Archive for the ‘Birthing, Babies and Parenting’ Category

Kids, Kegels & Leaks oh my!

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 by Guest

1212_oag_marathon-photo-oldImage above (via David Davis) is of Mary Lepper (L) America’s first woman to run a full marathon. This guest blog post was written by Kim Vopni (@FitnessDoula) Founder of Pelvienne Wellness.

I grew up watching my very active mom curtail certain activities because her bladder leaked. She also had back pain much of the time and was constantly battling with a tummy that wasn’t the same since having my brother and I. From an early age I was convinced that I would never have children because they ruined your body! Thankfully I matured, chose to educate myself and was blessed to have children (now ages 10 and 8). In fact, it was my own prenatal education that led me to my current career!

At Pelvienne Wellness, I work with women prenatally to help them prepare their body for labour, empower them so they can optimize their birth experience and show them how to properly restore their core after baby arrives. In my practice, I place a strong emphasis on the importance of the pelvic floor and abdomen because they get little to no attention in traditional prenatal education: it has become my mission to change that. So many women find out about me after the fact: looking for ways to get their body back or address problems post partum. The two most common things I hear from my clients are ‘ever since I had kids I ….’ and ‘why didn’t anyone tell me about this?’


Hello Flo’s Unhappy Period Party

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 by Madeleine


Monthly subscription period providers Hello Flo have done it again, creating yet another provocative and hilarious video about menarche, the sequel to last summer’s hit “Camp Gyno“.

For all of its gumption and hilarious one-liners, the new video also made me a bit sad. Maybe it’s because I’m still coming down from an incredible high with the successful launch of G Day on April 28th. While not explicitly a “First Moon Party”, G Day was definitely a rite of passage celebration for adolescent girls, inspired by my desire to have the specialness of menarche honoured in my own life back in the day. It was so amazing to see 250 girls together celebrating this uniquely magical time of life: watching them revel in it was one of the highlights of my life.

The Hello Flo video troubled me not so much for its problematic portrayal of mother-daughter relations, as NPR commentator Laurel Dalrymple explores in her poignant article, Meanstruation: HelloFlo’s Mother-Daughter War is Funny, and Sad (although I can absolutely see where she is coming from on that front). At the root of this, for me at least, is some resentment that the idea of a menarche celebration is being mocked, making yet another hefty contribution to the period-as-joke trope. Jokes can lead to shame, and shame is the last thing that any of us, particularly girls, need: they’re getting enough BS messages about their bodies as it is. The subtext  of the video seems to be: what could be more dreadful than your Mom organizing some form of celebration of the onset of your period?


Red Tent magic with Isadora Leidenfrost

Thursday, September 26th, 2013 by Madeleine


I am still blissing out on the love, creativity, leadership and sisterhood that were celebrated at our beautiful office last night.

We have been talking to filmmaker Dr. Isadora Leidenfrost for several years about her incredible documentary film Things we don’t talk about: women’s stories from inside the Red Tent (Lunapads is a proud supporter!)

For those of you not familiar with the Red Tent movement, it is a social change movement inspired by the novel The Red Tent by Anita Diamant that involves women gathering in luxurious womblike environments to share stories and celebrate the divine feminine.

We have hosted a couple of these types of gatherings before (once with Conscious Divas, and the other a book launch for Moon Mysteries), transforming our work space into a scarlet oasis with the help of glittering saris, carpets, pillows and loads of delicious food and tea. We are incredibly fortunate to have in our circle local spiritual leaders including Nikiah Seeds, Andreia St. Jules and Jasmin Starchild, who attended along with many of their respective sister-followers: in this case, Nikiah was our co-organizer and led the evening’s proceedings.


We ♥ Doulas – LunaCircle August 6th

Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 by Sara K.

Danika and me

Join us for an evening with special guest doulas, Andrea Sinhuber and Danika Surm – founders of Fig Birthing Services. Come learn techniques that are meant to help women cope with, celebrate, honour, and be present in their bodies, pregnant or otherwise.

Here’s a sneak peek at what the Fig gals will be discussing: “As a society, we tend to not celebrate times in which our bodies are changing: menstruation, pregnancy, postpartum, or menopause. Many of us learn from an early age that our bodies are sources of shame, causing us to disconnect from our bodily experiences. We then either repress or share them with each other through negative stories.”

Prepare to be inspired by two women whose aim is to help others relearn to listen to their bodies. It is high time to celebrate the changes and experiences that pregnancy, labour and postpartum brings.

When: Tuesday Aug 6th at 7pm (join us at 6:30 for snacks and socializing)
Where: Lunapads International, 3433 Commercial Street Vancouver BC V5N 4E8 (map)
RSVP to: the Facebook Event Page
What to bring: A yoga mat

LunaCircles are events sponsored by Lunapads that create a safe space for conversation and exploration of how we connect with our fertility cycles.
In this special evening we will:
♦ Share about our personal journeys with our cycles
♦ Participate in a guided meditation
♦ Hear Danika and Andrea speak about how doulas help women reconnect with their bodies during pregnancy and birth 
♦ Learn about natural menstrual product options, including Lunapads, Lunapanties and the DivaCup (special prices will be in effect during the event!)

Blessings, and hope to see you soon!

Who rocks Lunapads? Dawn Thompson from ImprovingBirth

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013 by Guest

My name is Dawn Thompson. I am a mother of 6 amazing children ranging in age from 3 to 20 years old. I have been in the birth industry for 10 years as a birth doula. I am also the President and Founder of IB is an advocacy and awareness group working to bring evidence based practices and humanity to childbirth. We have a large annual fundraising event, Rally to Improve Birth, on Labor Day to bring awareness to the significant disparities currently at work within our maternity care system.

dawnibheadshotWhen I was 12, I started my cycle. My mom did a great job in preparing me for the cycle to come. So much so, I knew I was going to start my first cycle before it actually happened. We were in Las Vegas on a little family vacation and I kept going to the bathroom to check because I just had a “feeling”. I suppose now I would have called it “cramps” instead of a “feeling”. My mom taught me right from the get go how to use a tampon. Like most women, I just assumed this was the best course and continued on that path for the next 20 years. It wasn’t until I entered the birth community and started to re-think my belief system and consider that putting something like that inside my body, might not be the best choice for me.


Red Sisters: Pads4Girls Jamaica

Friday, May 10th, 2013 by Guest

(Madeleine’s note) Right from the first moment that I started talking with Danielle Hoogenboom I knew that I had discovered a kindred spirit: a passionate woman unafraid to take risks to create change (she also teaches wicked yoga!). When she told me about her experiences in Jamaica and asked to bring Pads4Girls kits to a group of 20 marginalized girls that she knew there, I didn’t hesitate, and also received the almost-immediate blessing of a neighbour friend offering to finance it (Thank you Tasha!). Here is Danielle’s story of the trip:

I recently went to Jamaica to teach in Kingston and run my Yin Yoga retreat and training at a small family run space in the hills. I brought a handful of students, a talented sound healer and of course my Diva Cup (I never travel without it!) for two weeks of yin yoga study and rest (yes, we are going back next year, join us!)

I approached Lunapads about a donation from Pads4Girls, an amazing project that helps empower young woman thru planet sensitive cotton reusable products. I was really interested in bringing Lunapads to a group of girls and new mothers in Discovery Bay. Last year when I was in Jamaica I met Sister Jackie and her collective family at the fittingly self proclaimed ‘House of Love’ and wanted to support her dedication and her huge heart for the work she was been doing for nearly her whole life. This woman has an amazing story.


Sister J is an incredible woman to be in the presence of. So much heart, so much love; you must be full of faith and spirit to do this work. This woman has 14 children with her on the regular, 2 of them wheelchair bound and 4 of them HIV positive. The House of Love is Jackie’s small home, well known safe haven for hungry kids, young moms, those orphaned to AIDS, kids whose parents were murdered, young girls raped by family members and then kicked out for being pregnant.


Menstruation & Sacred Pregnancy; An Interview with Myrriah Rimbault

Thursday, April 25th, 2013 by Guest

Sacred PregnancyMeet Myrriah. She’s one of the leaders of Sacred Pregnancy. As a pregnancy and birth professional, Myrriah helps women appreciate their bodies and have a peaceful birth experience. Of course, helping us love our bodies is a big part of our work at Lunapads, and we’re grateful that Myrriah agreed to tell us about her work and why she chooses Lunapads.

How long have you worked with Sacred Pregnancy? What is your role there?

I met Anni Daulter, author of Sacred Pregnancy, a little over a year ago at an Ina Mae Gaskin book signing. My heart had an instant connection with Anni and she invited me to write articles on Chinese medicine for her blog. I began working for the Sacred Pregnancy company not long after that.

Presently, I have many roles with Sacred Pregnancy. Anni and I work closely planning the retreats and sharing the movement with the world. My partner Julie Colby, an amazing acupuncturist in Minneapolis, and I are the creators of Sacred Fertility and Sacred Medicine Woman. Julie and I lead the Sacred Fertility and Sacred Medicine Woman retreats all over the globe.

Sacred Fertility teaches women how to naturally conceive and the focus is conscious conception; at the retreats we go deep emotionally and spiritually with women. Sacred Medicine Woman invites all women to uncover their own innate healing potential. By understanding what healing truly means from a holistic and earth-based perspective, we remember the ancient wisdom passed down by our ancestors that is stored in our cellular memory.

Describe your period for us– what’s your monthly flow like?

When a full moon is about to happen, I know that my menstrual cycle will happen any day. The first day of my period is the only day that I get cramps. The second day is the heaviest. I must be aware of having enough supplies if I am leaving the house. I pack Lunapads in a little baggie in my purse and head out the door. The baggie is used to keep the used Lunapads in to transport them home. My menstrual cycle lasts 5- 6 days. It gets lighter as the days pass.

How did you first hear about Lunapads?

I first discovered Lunapads a few years ago when I was working part-time at a local health-food store. One day while stocking shelves I noticed them and decided to give them a try. I’ve been using them ever since. And I still have the first one I ever bought!

Why do you use cloth instead of disposables? What made you switch?

Taking care of the environment is extremely important to me. I have two children and I dream of them growing up on a beautiful and clean Earth. Lunapads cut down on waste products. When I use Lunapads I feel like I am offering a small act of kindness to the world.

Do you feel there is a connection between positive attitudes towards menstruation and sacred fertility? What is that connection?

There is definitely a connection between positive attitudes toward menstruation and sacred fertility. Our internal dialogue and belief about our bodies have a direct connection to our physical health. Being ready for fertility means loving every aspect of being a woman, and that means embracing and honoring the menstrual cycle. You can thank your body for cleansing and preparing your reproductive system to conceive. A good exercise around the time of ovulation is visualizing the egg releasing and thanking your body for being “Open to Receiving” (which is also our tag line). Any way that you can find to appreciate and be grateful for your body will create a positive effect.

Renee’s Luna Revolution: Switching to Cloth

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 by Morgan

Renee is a breastfeeding, co-sleeping, babywearing, natural parenting mama who blogs at Renee had her own Luna Revolution after the birth of her son.

Recently I was listening to a podcast interview with the founder of Lunapads, Madeleine Shaw (you can listen to the interview here), and discovered that many mothers who use cloth diapers also switch to cloth menstrual pads. Apparently, I am not the only mother to make this connection.

Some of you may know from reading my blog that I use cloth diapers for my baby as a back up for EC (elimination communication).  It was this use of cloth diapers that started me thinking about other items in my life that were disposable, but need not be.  I was familiar with Lunapads, but never really gave it a second thought, that is until after giving birth.

Initially after the birth of my son, I used the disposable pads and mesh panties (not very environmentally friendly) found in my home birth kit for my lochia (flow of blood after birth). While every postpartum women experiences lochia, the fact is that no matter how short and light it is, the use of disposable pads, yes even “natural” disposable pads, are just plain uncomfortable.

Then around the time that my son was two months old, a shift in my thinking happened. My lochia had long since subsided, but somehow I found myself looking at various products for the postpartum women. During this research,  I came across cloth pads, particularly Lunapads in the form of the postpartum kit. If only I had used these instead of disposable pads!


I knew at that point I had found my answer to not using disposable pads anymore. However, since I am breastfeeding my child, my period had not yet returned at this time. Instead, I sent a sample of Lunapads to each of my sisters as a test run.  One of my sisters who had not yet considered using cloth pads, tried them out and found them to be incredibly comfortable. In fact, she excitedly called me on the telephone to report that Lunapads were indeed the most comfortable pads she had ever worn and was also thinking about switching. If I needed any confirmation, this was it!

The use of cloth pads for me is more than just about being comfortable, it is about the connection between my period and my body’s ability to grow and sustain life as well as give birth.  In essence, I see using cloth pads as a way to reclaim and honour certain aspects of my womanhood that are directly linked to my menstrual cycle.

Now that my period has returned, I am excited about using my cloth pads from the Lunapad’s starter kit. More importantly though, I seem to have arrived at a place where I now view my cycle as positive event, and that is something worth noting if not celebrating!

Snugabell Interview & Toni Top Giveaway

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 by Madeleine

As regular readers will know, we are massive fans of women’s entrepreneurship & are blessed with an ever-expanding network brave and creative gals with smart business ideas.

One of my personal favorite and longest-standing colleagues of this variety is Wendy Armbruster Bell, founder of Snugabell nursing products and creatrix of Pumpease hands-free pumping support bras and Toni Top nursing tops. She’s also a professional pattern drafter and Mother of two gorgeous girls.

Wendy rocks: she has the heart of a designer (we recently attended Montreal Fashion Week together – see pic) with the soul and tenacity of an entrepreneur.


Check out what she has to say about her journey as a business owner and Mom!

MS: What do you love about what you do?

WA: When I hear from a mom that one of our products enhanced the breastfeeding relationship that she has with her baby, it makes me feel so proud, and honoured.

MS: Why do your products rock?

WA: Because they are made in Canada, are completely functional and are fashionable to boot! Who woulda thought?

MS: How has having your own business shaped your family life?

WA: Although I have never been busier, I pick-up my kids from school on most days, am there to make their lunch most mornings and am there to tuck them into bed most evenings. It has been a heck of a lot of work starting this business, but I couldn’t imagine working for anyone else!

MS: What message do you have for women starting out as “Mompreneurs”?

WA: Forget about “life balance”. Personally, I think this term was created by the media to make women/moms feel inadequate. I have two businesses, two little girls and a husband. My girls, especially my seven year old (who incidentally has wanted to be an entrepreneur since she was about four) know that I have a business. Sometimes any or all of them get more or less attention than they deserve. So be it.

Visit to learn more.

Lunapads & Ricki Lake Partnership!

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 by Lunapads Team

This gratefully-penned post might as well be rockin’ the title “Squeeee!”, because that’s exactly how we feel about the perennially fabulous, multi-talented pop culture icon Ricki Lake. We are beyond thrilled to introduce her community-centered projects, The Business of Being Born and, as our newest marketing partners.

Ricki first touched our hearts in the 80s as the irrepressible Tracy Turnblad in John Waters’ cult classic film-phenom Hairspray, and went on to create the Ricki Lake Show in the 90s, but she endeared herself most to us when we became Moms (Suzanne in 2002 and ‘06, and Madeleine in ‘05), supporting us and countless other women in becoming empowered around our birthing choices with her 2008 film The Business of Being Born (co-created with the fabulous Abby Epstein). Read Suzanne’s review of the film here and learn more about why, like Ricki, she chose a home birth in 2006 (you’ll probably get a bit teary reading her story here) after having a less than satisfactory hospital birth experience in 2002.

Ricki and Abby went on to create the My Best Birth community, whose mantra “Know all your options, discover the natural choices, and take back the birth experience” lands for us and magically aligns with our spirits in countless ways. In 2011, Madeleine and Suzanne supported Ricki and Abby’s “More Business of Being Born” Kickstarter campaign to launch four more videos and their book.

As our Kickstarter Reward (gifts given to Kickstarter project supporters), we got to share an inspiring and heartfelt Skype call with Ricki and Abby.