Monday, August 31, 2009

More on Ohio Pumping at Work Case

Here is the link to the slip opinion on this case. The dissenting opinions are very interesting, with one concluding that while the trial court entering summary judgment in favor of the employer was proper, the appellate court should have considered the question of whether it is okay for a woman to be fired from her job for pumping. The second dissenting opinion goes even further and says that the plaintiff/appellant should have had the opportunity to present the facts before a jury.

We will keep an eye on this one.

Disturbing Court Ruling re: Pumping at Work

This is out of the Ohio Supreme Court, which ruled that a company can fire a lactating mother for taking unauthorized breaks to pump her milk. Apparently Ohio's anti-discrimination policy covers pregnant women, but not lactating women. <-- local story <-- blog about case

Sounds like the court did rule correctly, based on the controlling statute, disappointing as that is. Being the free-market type of person that I am, I find it difficult to demand that a more appropriate law be put in place to protect working, breastfeeding mothers. But, being a breastfeeding mother, it seems unfair that breastfeeding moms might have to bounce from job to job, looking for someplace that won't fire them for taking breaks to pump. I can't imagine that it's very easy to find a job when you have a small baby, so there's two strikes against new mothers who wish to breastfeed but need to work. It seems logical to me that if there are laws protecting pregnant women from being fired, then similar legislation should exist to protect women who wish to pump at work for their baby. It's really no wonder so many new mothers choose formula, with the social environment as hostile as it seems to be for working mothers of new babies.

There have been other very disturbing stories come to my attention in the past few weeks but I haven't taken the time to post them here. I'm going to try and remember to post stuff like that up here, so I can share with you as well as keep a record of stuff I want to keep handy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mama Pads

Most of my posts have been about cloth diapers, but now that my stash is firmly intact, I've moved on to broader applications of cloth where disposable was once my only option: reusable menstrual items.

The world of cloth diapering got me interested in trying something like this out. I belong to a natural foods / products co-op and one of the products offered there is the Diva Cup. Using the cup has been something of an uphill battle; it takes a few cycles to really figure it out. In the meantime, I decided I would buy some cloth mama pads for those times when I just didn't feel like messing with the cup (or on lighter days).

I purchased some Perfect Pads from an online outlet that was going out of business. Apparently I got them pretty cheap - like $6 each. Since my purchase I've shopped around at other sites and haven't seen as good a deal on them yet. I got a sampler pack which included one heavy day pad, a light day pad and a pantyliner.

I have fallen completely in love with these pads. They are so so so so so incredibly comfy up against your skin. Kinda like a bulkier panty, but super soft. Regular disposable pads always made me feel sweaty, itchy and just ick, especially if using them overnight. With these pads, that problem is but a memory. Because there's no plastic liner like in disposables, air is allowed to circulate and keep the area much nicer. I've seen some that have the PUL liner, like in cloth diapers, but haven't tried them. I can imagine that pads with PUL liner might not be quite as breathable.

They stay put in panties with a simple snap on the underside of the wrap-around wings. There are lots of cute patterns to choose from, and of course there is an organic option for those who can appreciate that.

I've shopped around for other styles and brands, just to see what else is out there, but I really think I will buy a few more Perfect Pads before I'm done building my mama pad stash. Washing is simple, especially since I'm washing cloth diapers daily anyway - I just throw them in together!

You don't even need to be a crunchy hippy to appreciate these pads. They really are a lot more comfortable, and make a great duo to go along with the Diva Cup. No more spending $10-$15 a month for me! Highly recommended!

Here are some images:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Been a while

Well, it's been some time since my last post. Not much has changed really. My son's sleeping habits have gotten a bit better, with visits to settle him back down before I come to bed becoming less frequent, thankfully. The unfortunate side to this is that he's been waking sooooo early in the morning. For a couple of weeks he wanted to get up anywhere from 4am on. Oh my. Not good! Past week we've been greeted to some 5am mornings. Luckily his father's schedule has allowed me to get in some much-needed naps during the late morning hours over the weekend. Not much housework gets done, but who cares when you're sleep deprived!

I've been pretty happy with our Fuzzi Bunz purchase. Only downside has been that they come with only one insert - not nearly enough to last through an overnight, and they don't last long during the day without a doubler. I've got a couple extra hemp inserts that I have been stuffing with two of my FBs so that helps them last longer.

I'm finally starting to see why everyone was complaining about the Velcro tabs on the Bum Genius 3.0. While mine are just starting to wear out, they are still grasping the diaper itself, I can't get them to stay gripped to the wash tabs, which I'm sure will just accelerate the breaking down process. Right on cue, BG has released their new BG AIO (All-in-Ones), with snaps. So now I'll be tempted to buy new diapers altogether. Which sucks since I was starting to feel really good about how much money I've been saving the past few months.

Not only that, but now Fuzzi Bunz have released a new one-size diaper so I'll have to decide whether I want to try my hand on the new Bum Genius or the new Fuzzi Bunz, or just get crazy and buy a different brand altogether. Lord knows there are plenty to choose from.

I can't help but to compare my Fuzzi Bunz at $15 each to the Bum Genius at $18 each. The BG came with an extra doubler, which seems to make them last a lot longer and have served us most overnights (first leak ever last night!), while I'm confident that the Fuzzi Bunz will last longer, thanks to their snap system as opposed to Velcro fasteners.

Oh decisions, decisions! Ok, I won't deny that I'm a tiny bit excited at the thought of shopping for more diapers. Wheeee!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wish List: Fuzzi Bunz

More about cloth diapers. I can't get enough! Don't think I mentioned it before, but my babysitter is da bomb. She doesn't mind cloth diapering my son while he's in her care, and I really can't express how much I appreciate that. We still provide her with 'sposies for whenever she can't or doesn't want to use a cloth diaper, but she's on board and even washes them for me! Because she uses them during the day with Derek, we haven't had to buy a pack of diapers since we started with the cloth diapers. I'm sure I'll make up for it by buying more cloth diapers, though!

And that brings me to the message of this post. I've always regretted not starting to cloth diaper sooner with my son. I picked up a few items here and there - some covers, some inserts - but didn't start until he was right at a year old. Now I'm realizing why it would have been better to start sooner; I missed out on a lot of that learning curve about which diapers to use, what inserts work best, how best to buy used, etc. So I've been doing some catching up, and I realize now that I should have just started with something, anything, so I could start to learn what works for us. I've made a couple of purchases that, in retrospect, I probably shouldn't have made. I'll just have to chalk those up to learning experiences and go on to make better choices. I can always try and sell what I'm not using.

My most recent purchase was from Cotton Babies. I'd heard about the site, namely that they had good 'seconds' (new and sometimes used diapers with manufacturer's defects) on their clearance page. So I bought two Bum Genius 3.0 seconds. I haven't been able to find any defects so far, and we've been using them for about a month now. They didn't come with inserts, but I had extra so no problem there. Paid about $5 less each than retail. Good deal! Now I'm on the market for some Fuzzi Bunz. I like it that they have snaps instead of Velcro (for reasons described in a previous post), and wonder if they won't be quite as bulky as the Bum Genius can be. They also seem to be cheaper than Bum Genius on a lot of sites. I am also thinking of buying a few more diapers from the local lady (also discussed in a previous post) who sold me a few that needed a cover and didn't have pockets for inserts. Those diapers weren't bad otherwise. I still use them as backup. She's got the material now to make cover-free pockets and I'm interested to see what they will be like.

My hope is that I can up my stash just a bit more with some great diapers, without spending way more than I would have on disposables. Wish me luck! ;P

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

So I finally tried them out

The cloth diapers, I mean. I'd been trying to decide what type of detergent to wash them with, and after reading a couple of charts (here and here) rating the various detergent options, I finally decided that the stuff we already use on our clothes would be fine (Arm & Hammer Essentials Free).

I really can't say enough good things about the Bum Genius one size pockets. I use them for overnights and have never had any problems with leaks. Maybe a tad bulky, but that's a good excuse to replace our nighttime onsies that my son is growing out of anyway with some legitimate PJ's. Another complaint that I've read frequently about (but haven't experienced for myself yet) the BG diapers is that they use Velcro instead of snaps. Apparently after repeated washings, the sticky side of the Velcro can get worn out or covered over with lint to the extent that they no longer stick. So that would be a pretty big problem, but surely a quick sewing job could fix them right up. I really, really like these diapers.

Once our overnight BG adventures were well underway, I decided to get a bit bold about all this cloth diapering business. I bought some USED diapers! I know, sounds gross, like - is that even sanitary?? But, these did not have a stain on them and looked and smelled great, so that was good enough for me. I got three Green Acre Diapers and liked them immediately. They have snaps instead of Velcro, so that was something I was eager to try out.

I'd previously bought some hemp inserts from a lady on Craigslist who said she bought the wrong size (got a great deal on those, too!). Now that I had these three diapers, I was ready to use the hemp inserts. I read that hemp needs to be washed like up to 5 or 10 times in hot, hot water in order to strip it of its natural oils and prepare it to be absorbant. I only washed mine maybe twice before I tried them out. I had some trouble with leaks at first, maybe because of not enough washing beforehand, or maybe just because that's the way hemp can be. Apparently it's very absorbent, but not very quick to catch fast-running pee. So the mama who sold me the diapers suggested I use a rag or other insert of some sort to catch the pee and let it slowly absorb into the hemp. This has worked better, but I still am having some trouble with leaks toward the front of the diaper. I do think there might just be a little bit of a learning curve when it comes to the inserts, so it might just be that I'm not changing him soon enough.

After all this, I started getting excited. I started to see why it is that there are a bajallion choices in cloth diapering all over the internet and why cloth diapers are now showing up in large retail outlets. These things are so addictive or something! I love them! That diaperswappers forum? I could hang out there all day, seriously.

I started scouring Craigslist for some more diapers to feed my new found addiction. I ran across a posting from a lady waaaay out in the country who was making cloth diapers for her daughter. She was selling them 3 for $15 + shipping. That's pretty darn cheap. Downside to those diapers were that they would need a cover to keep my boy's clothes from getting pee soaked. Luckily, I had some covers that I'd bought when I was pregnant and wanting to get a stash of diapers going but never ended up using. They were size small, but I thought they'd probably work, and they do. Plus, she was super fast on the shipping. They were at my house in two days. Now she's even got a little website for her CDs.

After getting that last batch in the mail, it was almost the weekend. I figured I'd see if we could get through a whole day using only CDs. Sure enough we did! In fact, the only 'sposie used that weekend was when Daddy changed our boy so I could sleep in on Sunday morning. An acceptable trade-off, I suppose.

I'm not sure what about using cloth diapers makes me feel so good. I mean, since we still have to keep disposables on hand for babysitter and whatever else, we're not actively saving any money, yet. But I guess it does feel good not to have to throw all those diapers away all the time. And it feels good knowing that my son's most private areas (and most important if I'm ever to be a grandmother!) are well kept, far away from all the bleaching and gel and plastic and chemicals in the disposables. Maybe not all the time, and maybe not for too much longer since he's already a year old. But, it feels good for now. And it will be a good excuse for me to have another baby, that I have such a large, varied and impressive stash of diapers . :P

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Cloth Diapers? Yes, please.

I have wanted to cloth diaper my son since before he was born. I started doing some research about it and found that there are many, many more options for cloth diapering than back before disposables were available. No more fold-and-pin, or hiring a diaper cleaning service. These things today are what I call "fancy pants" diapers. The problem is that there are so many options that it really makes the mind spin. I read reviews, got advice from other moms, but never could decide on what to get for my little guy. The result of my indecisive attitude has been cheap disposables covering my son's bum since his birth. Well, we had a few packs from the baby shower but that was over in like a month. Since then we've spent a little over $20 a month to keep my boy in diapers. Conservatively, that's over $200 so far! Considering he very well could be in diapers until after his 2nd birthday (I really don't know when most kids start going potty), we're looking at probably another $300, and again that's a conservative estimate. As the child gets bigger, disposable packages of diapers cost the same amount, but the trick is that there are less and less diapers per pack as you increase the size. So I would imagine that we will easily surpass last years' expenditure on diapers this coming year.

Now. Let's talk fancy pants diapers. These things are cool! I finally talked myself into buying some when the local SuperTarget (MWC for you local folks) started carrying BumGenius all in ones. I'm up to two in my arsenal now and would have more if the Norman SuperTarget would ever get with the program. Unfortunately, because I have been indecisive again regarding which detergent to use in washing them, it has kept me from trying them out. But I think I've finally got it figured out and will post on my progress.

The great thing about this is that with a couple hundred dollar investment, you can save yourself money in the long run on disposables. AND you can use them on subsequent children, or sell them secondhand on Diaperswappers, possibly getting back some of your initial investment.

Pretty cool junk.