About 18 months ago I was trapped in a monthly cycle of confidence dips and, I now know, a lot of what I was feeling was linked to my period. It’s quite common for women’s periods to change after pregnancy and I was no different.
Having never suffered with anything more than a dull cramp in the form of symptoms, I suddenly found myself battling fierce cramps, huge dips in confidence that would last a couple of days and feeling ALL the emotions. It was exhausting.
At the time I just shrugged it off and cracked on, putting a brave face on over the turmoil I was feeling underneath and assuming every other woman in the world was having to go through this too. After six months or so of absolutely dreading my time of the month I went to see my GP about it, and they put me back on the pill (I’d stopped breastfeeding by this point). That was the turning point for me. I haven’t looked back.
But like it or not, periods are still a part of my life. Weirdly, it’s still a pretty taboo subject – which seems odd when you think at least 50% of the population has experience of this monthly phenomena. When I was battling these hormonal crises of confidence I felt embarrassed to say “Oh it’s hormones, cos – ya’know – I’m a woman.” I saw it as a form of weakness, my pesky hormones as something to hide rather than a completely normal fact of life as a woman.
Raising two daughters it seems completely counter-productive to have a “hide away” attitude to periods. They’re not embarrassing. They’re normal. Part of being a woman. Why should we be shy about it? And so I’ve started to actively talk to the girls in a way they’ll understand, about periods. I want to normalise this natural human process so it doesn’t come as a shock for them later on, when they experience it themselves.
And part of this normalisation comes from talking and looking at the sanitary products I use. They live in our bathroom, readily available to anyone who might need them, not hidden away at the back of the cupboard. Recently I’ve been using the Natracare range of products, designed to give women the chance to have a plastic-free period.
Did you know one pack of sanitary pads contains the same amount of plastic as four carrier bags? And one conventional sanitary pad takes around 500 years to break down? It’s estimated around 2.5 million tampons are flushed down the toilet every day, ending up in our oceans. On average, litter pickers record six pieces of period waste for every 100 metres of beach, which equates to almost 2 million items when mapped against the UK coastline.
That’s a lot of plastic.
The Natracare range is plastic free, perfume free and chlorine free. The panty liners and sanitary pads have a certified organic cotton cover and the tampons are 100% cotton, making them biodegradable. I’ve been using them this month in our efforts to go plastic free this July (or, at least, use far LESS plastic).
If you’re looking for a more environmentally-friendly period product and aren’t yet ready to embrace a moon cup, then the Natracare range could be the one for you.
And if you’re currently in the throes of a hormonal dip in confidence then know you’re not alone. Talk about it, share your feelings and don’t be ashamed.
P.S. This post isn’t sponsored. I just really liked the Natracare approach and their plastic-free periods campaign, so wanted to share it with you.