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.