Maxi Pads

When I was in the hospital for both of my miscarriages, I was given the most institutional looking maxi pads to use. They were thick, they were long, and they clearly had never heard of fancy new innovations like “dry weave” for comfort and “wings” for extra protection. They did actually adhere to your underwear with adhesive (I am too young to have ever used the “clip” models but I read about them in Are You There God, It’s Me, Maragaret?) but the adhesive is not great and sometimes it comes right off with with the paper it is attached to, leaving you with an un-stickable pad. No worries, however, because once I was admitted, the nurses on the maternity ward gave me stretchable/disposable underwear to help keep the pad in place.

When you first go into an ER and are “actively miscarrying” (i.e. your cervix is open), it is easiest just to remove you underwear completely, but you are in so much pain modesty is the last thing on your mind. You will show your bajingo to anyone who promises pain relief and/or anyone in scrubs. They lay you down on the dishtowel sized “ookie pads” (because they catch all sorts of ookie stuff) and they then plop an institutional pad under you. You will go through several of these in an hour and the nurses will want to change them; it helps them quantify blood loss (i.e. 2 pads an hour vs. 10 pads an hour).

When you leave the hospital, they will give you several of these maxi pads to take home with you (and several “ookie pads” if you ask nicely). I took the five they gave me, and then shoved about five more in my husband’s backpack, because they last thing I wanted to do when I left was go maxi pad shopping. I used a couple, but most of them are still in my upstairs bathroom (less likely to frighten our guests).

When you visit your OB after a miscarriage, he/she will tell you not to expect your normal cycle pattern to return: your cycles could run longer/shorter, your flow could be lighter/heavier, and your PMS could be worse/completely go away. In my case my body opted for shorter, much, much heavier, and worse.

Given my predilection for yeast infections, I tend to shy away from tampons for a few cycles after I have taken antibiotics. I took them this month when I had the HSG and just looking askance at my O.B. tampons will require a week-long date with “Madame Monistat” (or her less expensive sister, “Madame Generic Monistat,” as is the case in my house/bajingo). So, here I sit, instead thinking about and blogging about maxi pads.

I prefer the Stayfree “Ultra Thin” Regular with Wings (which have “Clinically Tested Odor Neutralizers” — talk about a job that no one wants), but these are not for “super-duper heavy post-miscarriage WTF is wrong with my cycle” flow. I ran out of the “Long Super Maxis with Wings” last cycle, and I forgot to buy more, so here was my choice: generic, hospital super maxipads or my tried and trusted Stayfree “Ultra Thin.” I was weak and I underestimated the ability of my uterus to bleed, so I selected the “Ultra Thin.” I made the wrong decision.

Here I am again using the hospital maxi pad again because I am bleeding heavily again after a miscarriage. Admittedly a strange time for reflection, but I am so much better than the last time I used them, when I was bleeding and cramping in the ER after my second D&C. I know a little bit more about what is going wrong, I have a plan of action, and I know that this cycle is unpleasant, but that this aberration is perfectly normal. I am not in the process of losing a baby; I am trying to ready my body to grow another one. I am not so emotionally raw, although I am still very sad. All in all, I can see how much better I am now that two months ago, but I still have a long way to go.

Tonight, however, I am going shopping for the blessed Stayfree Supers.


August 7, 2007. Little Known Facts, Trying Again.


  1. Anne replied:

    You captured the ER scenario perfectly. Anyone that wanted to look, as long as they promised help, was welcome. I found the hold-everything-in-place undies very interesting. I’m starting a round of three months of antibiotics and have much curiosity about how they plan to keep me yeast infection free. I also wonder why I wasn’t send home with antibiotics after my D&C and suffered through an infection. Chalk it up to idiot doctors? Why not?

  2. DD replied:

    I checked our list of items in our supplies. “Ookie Pads” surprisingly were not present.

    And I never thought of that but you are right, who wants the job of sniffing pads and tampons? Sounds like a show opportunity for Mike of Dirty Jobs.

  3. missedconceptions replied:

    I actually thought about submitting “feminine product clinical odor tester” to “Dirty Jobs” — do you think they would take it?

    I have plenty of “ookie pads” stockpiled (hey, you never know!), so if you ever need one, just let me know!

  4. Ashley Bass replied:

    Sorry AF is being a bitch. This starts your new cycle, so hopefully things will be different in the near future.

  5. Rachel replied:

    I haven’t done any reading whatsoever on this yet (with relation to post-miscarriage care), but could you possibly use a Keeper or DivaCup, if that would be more comfortable? They’re internal like a tampon, but completely non-absorbent. Thinking it might upset the internal flora a bit less, and wouldn’t cause the irritation of pads. Also, they hold a full ounce of liquid at a time.

  6. missedconceptions replied:

    Hmmmm…., I will have to look into that. My understanding, however, is that menstrual flow is actually good at preventing yeast infections because it helps “cleanse” the affected area. I don’t know for sure, though, because I only pretend to be a doctor when self-diagnosing.

  7. Rachel replied:

    Well, let me know if you have questions about them – I’ve been using a Keeper for over a decade.

  8. Kath replied:

    Oh, you brought it all back — those pads, the odor of the hospital, the old feelings… I’m so sorry you’re having to use any pads again, much less the monster ones.

  9. Sarah replied:

    The other option is cloth pads – still ookie, but way more comfy than the best disposable out there. Having just finished an AF with a simultaneous YI (ICK!!) cloth pads saved my sanity. There are a lot of different options too, depending on your pad preferences.

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