Friday, August 18, 2017

Oko Creations for all that Post Partum Stuff

 Let me preface this post by saying that post partum recovery is a pretty sensitive mess, 
so naturally you can expect that I'll be pretty frank with terminology. Thanks for reading!

Yay! He's here! Even though I'm on a self-induced maternity leave, there's one set of items that I wanted to talk about with you that have made turning that corner of post partum recovery a lot easier. Oko Creations was so awesome to send me a few of their products aimed at giving me some soft, gentle relief during that tender time - nursing pads and heavy flow cloth menstrual pads for lochia (post partum discharge).

The first time I ever tried cloth menstrual pads was during my post partum recovery with my second child, Ruby. And I'm seriously so glad that I did! I had an interesting tear that led to a prolonged, tender recovery and I couldn't imagine suffering through that with paper pads. So, that honestly really positive first experience, while truly diving into the deep end, encouraged me to continue to use cloth pads / mama cloth for when my cycle returned at about 10 months post partum.

Now that Holden has arrived (!!!), I am excited to share again my experience in using cloth pads during post partum recovery. Another preface that I'd like to mention is that while Oko Creations does not have a designated post partum size and shaped pad (yet), I can personally recommend it based on my experience. My normal menstrual flow is pretty typical, not too heavy and not too light. 

My post partum recovery was much faster this time around, which was shocking to me given how big he was and how much work I had in pushing him out. My daughters were just under 7 pounds and 8 pounds; Holden was 9 1/2 pounds. My second birth took much longer for me to recover due to an interesting tear and I was very surprised that I didn't tear at all with Holden. I experienced a very heavy, typical post-birth flow for about a week (during that time I used dedicated post partum sized pads from a different brand) and used my Oko Creations heavy flow pads for the following two weeks of heavy lochia flow. The heavy flow pads were perfect for this phase of post partum recovery. The length was just right to make sure there wasn't any spills while I was still laying in with baby and the super absorbent hemp topper and core didn't stick to me like disposable pads had done for my first post partum recovery. 

The biggest difference that I could see between the heavy flow and the regular size pads from Oko Creations was that the heavy flow are longer and also featured dual wings to help secure the longer pad around your underwear. Both pads feature 3 layers of absorbent hemp material and a unique integrated waterproof breathable layer (which has been explained to me that it looks and feels a bit like plastic wrap; it's not as thick as traditional PUL). For as absorbent both sizes of the Oko Creations pads are, they are very trim and are my favorite to reach for during regular to heavy flow days in my cycle! 

Now let's talk breast pads. I typically leak during the first 3-4 months of nursing; after that my milk seems to regulate and I don't have super strong let down. I like to use reusable breast pads because just like cloth menstrual pads and cloth diapers - I'm all about reduction of waste and cloth just feels better to me!

Oko Creations has two types of breast pads; hemp and merino wool toppers.  I got to review the hemp pads, but have reviewed their oh-so-adorable handmade merino wool baby hat in the past (which we still affectionately call "the snail hat." The pads are made with two layers of hemp fleece (the same material that the cloth pads are made from) and backed with waterproof PUL. This prevents any leaks through your pad, bra and shirt. These thick pads made to be super absorbent so they do show through a thin nursing tank or bra, so I either wear a secondary layering shirt or save these for night time. From 2 weeks of age Holden has been sleeping straight from 9 pm - 4 am.  I have definitely put my time in for long night nursing sessions with my daughters; I know exactly how big of a blessing this is!! But the cost is super full breasts in the early morning that are ready to feed that baby! While nursing him on the first side, my other breast is well protected with my Oko Creations breast pad without any leaking. I feel confident because the same hemp material that I trust in my menstrual pads is catching my extra milk in these pads and the PUL backing makes extra sure that it doesn't go any further. 

Oko Creations is a family owned based in Quebec, Canada. All of Oko Creations products are handmade and ethically produced locally with sustainability and long term quality in mind. Hand-made products are so special because you can just imagine the dreams and inspiration that went into the product that you hold in your hand. I am proud to support hand made, family owned businesses (even at the higher cost) because you know that supporting their products supports a dream.  Check out their work shop - it's such a friendly and homey atmosphere!

You can find out more of Oko Creations products on their website and follow along on facebook.

Disclosure: I received product in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was provided.
All opinions and photography are my own. 

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