BEING A 21ST-CENTURY BLOOMER WITH REUSABLE SANITARY PADS
When Maia was born, she inspired her mum to come up with TotsBots, then years down the line Bloom & Nora reusable sanitary pads were created. Now in her late teens, Maia shares her experience with reusable sanitary pads. We find out what it's like to be a 21st Century teen facing new decisions over your period products.
Being the inspiration for your parents to take a more environmental approach to consumption, reusable products were a bit of an obvious choice for you. What were the main reasons for you deciding to choose reusable sanitary pads?
Before Mum began looking into making reusable sanitary pads, I was pretty ignorant to the damage disposable ones cause to our environment. Initially, I converted after being shocked by the statistics showing just how detrimental single-use pads are and even more shocked about the chemicals in them.
Not many teens are aware of reusable pads. Do you feel like you are in the minority? How does that make you feel?
Having come across a few teens who use reusable sanitary pads, I do consider myself within the minority. Although it can be frustrating not seeing enough of my generation making the switch, I can't expect it to happen immediately. Having been conditioned by years of taboo surrounding periods, it's understandable for young girls who are still coming to terms with their own bodies to be comfortable choosing a very new product. More and more, however, I find myself in discussions with people who are intrigued by reusable sanitary products and I pride myself in being able to recommend Bloom and Nora and offer my advice and experiences with them.
What comments do you get from your peers?
I'm very fortunate in that most of my peers want to try reusable sanitary pads and concern themselves greatly with doing as much as they can to reduce their environmental impact. Although I do have some friends who don't use them (yet), I've always been met with questions of interest rather than rude comments.
What do you think are the barriers for youngsters?
It can be hard enough for some young people to even talk about their periods, so if you're using a product that doesn't ‘conform' you can feel embarrassed. But I think if reusable sanitary products were talked about more and introduced to people at a younger age, it would break down this barrier. They aren’t much different to using disposable sanitary pads.
Do you feel peer pressure and stigma around period products stops young people from trying reusable pads?
Yes definitely. But, as the major concerns surrounding climate change are finally being covered in mainstream media, more and more are beginning to push past this. If there is more awareness and people have the confidence to try something different, I’m sure they would be more accepted.
What do you like best about Bloom & Nora pads?
After a few months of using them, I discovered how much more comfortable they were. It means not only do they rid me of the guilt of using disposable pads, but they also make my periods a lot more comfortable - and I love the prints, they are so much prettier than disposables! They never let me down either, often I would have leaks in the middle of the night but this just doesn’t happen with my pads.
Have you ever used disposable sanitary products? How do they compare to reusables for performance and convenience?
Yes, before mum created Bloom and Nora, I used disposables. Now, since converting to reusable pads, it is safe to say I hate disposable sanitary products. For me, disposable pads are incredibly uncomfortable; I never felt dry, they would frequently make me itch, and I would have to change them far more often. In terms of convenience, I understand people's reluctance to switch as the ease of being able to just throw away any type of product is always less hassle. But, once you get into the swing of putting your used pads in a waterproof bag and chucking them in the washing machine when your cycle is over, it really is easy. I do use reusable pads for when I'm out and about, but I'd recommend to anyone who is a bit hesitant, to pair their pads with a menstrual cup. These are great for if you're going out somewhere and don't want to be changing your pads in a public loo.
What advice would you give to someone due to have their first period?
They are entirely natural, so don't let yourself get embarrassed by your body’s natural process or by the products you wish to use! Get yourself a little trial pack of the small pads to have on hand as you really don't know when your period will come.
What is your go-to pad?
The bloomers are my favourite pads because I love the softness of the bamboo!
Maia has some great tips for any teen thinking of making the switch. If we all just made some little changes to our lifestyles, as a team, we will make some massive differences. Take a stand against periods of the past and become an eco-trendsetter with reusable sanitary pads. They’re better for you, the environment and perform better too.
Find your perfect pad today and make NORA your new friend!
Editors note - This article was originally published on Bloom & Nora. We've updated with our new product range.