I facilitate a workshop for Mothers and Maiden’s called Moon Circle.
It is for Girls aged from 9-16 who have just started, or will soon start menstruating.
It is a beautiful 3 hour workshop covering the cycles and the seasons of a Woman’s life and the Earth. The daughters hear wisdom from the Mothers and share with us some of their own Maiden wisdom. It is a very special time.
Something I have felt to add to the workshops is a letter to the Mothers about menstrual products and their impact on the environment and their daughters.
I thought I would share it here so it might reach some more Mothers who can spread the word… Please do!
There is a Moon Circle workshop in Canberra this weekend..
Part of the reason I teach this workshop is to show girls and their Mothers how magical and amazing it is to be a woman. What magnificent things our bodies are, what a gift menstruation is, and how we are part of the Earth and her cycles.
This is a very different view of menstruation than I was given as a girl, as it was for most women today.
In my own learnings about the menstrual cycle and women’s bodies, I have come to learn how damaging and unhealthy disposable menstrual products are. Made with bleaches, chemicals, fragrances and dyes, next to or inserted into such a sensitive part of our bodies, and then they pollute the Earth for many years after disposal.
Here is a little info on disposable products from the Green Chickadee website… http://greenchickadee.com.au/pages/benefits.htm
Disposable pads are made from chemically treated wood pulp.
Disposable pads and tampons and applicators add to landfill. Not only are the pads themselves made from non-biodegradableable products, the packaging themselves (outer wrapper, individual wrapper, plastic strip!) also add to landfill. Even when cloth pads wear out because they are made from natural products, they can be composted!
There are approximately 5.5 million females in Australia between the ages of 12 and 51* (the average ages of starting and finishing menstration). If all of these used disposable pads and tampons, averaging 10 per month, that would add up to 660 MILLION pads and tampons added to landfill EVERY year. That’s a big pile!!!
Manufacture of disposable pads involves bleaching resulting in pollution to waterways from effluent, not to mention the chemicals and gels that provide the ‘superabsorbancy’ claimed by disposable pad and tampon manufacturers.
Thanks Green Chickadee!
It has been researched that most women stick to the brand of menstrual products they were first given at menarche for their whole menstruating life! That is why big companies that produce menstrual products give the ‘Menstrual Education’ talks for free in schools and give out samples to the girls to use and repurchase.
I feel it would be such a gift for our girls if we were to give them beautiful handmade cloth pads on their first period. A gift that she can use for many years.
The best way to make this ‘ok’ and ‘normal’ for our girls is to use cloth pads ourselves! Modeling the behaviour, washing our pads, giving our blood back to the Earth, making blood prayers, talking about where we are in our cycle.
It teaches them not only is it normal, but it is also an opportunity for growth and sacredness.
By doing this we are removing the stigma of secrecy and shame that is portrayed in popular culture around menstruation, where it matters most, with our daughters.
It would be really supportive if your daughters friends had cloth pads too.. could you talk to their Mum’s about this?
When your daughter is older or ready, she can use a Moon Cup or Diva Cup, for swimming or other occasions it is necessary. It is best however to let the blood flow out, so they are not to be used all the time.
I will include a list of recommended companies that sell cloth pads, thanks to www.moonsong.com.au for this info!
The expense initially is more than disposables, but they last for years and years.
You can also make pads yourself. There are patterns on the internet.
Washing is really simple.
Soak the pad over night in cold water, tip this water into your garden
Then hand wash or machine wash the pads with a gentle soap
Dry in the sun
Thanks for reading!
CLOTH MENSTRUAL PADS
Red Earth Pads Rebecca Fitzgerald – work at home mum Cotton Flannelette and Bamboo Pads Bundle Packs available. Port Macquarie, NSW For product and price list, email Beccy 02 65844230 or 0412819274
WeMoon Natural Menstrual Pads Slimline, all-in-one cotton pads. Organic fabrics available. Morningside, Queensland
Rad Pads Cotton and hemp pads, organic fabrics available. Unfolds for washing. Stockist of the Lunette Menstrual Cup and Natural Fertility Management Kits, plus books on menstruation. Moruya, New South Wales
Mense Sense All-in-one pads. Made from Australian Bamboo and Cotton for high absorbency. Custom Orders available Kinglake, Victoria
Moon Pads Cotton Flannelette Pads – unfold for washing. Stockist of The Keeper, Lunette and Diva Menstrual Cups Rose Bay, Tasmania
Obsidian Star Large Range of Cloth Pad fabrics and styles available. Stockist of Lunette Menstrual Cup, Breast Pads and other eco and pagan accessories. Victoria
Cloth Pad Store An online store featuring several individual traders who sell Cloth Pads, Menstrual Cups, Wetbags, Breast Pads and other related items.
Green Chickadee All-in-one organic cotton and bamboo pads. Stockist of the Lunette Menstrual Cup and many other eco friendly products for the home and family. Wilberforce, New South Wales
Bohemian Rainbow All-in-one cotton flannelette and hand dyed organic bamboo velour pads. Wide ranges of fabrics.
The Keeper Australian Made, natural latex rubber cup Keith, South Australia
Juju Australian Made
Mooncup The world’s first silicone menstrual cup Brighton, UK
Diva Cup Ontario, Canada
Lunette Made in Finland Available in a variety of colours
Femme Cup London, UK