Is FREE BLEEDING really a thing?The first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions "free bleeding" is the London Marathon Runner who completed a marathon, while on her period, and chose to run without wearing a tampon or any other form of protection from leaks. Kiran Gandhi ran without leak-protection to raise awareness for women, primarily in third world countries, who do not have access to affordable feminine hygiene products and are shamed, kept home from school or work and otherwise ostracized from the general public while menstruating.
For many, Kiran's story was the first we'd heard of the #freebleeding movement. So is free bleeding even a thing and does it literally mean you must bleed all over your clothing for all to see? The answer depends on why you're doing it.
What is free bleeding?Free bleeding is menstruating without using tampons, menstrual cups or pads. Because why should you have to?
Free bleeding to us, is something we do every day when we wear cloth pads. When we free bleed wearing cloth pads, we get to know our cycle on a day to day basis, what to expect, whether there is clotting or anything else unusual, and we eventually come to learn just what's normal and abnormal from our own bodies. As cloth pad wearing women, we know just how much we bleed on a heavy day vs. a light day and we feel more comfortable not "plugging" anything up?
If your reason for free bleeding is to advocate and raise awareness by bleeding publicly for all to see, then obviously bleeding visibly, without protection is the whole point.
Others, like this NSFW article, think free bleeding is not an actual thing or movement of any sort but more of an internet prank gone awry. Because the notion of free bleeding, the supposedly made up hashtag and stories like Kiran's sparked such outrage and disgust, free bleeding IS now a THING. 1) Because periods aren't disgusting, and 2) Because technically, if women want to bleed through their clothing then shouldn't they be able to? As far as we know there aren't any laws against it.
Cloth Pads and Free BleedingThere's nothing controversial about cloth pad use and we truly do feel that free bleeding and cloth pads go hand in hand. When wearing cloth pads you can bleed freely and comfortably-without toxins, chemicals, fragrances and the worry of toxic shock syndrome.
Are you interested in giving cloth pads a try? Check out our Getting Started with Cloth Pads blog posts here.