“S” is for “SALE”!

Have you ever given pads, liners & tampons a second thought?

We have! And a third and a fourth… Honestly, here at Blushing Bluebird Essentials, we are constantly brainstorming ways to encourage women (like you) to think twice and consider a better option: Bluebird Pads. We know that you will love how comfortable and natural they feel and how simple it is to use them. So, we decided it was high time we offered a nudge in the right direction (… who likes a sale?!). Before I get into the details, a brief introduction for those who don’t know us.

In a Nutshell

In the fall of 2016, my mom, sister and I launched Blushing Bluebird Essentials (AKA Bluebird Pads). We created a complete line of reusable cotton pads & bags using exclusively organic cotton fabrics + an eco-friendly waterproof barrier. Bluebird Pads are locally made, pretty, eco-friendly and OH-SO comfortable!

Can You Relate?

How did we get started? We, like many of you, were sick and tired of disposables (the itch, the crinkling, the chemicals, the garbage – need I go on?) but fell into one of three categories – perhaps you can relate?

We didn’t realize
better options existed!

We couldn’t imagine how
they could possibly be better?

We didn’t know where to look
or what would work for us!

We get it! We want to simplify the process to get you started.

To that end, we created this chart to make it easier for you to choose the size(s) that are suitable for you.

Bluebird Pads come in 8 different sizes and shapes. This chart is an accurate representation of the variety and the info below lists how much they absorb and what products they are comparable to.  Switching made easy!

Sizing Chart

Period Flow Absorbency Chart for Cloth Pads

Petite Thong

Absorbency
1 feather
2 tsps (10 ml)

Uses
Spotting, Light Days, Backup for Internal Device

Comparable Product
Natracare Liner or Always Dri Liners

Petite Panty

Absorbency
1 feather
2 tsps (10 ml)

Uses
Spotting, Light Days, Backup for Internal Device

Comparable Product
Natracare Liner or Always Dri Liners

Classic Short

Absorbency
2 feathers
4 tsps (20 ml)

Uses
Light to Regular Flow, Mild Incontinence

Comparable Product
Always Ultra Thin Active

Classic Long

Absorbency
2 feathers
5 tsps (25 ml)

Uses
Regular Flow, Mild Incontinence

Comparable Product
U by Kotex Tween

Super Day

Absorbency
3 feathers
7 tsps (35ml)

Uses
Regular to Moderately Heavy Flow

Comparable Product
Always Infinity Heavy
Always Ultra Thin Extra Heavy Day

Super Night

Absorbency
3 feathers
8 tsps (40 ml)

Uses
Regular to Moderately Heavy Flow

Comparable Product
Always Flex Foam Infinity Overnight

Optimal Anytime

Absorbency
4 feathers
10 tsps (50 ml)

Uses
Very Heavy Flow, Daytime Postpartum, Perimenopause

Comparable Product
Always Flex Foam Infinity Overnight
U by Kotex Extra Heavy

Optimal Extra

Absorbency
4 feathers
12 tsps (60 ml)

Uses
Very Heavy Nighttime Flow, Postpartum, Nighttime Perimenopause

Comparable Product
U by Kotex Extra Heavy (Kotex’s Most absorbent Pad)

Now, about that word I mentioned earlier…

We truly want to support you in making the switch and we completely understand that the cost of organic reusables can feel a bit steep…so we decided to offer a break on the cost! If you love your Bluebird Pads and want to stock up, this is your chance! If you want to make the switch, now is the time! Check out our Website Store for full details!

SUMMER SAVINGS

Take advantage of our new summer pricing!

And, don’t forget!

We are here to support you! We have lots of info on our website and other helpful blog articles such as Top Tips for Making the Switch and Wear Organic Cloth Pads: Why Your Body Will Thank You. And of course, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about making the switch or about our products! We are happy to help.

Code Red: What Every Woman Should Know

First of all, let me say this: I get it.

Conversations about menstruation aren’t the most fun to have, especially those conducted in all earnestness and honesty. It’s much more fun to bemoan and joke about, right? Frank period talk is a somewhat boring, gorey, discomforting topic that many of us would rather avoid.

However, knowing your body, how it works and when to advocate for it is important!

So let’s do this – I’ll make it fun! Not only will this post equip you with some essential menstrual knowledge & tips, it will enlighten you as to the huge range of appropriate (or perhaps, inappropriate?) euphemisms used around the world to refer to a woman’s menses. That’s the last time I will say “menstrual”, “menses” or “period” – pinky promise!

woman in red dress covering her ears

Jenny’s Red Dress Doesn’t Fit Me

Part of the beauty of being a woman (and a human being in general) is how vastly different we all are. Jenny Has a Red Dress and her dress is tailored to her, and doesn’t necessarily fit anyone else. Each one of us unique, and so are our Visits to the Red Planet.

For some, Arts & Crafts Week at Panty Camp is a lighthearted affair involving a couple of tampons and a few liners. These women fall just short of unicorn status and are to be envied. These lovelies have the comfort of knowing that everything is on track without seven exhausting days Riding the Crimson Wave (all the while wondering if the extreme blood loss they seem to be experiencing is “normal” or if perhaps they should go see the doctor).

The biggest key to knowing that your body is healthy and on track is knowing what is normal for you and being alert to changes – be that pregnancy, hormone imbalance or perimenopause! Jot down notes in a little journal or download an app for your phone – you’ll thank yourself later!

In addition to keeping track, I think it is also helpful to keep some basic parameters in the back of your mind and have reliable resources to refer to. I highly recommend you bookmark the Centre for Menstrual and Ovulation Research website. It is a great resource!

A Normal Ram a Tam

as defined by CeMCOR

Daily Expected Volume

2 tsp or 10 ml
(2 soaked regular sized pads/tampons)

Days of Flow

Two to Four Days

Total Length

Three to Six Days

Total Volume

20 ml (4 tsp) to 80 ml (16 tsp)

Cycle Length

24 to 38 days
(from 1st day of your Monthly Trouble to the next time it starts)

Note

A variation of plus or minus 20 days is still considered “regular”

So…what if your Drive through the Redwood Forest falls outside those parameters?

Chat with your doctor about it, I mean it! She (or he) can rule out cause for concern and may be able to help. For example, if you tend to have very heavy flow (every time the Red Sox Have a Home Game you lose more than 80 mls) you may be at risk for iron-loss induced anemia. (Fatigue anyone?). Commonly, a very heavy flow is caused by high levels of estrogen that causes an extra thickening of the lining of the uterus. Something as simple as taking Ibuprofen can inhibit the thickening which in turn will substantially decrease your flow. Ask your doctor about it! They can test you for anemia, suggest appropriate supplements if needed and figure out the best way to proceed.

Hormones & Pressure: Pain Culprits

So what is with all the cramping and exhaustion?! For many of us, when Aunt Flo Comes to Visit, life gets a little tough. Painful cramps are a result of two things: estrogen and uterine pressure.

As we are all well aware, hormones can take us for quite a ride. From the time we are teenagers until after menopause, we feel tossed about by the whims of our hormones. We “credit” them with causing irritability, cravings and general mood swings… but pain? Yup! When we experience high levels of estrogen, our bodies produce more of those fun little pain hormones called “prostaglandins!” Of course, through life we naturally go through stages with higher levels of estrogen. But there are other things that increase estrogen levels (or lower the lovely counterbalancing hormone known as progesterone) and consequently bring increased pain when Granny is Stuck in Traffic. A few examples are: low levels of activity/exercise, weight gain, stress, illness, poor nutrition and depression. Your body’s overall well being really does impact the pain you experience when Communists Take Over Your Summerhouse (that one somehow seems especially wrong to say!).

There is another piece to the pain puzzle that I find particularly interesting: PRESSURE.

This one is intuitive in some ways. We feel it! The more pressure your uterus is under, the more it releases prostaglandins (ie you are in more pain). When you are a teenager and your uterus is growing and strengthening, that can increase the pressure you experience and make your period painful. Also, when the opening to your uterus is tight, there is greater pressure there too. Your body has to work hard to dispel the endometrial lining!

One reason I find the pressure aspect particularly interesting is because I have an unanswered question. There is plenty of subjective evidence indicating that an internal menstrual device (such as a cup or tampon) increases cramps for some women. But why? Keeping in mind how hard your uterus works to dispel the old endometrial lining and the fact that the size of the opening to your uterus makes a difference to the level of pain you experience during the Coming of the Cranberry Woman, I wonder if the reason for increased discomfort is that when an internal device is inserted it likewise increases pressure and boosts the production of prostaglandins? Interesting!

Prostaglandins

It’s interesting to note that Ibuprofen falls into the “anti-prostaglandin” category of painkiller – hence why it is effective when the English Have Arrived (with reference to the traditional red military garb, of course). The key to Ibuprofen being effective is anticipating the need. Ibuprofen prevents your body from producing those painful little prostaglandins (haha), but it doesn’t make them magically disappear once they are already wreaking havoc on your day. Good to know!

Be Kind To Yourself!

So I think this blog post can only finish off with some standard textbook recommendations. Eat well. Exercise. And… maybe reconsider your choice of feminine products! Above all – be kind to yourself! When you are experiencing cramps and tiredness, it is because your body is hard at work! You may not feel as productive, exuberant or awesome as you normally do. When Little Sister Is Here, give yourself a break.

You deserve it!

Being crazily productive can wait for another day.

Organic Washable Pads – Healthy You, Clean Earth

Have you ever thought of using organic washable pads?

Do you dislike disposable pads, tampons & liners? Do you find them mildly irritating or downright uncomfortable? Do you dislike the garbage using disposables makes? It may be time to switch up your routine!

Thin profile of cloth pad

Using Bluebird Organic Pads is Easy

Wear. Wash. Repeat.

Bluebird organic washable pads are unbelievably thin, supremely comfortable and offer ultimate protection that feels like wearing just panties!

Bluebird Organic Washable Pads are perfect for:

  • your menstrual cycles (alone or in conjunction with a cup or tampon); and
  • daily wear to stay fresh & dry and/or to catch little laughing leaks.

Bluebird Pads are designed as a simple all-in-one unit that snaps on and off so you can feel fresh and dry without changing.

Bluebird Organic Cloth Pads are made with GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Fabrics + High Performance Organic Cotton Core + an Eco-Barrier. They are made colourful with low-impact dyes.

Bluebird Organic Period Products don’t crumple in the wash or bunch up in your panties. They stay smooth to fit your form. They are durable, well designed and remain snugly in place!

Ready to Give Bluebird Pads a Try?

Bluebird Organic Washable Pads now come in simple “grab & go” Starter Kits! Just pick the kit right for you, choose your colours/prints and checkout through our easy to use shopping cart that features local pickup or shipping options. Your package will be shipped or ready for pickup in 1-2 business days!

Our Starter Kits Contain

Five or Six Organic Cloth Pads

your choice of colour in sizes suitable to your flow level

One Dual Pocket Waterproof Clutch

perfect solution for at home or on the go
one secure overlap front pocket for clean
one zippered waterproof pocket for used
box corners and your favourite print complete the look

One “BunchaFarmers” Stain Stick

Using Bluebird organic washable pads actually costs less than non-organic disposables and much less than organic disposables. This means Less money wasted. Less production impact. Less landfill waste.

There are so many reasons to make the switch to a green period!

Want to Learn More?

Check out our blog article Switching To Cloth Pads for frequently asked questions and the Why Cloth section on our website for the top reasons to choose Bluebird Organic Washable Cloth Pads:

Your Body;
Your Planet;
Your Local Economy; and
Your Budget.

Follows us on Facebook & Instagram for updates, pictures of pads (haha!) blogs, specials and more!.

Thank-you for choosing Bluebird Pads and supporting Canadian handmade.
Cheers to a healthier you, a cleaner earth and a brighter future.

Just a Few Customer Reviews

I was a skeptic about this product due to my heavy periods.  I absolutely fell in love with how the pad felt on my skin as opposed to the traditional pad.  It was comfortable, soft and breathable.  Once my period was in full swing, it was amazing to see that it whisked the blood away from the surface and into the pad. I normally change my store bought pads every 60 min or less when my bleeding is heavy, along with using a tampon to boot. That was not the case with these lovely, homemade, highly absorbable pads.  I actually had to change only b/c I felt it was time after about a 5 hour time frame. -Bluebird Pads Fan-Mail

I was immediately impressed by how soft and thin the fabric was, even on the overnight pads. I am so used to pads feeling bulky and these were the complete opposite. They wick away moisture and the more narrow fit seemed to be just perfect for a snug fit that doesn’t let the pad twist or move around. The patterns are beautiful and not overbearing. Definitely one of my faves and I am looking forward to having them in my rotation!

What an amazing product! I’d been meaning to attempt the switch to cloth for a long time, and when I came across their beautiful prints and quality design, I knew it was time. I was a skeptic that cloth pads would stand up to the task – but the design of these pads is more efficient and comfortable than any disposable I’ve ever used. I won’t be looking back! – Bluebird Pads Review

I have worn these pads for a few cycles now and I just love them! They are sooooo crazy soft and thin you can’t even tell you are wearing them. And very absorbent. They wash up perfectly, the colours and patterns are gorgeous, and they are so soft! 5 stars from this Mama! – Bluebird Pads Review

Bluebird Pads are not only comfortable, but did what I needed them to do. Easy to rinse and put in the machine with no hassle.  I would highly recommend this if you’re looking for an eco-friendly and superior product.  I have gone from skeptic to fan. Give Blushing Bluebird a try! – Bluebird Pads Fan-Mail

Use Organic Cloth Pads: Why Your Budget Will Thank You.

Yikes!

“But they are… expensive!” It turns out that not only am I focussed, a terrible liar, determined and reasonably organized (among other things), I can also read minds. Yup.  I can actually hear your thoughts (wow, hey?!). You LOVE the idea of reusable feminine products that are healthier for you and the environment. You read the posts, you love the concept. They are reusable and so darn pretty! You are sold, so you click on the “shop now” button and realize that switching to reusable cloth pads is >gulp< an… investment. YIKES! Unlike the couple $8 boxes of tampons and pads you throw in the grocery cart once a month, you may need to budget carefully (or take out a second mortgage) to afford a (albeit gorgeous) set of Bluebird Pads. You might even be thinking… “Wow, if I always choose organic and sustainable products like this, I will quite possibly: A). Go bankrupt, B). Forgo “vacations” as a line item in my budget permanently or perhaps C). Never have enough money in my budget for “luxury items” (like shampoo or deodorant) ever again!

 

Good News!

Well, I have good news for you! Making the switch to organic cloth pads is something your budget CAN afford. Why? Simply because they are reusable. Yes, disposables are cheap per item. .22-.39 cents per item typically. But they last maybe 4 hours and then the go into the garbage. A typical reusable item costs $15 – $27 up front, but will last for many years!

 

Say, what?!

Yes! I’m telling you that spending the money up front will mean you get to use a  superior quality, more comfortable,  healthier, eco-friendly product… and it will actually cost you LESS in the long run! Your budget really will thank you. Let’s dive into the details!

 

Of Stats & Conclusions

I have (what feels like) a million stats & averages floating around in my head (and in my notes) on this subject. Some examples: how many years women menstruate for (38), total number of women of menstruating age in Canada (7.8 million), packages of period products we purchase in a year (62.58 million) total amount we spend yearly on those products (520 million) and so on. You want a period stat? I probably have it somewhere in my head (no promises about whether I’ll actually be able to locate it in my brain files on the spot, haha!) With all the reading and research on the topic, I have come to some (and I say this with humility, har har) rather *mind blowing* conclusions. Do read on.

 

Here they are:

  1. Women spend a lot of MONEY on our periods (I haven’t even included the cliches of chocolate & wine into my calculations).
  2. We make a lot of GARBAGE with our period products. A modest estimate suggests Canadian women put at least the equivalent volume of an 18 story building into landfills every single year. Most disposable menstrual products are essentially plastic, so they will remain where they are dumped forever. (Well, not “forever”  an estimated period of 500 – 800 years. They will disassemble eventually and become…plastic dirt?)
  3. So we spend a lot of MONEY to make lot of GARBAGE and (here’s the clincher) we believe both the money we spend and the garbage we make is acceptable; a “necessary evil” due to our status as modern women. I don’t want to have to be the one to say it, but… wrong again.

 

Brass Tacks:

Okay, now I am going to move past the generalities and get down to brass tacks. Here are some (fairly) detailed examples based on the pricing we found at the local drug store.

 

Example – “U by Kotex” Disposable Pads:

Kotex recommends changing pads every 3-4 hours. A pack of U by Kotex with wings costs $7.99 for 36 items and U by Kotex Nite costs $4.49 for 14 (that is .22 and .32 per item respectively). If a woman changes her pad about every 3 hours during the day she would use 5 daytime pads. She would then put on a U by Kotex Nite and wear it for the other 8 hours. That usage would cost her $1.42 per day for her 5 day cycle. She has a period every 28 days, with 13 cycles each year. Using U by Kotex costs her budget a total of $92.30 per year.

 

Example – Natracare Organic Cotton Maxi pads:

Natracare Organic Cotton Maxi pads cost $5.49 for a package of 14 or .39 each. Natracare Night Time pads cost 5.99 for a pack of 10 or .59/each. If a woman changes her pad approximately every 3 hours, she will use 5 pads during the day and one nighttime pad each night. At that rate, she will use $2.54 per day for 5 days each cycle. She has a period every 28 days, so has 13 cycles each year. Using Natracare Organic Cotton pads will costs her budget $165.10 in just one year.

 

Example – Bluebird Organic Cloth Pads

Classic Essentials Kit: 8 Pads

Cost: $150 (if you aren’t local, shipping additional).

 

Why Bluebirds are Better:

I’ll be honest here. Bluebird Pads haven’t been around for 8 years (YET!), so we really don’t know how long they’ll last.  We are currently in the process of “quickly aging” a set of pads by putting them through the wringer. Literally. Every time I do a load of laundry, I add them to the load and check off another box. Currently they are at wash #31 and they look the same as they did at wash #3!

Since 31 washes isn’t nearly 8 year’s worth, at this point I have to base my calculations on 1). The track record of other cloth pads and 2). The guarantees of my fabric suppliers.

Are you still with me? Let’s do this.

 

Fabric Durability

Here is what our suppliers say about the fabrics we chose for Bluebird Pads:

Organic Cotton (top layer, bottom layer & core): “With proper care, organic cotton will actually last longer than traditional cotton because it has not been subjected to chemicals such as formaldehyde and metals that inevitably alter the quality of the cotton.”

Waterproof Layer: “Quality, breathable, eco-friendly Polyester/Polyurethane beats generic PUL in the market with a duty cycle of 300+ washings.”

 

Quality Design

Our pads are unique in design and made to last. We have refined our technique for installing the snaps to ensure they last and have checked and re-checked our sewing process to make sure we stitch everything in a way that ensures durability and that our customers are purchasing a truly quality product.

We launched our website sales a few short months ago, but before that we spent countless hours sourcing the right fabrics, designing, testing our products and having other #superwomen test our products as well!

From all of that, we concluded (again, with all humility) that:

“YES! Our products are the highest quality, thinnest, most comfortable & absorbent reusable feminine pads out there!!!”

‘Nuf said.

 

Back to our examples:

If you use your Bluebird Pads at the exact same rate as the disposable examples above (which is actually unlikely for the reasons described in Wear Cloth Pads: Why Your Body Will Thank You), your 8 Bluebird Pads will replace 390 disposable items in just one year. Each item will be washed 48.75 times in one year. That means your $150 investment will be paid off in 1 ½ years (if you use disposables like Kotex) and in less than a year if you are using organic disposables. The next 3 – 5 years are all a bonus! #reusablesforthewin!

 

And don’t forget….!

Do you use fewer disposables than in the above example? Then your Bluebird Pads will last even longer. Do you have a heavier flow so need a more expensive set than the one listed above? Well, then you are also spending substantially more on your disposables than the above example as well – so it will still even out in the end.

 

Take the chance.

I’m betting my business that Bluebird Pads are better for you, the planet AND your budget. Invest in reusables and then remove that $10 or $20 from your monthly necessities budget and put it towards your vacation savings!

We three ladies at Bluebird Pads want you to succeed with making the switch. We will do everything in our power to make your switch a success! So go for it. Ask your questions, do some research and then make it happen. Take the chance, make the change and #wearcloth.

 

 

 

Switching to Bluebird Cloth Pads: Top Tricks & Tips

Hello Friends! First of all, thanks for being here, reading this post and consider making the switch to Bluebird Cloth Pads!

I decided to interrupt my post series on the Biggest Reasons to Switch to Cloth Pads (Your Body, Your Planet, Your Budget & Your Local Economy) to bring you this straight forward post on “getting ‘er done”. I am going to answer (as concisely as possible) the questions we hear most often. Let’s dive right in!

 

“Are Bluebird Cloth Pads hard to care for?”

Not. at. all. Washing Bluebird Cloth Pads is easy (not fussy, gross or time consuming as one might think). The most important thing to remember is that Bluebird Cloth Pads don’t like: bleach, fabric softener or ironing. The rest is up to you and what works best for your lifestyle and laundry habits. Here are the basics and a few suggestions.

  • Store.

After use, you will need a spot to store your soiled items until you are ready to launder. Wetbags are awesome (especially when you are out), but anything water resistant (especially if you opt for rinsing immediately) such as a bag, pouch or pail can work.

  • Pre-Wash Rinse or Soak (optional).

Pre-rinsing is a helpful step but not always necessary. Some women opt to pre-rinse if the item is very soaked or to help prevent staining. A couple ideas:

  • rinse under running water in the bathroom sink;
  • save up your items and rinse all together in a low-water cycle in your machine; or
  • put them on the bottom of your tub while you shower (saves water!)

That said, I don’t personally pre-rinse my items. I have found that they come out perfectly fresh & clean just being washed along with everything else.

  • Wash & Dry.

Wash & dry along with everything else as you normally do. Again, just remember not to add fabric softeners or bleach and don’t iron after the fact (they won’t need it – Bluebird Cloth Pads don’t tend to to crumple in the wash).

*Tip* Have a stain that is bothering you? Grab this Canadian made Bunchafarmers Stain Stick and (even if it has been washed and dried already) rub in and wash again. Works like a charm!

Another thing to *Note*. Our fabrics are made with low impact dyes so will naturally fade over time. Not only is low impact dye better for the environment, it is also better for the quality of your item! Low impact dye doesn’t compromise the integrity of the cotton fibres, so your items will stay stronger over time than traditionally treated cotton fabric will.

 

How do they stay in place?

Bluebird Cloth Pads have wings that fold under your panties and snap in place. They have long gusset (aka “wingspan”) that fits onto the narrowest part of your underwear. The widening towards the back and front of the underwear naturally keeps the cloth pad snugged into place. Also, unlike some cloth pads that have a slippery PUL backing, our organic cotton backing offers more “traction” as well! *Bonus!*

 

Are they waterproof?

Yes! All of our pads have a waterproof barrier. This layer will prevent any “leak throughs” from happening.

*Tip* The speed of absorbency increases with a few wash and wear cycles. If you have a heavy flow and want to make sure things go perfectly the first round, wash them a few times before wearing!

 

Will they be visible under my pants?

Short answer: no. Long answer: everyone’s shape is different! If you are a tiny person wearing thin tights and a large size of pad (Optimal or Super Nighttime) it is possible for it be visible. That said, Bluebird Cloth Pads are super thin – even thinner than some disposables! My best advice? Do a quick check in the mirror before you go for a confidence boost. No one will scrutinize your bum as closely as you will!

 

Will they work for me?

We believe that Bluebird Cloth Pads will work beautifully for every woman through various stages of life! They are a fantastic, healthy solution for young girls and great for the slight incontinence needs of the more mature – and everything in between. If you are unsure, message us! We are more than happy to help you figure out what items would work best for you.

 

How many do I need?

The answer to this question entirely depends on your flow, laundry habits and personal preferences. As a general rule, you may be able to “squeak by” with as few as five (especially if you work from home), be comfortable “on the go” with eight, and be able to go for two or three days at a time with 12. Starting with five to eight cloth pads will help ensure your success. You can always add a few more favourites to your stash as you go along.

 

Which side faces up?

Our pads are designed to have the pattern and label side down and the solid colour side up against your skin.

 

Final Tip:

My last (and possibly most important) tip for making the switch is to make sure your underwear fit well. Remember, your pad needs to be snug against your body in order to work most effectively. You pad will be wherever your undies are, so keep it snugged up where it belongs.

 

Summary:

Bluebird Cloth Pads are awesome. You should try them. We can help!

Yes, there are a few things to get accustomed to when you make the switch, but it really is simple! And, there are a few things you really won’t miss when you make the switch like:

  • dealing with the garbage created during your period;
  • having the cupboard under your sink crammed packages of disposables;
  • the unnatural feel of disposables;
  • the smell of synthetic fragrance or odour neutralizers;
  • itching, skin rashes, infections or other irritations around the time of your period. (you may even associate those with your cycle and won’t realize until switching that they are not a part of your cycle! *True story!* )

I hope this post has answered the questions that have been nagging at the back of your mind. If not, please feel free to ask us or check out my other posts on the topic, such as Wear Cloth Pads: Why Your Body Will Thank You

If you haven’t already, follow along with us on Instagram and Facebook as I continue the blog series covering the biggest reasons for making the switch to sustainable lady products like Bluebird Cloth Pads. Until next time ladies, cheerio!

Organic Cloth Pads: Your Body Will Thank You

Hi Friends! First of all, thank you for popping in to check out Why Your Body Will Thank You for making the switch to organic cloth pads. I fully appreciate the fact that making the switch to a new menstrual product is huge, but promise it is worthwhile!

Follow along with me on Instagram and Facebook as I cover some of the biggest reasons for making the switch to sustainable lady products.

  1. Your Body;
  2. Your Planet;
  3. Your Local Economy; and
  4. Your Budget.

HEALTH

Have you ever paused for a moment to consider what your menstrual products are made of?

Have you ever looked for the ingredients on the packaging of your feminine product of choice? If you have, you may have found a partial list – or none at all. Unlike packaged foods, the regulations for women’s hygiene products don’t require manufacturers to provide consumers with a complete, detailed list of ingredients. I guess we are supposed to “take their word for it”?

When I was in the drugstore the other day, I noticed that they had changed their aisle sign. Instead of “Feminine Hygiene”, it now reads “Feminine Paper.” I am not sure that “paper” is a very accurate term to describe the products on those shelves. Imagine if the sign offered a more accurate, thorough content description? They would need a much bigger sign.

AISLE 9:

  • synthetic fibers and/or cotton (what does and/or even mean here?);
  • rayon viscose;
  • wood pulp;
  • BPA, DEHP, BPS;
  • petrochemicals;
  • phthalates;
  • synthetic fragrances, odour neutralizers;
  • styrene, chloroethane, chloroform; and
  • bleach, dioxins, pesticide and herbicide residue.

With that signage, perhaps we would avoid aisle 9 altogether!

Dr. Mercola, among many others advocating for women’s health, has stated that putting products with these chemical additives against your skin (especially the highly permeable area in and around your vagina) is actually worse than eating them. Yikes!

Brands like Kotex, Always, Playtex and OB state that their products are safe. I am inclined to believe that the risk of “sudden-death-by-pad” is extremely low! However, I am also inclined to believe that exposure for a week out of every month for approximately 40 years of a woman’s life can add up.

Our choice of feminine hygiene products matters to our reproductive and general health. 

COMFORT

Health and comfort seem to go hand in hand quite often, don’t they? Menstrual products are no exception. Do you ever feel itchy and sweaty during your period or have severe menstrual cramps?

I don’t at all consider myself to be allergic to disposables (I know many women who are, and it is definitely not that bad for me). However, I did associate several discomforts with my period that have all but disappeared entirely since making the switch.

Menstrual Cramps. When I first read that women experience reduced menstrual cramps when they switched to products like our organic cloth pads, I was completely cynical. It is first hand, experience based testimony and has no scientific backing. However, when I made the switch to organic cloth pads, I realized it was true. Either I noticed less (because I was less “aware” of the pad and my period because of it’s “just undies” feel) or something else about the disposables was increasing my discomfort. I’ll let you know if/when I find a real reason for it!

Yeast Infections. TMI: I have struggled with yeast issues on and off for years. There are many aspects that contribute to yeast, but wearing plastic for a week every month simply didn’t comply with my doctor’s recommendation to “wear loose breathable clothing.” Wearing plastic down there decreases airflow and traps heat and moisture, leaving you susceptible to yeast overgrowth. I have had one “close call” since making the switch to organic cloth pads. Normally, I would have had many such “close calls,” (with a couple developing into a full blown problem) in that same time period.

Dryness/Itching/Rashes (and other non-descript irritations). The other problem with many disposables pads is that they are absorbent. Too absorbent, in fact. The absorbent “gel” may actually dry out your sensitive areas too much and disrupt the natural balance of healthy moisture in the area. In addition, synthetic fragrances and odour neutralizers may cause mild (or severe) reactions.

Unpleasant smells. Do you wear disposable pads? Do you occasionally (or frequently) notice an unpleasant smell? I used to change my disposable pad very often (far more than necessary) for just that reason. Once I switched to organic cloth pads, I realized a big change in “that department”. It isn’t your body or your period that smells that way, it’s the pad!

BLUEBIRD PADS:

At this point, I simply can’t resist saying that I want you to give Bluebird Organic Cloth Pads a try. My sister, mom and I just launched this little business last month, so I may be *just a little* biased. There are many great reusable options out there, but… our organic cloth pads are just a little amazing. Bluebird Organic Cloth Pads are predominantly comprised of organic cotton. Our top layer also contains 5% spandex (to create the “moves-with-me” feel) and we have a waterproof layer that is polyurethane laminate (created in North America using an eco-friendly process). The rest of the fabric is ALL absorbent, beautiful, 100% organic cotton created using colourful low-impact dyes. Our fabrics are CPSIA Compliant and/or GOTS certified. It doesn’t get any better than that.

GOODBYE DISPOSABLES, I WON’T MISS YOU.

So dive in and make the switch to organic cloth pads, we promise it will be worth your time! You will experience comfort you did not even know was possible during your period!

Thanks again for reading and considering making the switch! Don’t forget to follow along with us on Instagram and Facebook for more on why your body, your planet, your budget and your local economy will thank you for making the switch.

I am a “crazy cloth pads lady.”

#sorrynotsorry

It is seriously the stuff my childhood nightmares were made of. The other day I found myself clicking the little blue button on a post where I linked an article about tampons – with a picture of tampons attached. The article was about, you guessed it: tampons (and how women need to switch to sustainable options such as cloth pads)! Of course I made appropriate excuses: “sorry about the tampon picture,” “it’s a great article on a relevant topic,” “ignore the title”, but I clicked that button and it wasn’t the first time. I even added the #sorrynotsorry and meant it. I was (and still am) unapologetic.

Living the … nightmare?

So now I’m basically living my childhood nightmares. I am sure you know the feeling. Where you realize you are not *entirely* blending in and not in a good way. Awkward. You just blurted out a terrible idea or something plain stupid or crazy … and only received the sound of crickets in reply? Awkward. Just like that recurring nightmare about arriving at swimming lessons without a swimsuit, or in pajamas, or just with nothing on at all (everyone has those, right? … *chirp chirp chirp*). Completely Awkward!

So how did I find myself in this rather unusual situation? I make and sell organic reusable cloth pads. It certainly was not one of my youthful ambitions. Of course there was no such thing as social media back then *gasp*, but if there was, I would never have used: #faceyourfears #awkwardbusiness #iloveit #letsdoit #2017goals.

An idea & a little education.

Of course I am going to “credit” my sister Amie with the idea. Last year she had this idea about “making cloth pads for women who are allergic to disposables or are concerned about the environment.” Right. Those types. Gotcha.

Like a good sister, I started reading and doing some good old fashioned research to see if the idea would fly (yes, it’s a thing!). Then I read some more and took notes and then created documents. Then, of course, I made the switch myself (why on earth did I ever use disposables?). The documents started becoming website content that required more research and better sources. The “more research” led me to want estimates of volume. (“How much are we looking at here?) Those estimates led me to want really accurate estimates, which in turn led me to the “feminine hygiene” aisle in the drug store with measuring tape in hand. Awkward.

(If you are curious about said estimates, I had them made into little infographics for our website. Click here to see them www.bluebirdpads.com/why-cloth/ )

Tip of the Iceberg

Suffice to say, I learned a thing or two! I will share a few tidbits – in brief.

– Mainstream pads & tampons are almost entirely comprised of various forms of plastic and contain lots of yucky chemicals and ingredients.

– We don’t generally assume plastic is great for wearing, consumption or otherwise internalizing on a regular basis … but women do just that every month with tampons & pads. Why?

– Pads & tampons may seem “convenient & discreet” but that isn’t entirely the case. We use them, throw them in the garbage, take out the garbage and then the garbage is taken to the dump. Where they will remain forever.

– Just kidding. Almost forever. Scientists estimate disposable pads, diapers etc won’t break down for up to eight hundred years (and then they become what, plastic dirt…?). I personally feel that there is nothing “discreet” about the fact that many generations from now, our descendants will have the privilege of living with the special trash we have been making for the past 80 or so years en-masse.

“Aren’t disposable feminine hygiene products the least of our problems” you ask? Well… it is true. There are bigger environmental concerns. However, like disposable diapers, disposable feminine hygiene is no small matter. Every woman that uses pads will add approximately thirty-eight garbage cans (twenty gallon) to her local landfill, in pads alone.

– Now this may be the most shocking fact of all. Reusable menstrual products aren’t gross, unsanitary, crunchy granola, or even difficult to manage. Cloth pads are more comfortable, healthier for you, cleaner (for everyone involved) and more cost effective in the long run.

– Potential bonus: many users of cloth pads will say that they even experience less painful periods after switching. Whaaaa? I’m a cynic of such “pseudo-science” personally, but it actually has made a difference for me. You won’t know until you try.

Over to You.

So, there you have it. Don’t leave me hanging (crickets chirping). Tell me what you think, google, ask questions and give reusable, sustainable lady products a try! Gah! Now I feel like “Sam I am” in Dr. Suess’ book “Green Eggs & Ham.” Awkward.

PS. Thanks for reading! I’ll be covering more awkward topics like “Top Reasons to Try Cloth Pads” and “Tips for Making the Switch to Cloth Pads” in my next few blog posts. Curious and want to stay tuned? Follow us on Instagram: @bluebirdpads and Facebook: Bluebird Pads.

Loyal for Life?

“I’m not loyal to a brand.” Even though I wasn’t talking out loud, I felt the expression form on my face: Disgust. I was sitting at my computer reading articles on women’s health. That particular article was a sleeper, but that bit woke me up. “Most consumers usually prefer not to take risks in trying out new products or brands when it comes to beauty and hygiene and tend to stick to one or two brands for a lifetime.” A lifetime?! I re-read it and then, naturally, I googled it. Brand loyalty is intense to say the least – and in no market is that description truer than with feminine hygiene. It’s not just the “vast majority” of women either. Me too. I thought about it… and replayed in my mind the hundreds of times I stood at “the shelf” and reached for… Always. I always buy Always.

Money Talks.

(Now I’m going to deliberately misinterpret the original meaning of the phrase “money talks”, but I believe it is every bit as true). Money talks, folks! The moment I paid for my feminine hygiene products every month, my cash went straight to the “big man” (in my case, Proctor & Gamble) and told him that I was as loyal as ever – along with other details like my personal habits, preferences and the type of marketing that is most effective on me. Basically … my money “sold me out”. Ha!

But really – why?

Okay, so Proctor & Gamble knows how to market to me, personally (and very effectively too, might I add) because my money told them how. Why did it work? Here is the real clincher: it worked because I (oh-so-foolishly) bought into the brand competition itself. The mainstream nature of disposable pads & tampons and the overwhelming tide of advertising that goes along with them bring most women to the same shelf in the supermarket – believing that is where their best options are found. We believe that shelf is the best (if not only) place to buy the most … effective, clean, sanitary, simple, non-icky, foolproof, discrete, tidy, hush-hush…solutions.

Wrong again.

No Sacrifices Necessary.

There are better ways to manage your feminine hygiene needs ladies! Some of you may already know this – but, statistically speaking, the majority of you are in the place I was: completely unaware of the many (vastly superior) options available. I don’t mean that you have to sacrifice your personal comfort for the greater good. I really do mean better!

What we need are products that: absorb well, keep us feeling dry, are discrete, convenient, comfortable, soft and hypoallergenic. Cloth pad makers (such as the team at Blushing Bluebird Essentials) don’t have billion-dollar marketing budgets to tell you that our products do all those things – without compromising your health or the planet. It’s up to you. Take the chance. Take the time. Take care of you.

#wearcloth

“How do we say this…”

“Okay, so what are we making, exactly?” Ahhh, the joys of a family venture. We (my sister, mom and I) had been enthusiastically brainstorming for months about our new idea. My Dad (who is hard of hearing), was eager to help make our new product… and thought he knew what we were making. He is an “inventor type” and loves to use tools and create better ways of doing things. He was pleased at the arrival of his new tool. The Kam Snap press. He was planning on being the one to add the snaps “to the kid’s tool belts – for make believe play.” Hmmmm… Dad, how do we say this? “We aren’t making children’s dress-up accessories exactly… ” And the concept for our business name was born. Blushing Bluebird Essentials.

Menstruation

It’s a bit of an awkward topic. Discussion about flow, cycles and methods of dealing with it isn’t something everyone is very comfortable with. It isn’t exactly a hot dinner topic or one that everyone wants to post about on social media. Tool belts with tiny plastic hammers on cute little tots would have been much more Instagram worthy.

But…

It may not be cute, but it is important. Conversations about menstruation aren’t just conversations about “dealing with it”. They are conversations about women’s health, taking care of and appreciating our bodies. It is dialogue about how to support women in our lives. Taking the discussion one step further, it is also about supporting the needs of women in crisis – both here in Canada and around the globe.

Bold Bluebirds

Since my sister Amie first proposed this idea, we have had many such conversations – with each other and with the many others who asked about what we have been working on. We are no longer “little blushing bluebirds”. We are bold bluebirds! Women menstruate. It’s a fact of life. We don’t want women to “just deal with it” as quietly and inconspicuously as possible regardless of health or environmental implications. We can do better than that!

Our Goal

At Blushing Bluebird Essentials, our goal is to handcraft clean, healthy, comfortable solutions for women that are good for the planet too. We are excited to be a part of the #wearcloth movement. Join us for a healthier you, a cleaner earth and a brighter future.