playing on the ground with the kiddo, and the convenience of "setting and forgetting" like a tampon without the anxiety. Up until recently I only used them for working out but I'm slowly converting to them for my full cycle. They are pricy depending on brand, flow capacity, etc. but done in stages or snagged on sale make it a long-term cost-effective shift, and holy moly no more chafing!

Everyone always asks about how you wash the underwear so I'm giving my TMI answer, skip if you don't want to know lol

*Once they have served their time and need to be washed I pre-rinse them in the shower with SUPER hot water. I happen to have a showerhead with a detachable wand and works great for this. I rinse until the water runs clear and then wash as normal. No harm, minimal extra step, and (for me) feels no different than washing a shirt that has mud all over it before throwing it in the washer.

Light peach background with a white menstrual  cup

Menstrual Cups vs Discs---If you aren't into the free flow and prefer something to keep your situation situated at all times the cups and discs are a great middle of the road. You don't have the cotton of a tampon, it's reusable which makes it eco-friendly, and you can settle and go without the same worry. I have heard from many previous tampon users that this was equivalent to them once they got past the learning curve. Discs and cups work about the same but given the shape and capacity difference, it may take trying both to find which fits and holds the best.

Everything shifts postpartum inside and out (literally). Your skin and hips aren't the only thing that stretch and widen and not everything snaps back like it once was. After all, you did just grow a human and then had to get it out. Our bodies are amazing but it's not going to go back to the size it once was, it's seen too many things 😂 Just like we may not fit back into those skinny jeans, that sweet little small tampon or pad may not just it anymore.

The bottom line, do what works best for you, and don't be afraid to try something different. PERIOD.

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