Guest Post with Tara Bruley.
Robyn: You and I bonded over a love of PERIODS! Can you share your story of how you got into the period biz with Be Prepared. Period.?
Tara: As young girls dream about their futures, I’m not sure how many of us envision getting into the period biz. I was certainly not one of them! Believe it or not, I considered going into corporate law. Can two career paths get any more different?
I started Be Prepared. Period when my daughter was a tween. As she approached the age of puberty I wanted to be able to provide information that would empower her. When I was growing up, all of the medical jargon they threw at me in health class grossed me out – I wanted her to feel good about the changes to come. When I searched for resources, I came up empty handed.
I spoke with other parents of young girls, and found that they were facing the same challenge. Little did I know this pursuit would lead me down the road to helping ladies of all ages to have problem-free periods. Our idea for the Be Prepared 1st Period Kit was born!
Robyn: You believe strongly in the usage and availability of natural menstrual hygiene products. Can you share what exactly those are, and how we can get them?
Tara: I’ve built a whole website trying to answer that question, and I’m not done yet! Ladies today are so lucky – we have more feminine care options available to a wide market than ever before. For far too long, there were only two options to your average woman: pads or tampons. Now we have organic and natural versions of those classics, as well as menstrual cups, cloth pads, and sponges.
It can be challenging to find the whole variety of options available to you at your local grocery store. I believe that ladies should be able to have the opportunity to choose the right products for their bodies, with clear and easy to understand information. To assist that goal, we’ve built an online store with one of the biggest selections of healthy feminine protection available, tied in with a resource section to help you decide which one is best for you.
Robyn: What’s so important about using cleaner menstrual hygiene products like menstrual cups? Will using them really make an important impact?
Tara: They are significantly healthier for you and the environment!
One of the greatest personal benefits is a reduced risk for Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS). There has never been a reported cases of TSS in women using organic cotton tampons or menstrual cups. TSS is very real concern – I urge all ladies, especially moms with daughters, to educate themselves and sort out fact from fiction.
Another plus is reduced exposure to chemicals. Many women have found that simply by switching to these healthier options, cramps, yeast infections, vaginal irritation, and even flow have been reduced. Who would’ve thought your go-to period protection could be contributing to your suffering? Yikes!
When it comes to the environment, the global impact of choosing one of these alternatives is huge! The average woman in North America will use over 17,000 pads or tampons in her lifetime. Given that 90% of the materials in conventional pads is made from plastic, you can imagine what this is doing to our landfills. Not to mention all the tampons and applicators that end up in our oceans and on our beaches – yuck!
You can greatly reduce your footprint by choosing reusable menstrual cups, cloth pads, and sea sponge tampons, or simply by switching to products made from natural and organic fibers which biodegrade.
Robyn: Which product do YOU use, and why?
Tara: Thanks to my beloved sister-in-law, I use a menstrual cup. Well ahead of the trend, she has been using the Softcup for over 12 years, and suggested that we carry them at BePreparedPeriod.com. While I was already a fan of alternatives, specifically organic tampons, this is what opened the door to reusable options.
It took a while for me to wrap my head around using a product that seemed so different from my usual go-to, but after I mustered up the courage it was love at first use. Don’t get me wrong – there was a bit of a learning curve! If you’re interested in learning more about using this great product, check out our free Menstrual Cup 101 series – it’ll answer all your questions so you can decide if they’re right for you, too!
Beyond the personal and environmental benefits I already mentioned, I absolutely love that I can often wear it all day, changing it at once in the morning, and again at night. The freedom it gives me from worrying about carrying products, or being near a bathroom, allows me to almost forget I’m on my period.
Life uninterrupted by periods…that’s the way it’s supposed to be!
Robyn: What other words of wisdom can you share about menstrual health, hygiene and being a woman?
Tara: I can honestly say that the personal transformation I’ve experienced while creating BePreparedPeriod.com has been one of the most surprising and rewarding of my life – though it can’t top motherhood! I never imagined in a million years that an idea which sprouted from a desire to help my daughter through this stage of her life, would become nothing less than a mission to help all women to have better periods.
I’ve also learned so much about myself through this process! I’ve learned more about my own body, allowing me to appreciate it for all that it does. I’ve been able to tie my passions for natural living, and helping others, into a mission that is changing lives.
I’ve learned that to truly make the difference I want to make in the world, the world must get past the stigma around period talk so that information like this can be spread freely without shame or embarrassment. On top of that, I’ve learned that ladies need to set the tone so that men can feel equally as comfortable with the topic of female health.
I’ve learned that a large majority of women struggle on a monthly basis with their cycles, unaware that there are options that could help them. I’ve learned that for girls to grow up to be empowered women they must understand and feel comfortable in their bodies – this starts with being prepared for puberty and the changes to come.
I’ve learned how something as seemingly simple as feminine hygiene can have such a huge effect on our bodies and the planet.
One of the most exciting things I’ve learned is that through years of struggling to bring about change, us ladies are beginning to band together in a Period Revolution! The world is about to change, information is starting to flow – and that’s just the first step. One of my favorite quotes by Mahatma Gandhi is so true, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Be Prepared. Period is about sharing the information that I’ve learned along the way, to help you and the ladies in your life live in a world where you are empowered with good health choices, and confidence in your feminine body.
Tara Bruley is the founder of BePreparedPeriod.com, a website designed to be a one stop shop for all things menstrual. Her mission is to empower ladies of all ages have a healthier, better period by providing numerous resources, including with one of the largest online selections of traditional, organic, and eco-friendly products, a library of helpful articles, the PeriodTalk forum, informative newsletters, and fun videos. Connect with Tara on her website, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.
Download the Better Your Period Action Guide from Be Prepared. Period. for FREE here!