Archive for the ‘The DivaCup’ Category

One4Her provides basic needs to the Pader Girls Academy

Thursday, October 9th, 2014 by Suzanne

This post was reposted from the DivaCup.com blog by Sophie Zivku.

20140916 172854 1024x768 One4Her provides basic needs to the Pader Girls Academy

On October 11th, organizations from around the world will come together to draw awareness to International Day of the Girl. This day is set aside each October to advocate for the basic needs and rights of girls and to encourage participation in efforts to help girls reach their full potential.

Diva International works with various organizations to help ensure that all girls, no matter where they live, have access to basic rights – food, clean water, shelter, education and hygiene (including access to feminine hygiene protection). Since 2000, one of our partners, Lunapads has been providing girls with sustainable period care through their Pads4Girls program. Period care is a necessity for women and girls, but is often not accessible due to poverty and limited resources.

This past spring, Diva International Inc. partnered with Lunapads in support of their One4Her program in recognition of Menstrual Hygiene Day. We committed to donate an AFRIpads Kit (complete with 2 pads with 5 inserts, plus 1 carrying bag) for every DivaCup sold on Lunapads.com during the month of May. Each kit provides a girl with a sustainable supply of cloth pads to manage her period for over a year.

Thanks to our Divas, we were able to pledge funds that totaled 443 kits to girls in need!

This summer Lunapads received a request from Maggie Crosby, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, in the School of Public Health, who was working at the Pader Girls’ Academy (PGA) in Uganda. Knowing about Lunapads and their One4Her program, Maggie requested a more comprehensive AFRIpads for the 250 young mothers at PGA that also included underwear (most girls don’t even own a pair) and soap. After reviewing Maggie’s request, Lunapads and Diva International were pleased to use the funds raised from the Menstrual Hygiene Day One4Her campaign to send 250 comprehensive AFRIpad kits to the young women at PGA.

PGA helps child mothers by making it possible for them to bring their child with them to school. This is unique in Uganda, as often child mothers are stigmatized and going back to school is not an option for them. A survey was conducted to see what the girls would need when it comes to self-care and hygiene and most of the girls requested soap, underwear and pads.

Such basic needs.

The young girls who live at PGA have been victims of rape, coercion or abduction (due to Uganda’s 25-year civil war). At PGA they have been given a rare opportunity to continue their studies while raising their babies in a safe place. These are strong young women who have overcome many challenges, and who are learning to advocate for themselves and their families.

The following is a brief recap from Maggie about how your support of the Menstrual Hygiene Day One4Her campaign has helped women at PGA live better, healthier lives.

unnamed 4 231x300 One4Her provides basic needs to the Pader Girls Academy

What do the young mothers currently use to manage their period? How does it affect their schooling when they have their period?

Most girls at PGA use rags or old t-shirts to stuff in their underwear during their period. They do not have any money to afford disposable pads and many cannot even afford underwear. Because of this, if their period soaks through their clothing, they may skip classes to avoid the embarrassment. Each student that I asked about this issue during my time at PGA this summer replied that their lack of hygiene necessities negatively impacts their studies. When asked “what information or resources, relating to sexual and reproductive health, would be most useful to you?” the number one response was “pads”.

The effect of menstruation is so stigmatising on the young mothers. Many of the girls often disassociate themselves from the rest of the students until their period is over, which has a big impact on her performance at the end of the term.

How will life improve for them to have the kits?

Owning reusable pads, underwear and soap will have a positive impact on the lives of PGA students. These young women have been robbed of their innocence and their agency – poverty happens to them, sex happens to them, pregnancy happens to them. Possessing the necessary resources for dealing with their periods will provide them with a measure of control over at least one aspect of their life.

Having the kits will also save the girls from a number of negative outcomes of menstruation (a) worries during periods, (b) use of unclean clothes during periods, (c) further infections during periods as a result of using dirty clothes. This will lead to improved performance of the students at school as such better ground for sustainability of the school.

What are their hopes and dreams in going to school?

Students in the vocational training program hope to become seamstresses, to work in hotels or restaurants, or to start their own bakeries or catering businesses. Secondary school students mostly aim to continue their studies in nursing or teaching. They want to be nurses to provide adequate support and care to young mothers and they want to be teachers they can encourage girls to enrol and complete both primary and secondary education. One student told me that she hopes one day to be a member of parliament.

While we still have many girls who are blocked from attaining their educational career due to re-current pregnancies, most girls who have attained admissions at schools demonstrate commitment in their studies.

Help change a young girl’s life by donating to Pads4Girls or shop to support One4Her today!

unnamed 2 1024x768 One4Her provides basic needs to the Pader Girls Academy

Celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day with The DivaCup

Friday, May 2nd, 2014 by Lunapads Team

mhmday Celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day with The DivaCup

Help us reach our goal of providing AFRIpads kits to 500 girls in East Africa. For the month of May, Diva International has generously agreed to boost our One4Her program to provide an entire AFRIpads kit for every DivaCup purchased at Lunapads.com. Already have a DivaCup? Then tell your friends! It’s time to make the switch or buy one for your friend today!

Menstrual Hygiene Day is on May 28, 2014, but we’ll be celebrating all month long by helping improve access to sustainable menstrual products for girls in East Africa. We’ve partnered with Diva International to expand our One4Her program and donate an AFRIpads kit (2 pads with 5 inserts, plus 1 carrying bag) for every DivaCup sold on Lunapads.com during the month of May. Each kit provides a girl with a sustainable supply of cloth pads to manage her period for over a year.

Since 2002, Lunapads has been operating Pads4Girls, a program that addresses an issue faced by hundreds of millions of girls and women in developing nations: missing school or work for several days every month because they lack adequate means to manage their periods. Providing girls with sustainable menstrual supplies is a simple yet highly effective way to give them a chance for a better future.

afripads Celebrating Menstrual Hygiene Day with The DivaCup

Taking our commitment a step further, in 2012 Lunapads partnered with AFRIpads, a social enterprise in Uganda, to create One4Her, where for every One4Her product sold online, Lunapads matches that purchase by financing the production and distribution of a Ugandan-made AFRIpad to a girl in East Africa.

The Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) issue in the developing world is a complex one, where many product and educational options are being explored. What makes One4Her unique is that, in addition to providing a proven, easy-to-use, cost effective solution, it also supports employment in Africa. This is why Diva International has partnered with Lunapads & AFRIpads to provide cloth pads to girls in need.

Please help spread the word about the importance of MHM and tell your friends to make the switch to The DivaCup!

click to tweet: I just got a @DivaCup from @Lunapads. They’re donating @AFRIpads to a girl for every cup sold! http://lunapads.com/divacup.html #Diva500

click to tweet: My @DivaCup purchase from @Lunapads helps girls stay in school. What does yr menstrual product do? http://lunapads.com/divacup.html #Diva500

click to tweet: A @DivaCup 4me = @AFRIpads 4her. Get yrs at @Lunapads this month & make a difference for 500 girls http://lunapads.com/divacup.html #Diva500

Our Lunagal in NYC visits Barnard

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013 by Madeleine

jayneluna Our Lunagal in NYC visits BarnardThere are many measures of success, however I had to hand it to our brand and team when, asked by a student group at NYC-based Barnard College for a company representative to speak at an sustainability in women’s health event in partnership with The DivaCup and their campus Well Women services, I was able to immediately come up with a willing volunteer (we are located in Vancouver BC).

As a bit of background, I originally had the good fortune to meet Jayne Freeman at a fundraising event for the New Space for Women’s Health at a Babeland store in New York in 2008. Good times were had by all (including Ricki Lake!), and Jayne and I have kept in touch ever since.

Since then Jayne has shared the menstrual magic of Lunapads, Lunapanties and the DivaCup at other NY-based events, and was only too happy to do so again with the Barnard students. Here’s what she had to say about it:

So, the talk went great – I absolutely loved doing it. I said from the start that I was an “unofficial representative” and how you were based so far away, etc – but that I am a longtime user and supporter. I demonstrated the various products and how they work with the liners and pads – showing the pouch for keeping the used pads. Also, I explained cleaning, cost, contributions to AFRIpads and everything else I could think of or show. Thanks for the opportunity – it was a pleasure hanging with the Barnard gals!”

Thank YOU, Jayne for your fantastic work and energy – we so appreciate it!

I Left My DivaCup At Home by Alysha Seriani

Thursday, November 28th, 2013 by Guest

zine1 I Left My DivaCup At Home by Alysha Seriani (more…)

5 Reasons We ♥ The DivaCup

Monday, May 13th, 2013 by Morgan
Question: Say you’ve got an extra $30 to spend this month, what do you do with it? Take your special person to a movie? Take yourself out to dinner?

Answer…Get a DivaCup from Lunapads.com!

floating divacup 1024x680 5 Reasons We ♥ The DivaCup

That’s right, menstruators! The DivaCup is on sale for only $31.99 at Lunapads.com right now!  $31.99 doesn’t buy much these days but what it can buy is 1 (or more!) years of more comfortable, less worrisome, just-plain-better periods. In case you aren’t already well versed in the benefits of the cup, here’s 5 reasons why we ♥ our DivaCups!

1. VERSATILITY
Since the DivaCup collects your flow, instead of absorbing, it can be used for periods of all kinds; heavy, light, undecided, it don’t matter! With tampons there’s always the risk of TSS and choosing the right absorbency for your flow is a big consideration. Not so with The DivaCup! It’s the only one you’ll ever need. DIVA 4EVA!

2. COMFORT
In case you weren’t already aware; your vagina is a tomato. These are some sensitive tissues we’re talking about, hell it’s a veritable botanical garden up in there and the last thing I want to add to that mix is a bunch of scratchy rayon fibers and god-knows-what else, messing with my pH levels. Not to mention that when the tampon is removed, it might not ALL come out. Give me the smooth, flexible, inert material of the cup any day. The DivaCup can’t be felt once inserted and it doesn’t dry you out the way tampons tend to. It just quietly catches your flow, leaving all your vaginal friendlies to do their important lubricating, pH-balancing work.

3. DURABILITY
This baby is made from 100% unadulterated healthcare-grade silicone. The DivaCup will last for 1 year at least, and with proper care and cleaning for many more. Plus, if your period is more of a torrential downpour, worry not! The Diva can take it since it holds up to a full fluid ounce, around twice as much as the highest absorbency tampon.

4. INDEPENDENCE
Who loves late night runs to the drugstore because you ran out of tampons? Who loves having to canvas the room asking for a spare, cause your period arrived unexpectedly. No one, that’s who! Free yourself from the  tyranny of the tamp! Stop paying a monthly rent on your own body! If you’ve got a DivaCup, you’ll never run out and you’ll never need to beg or borrow for a spare.

5. CONVENIENCE
I have a pretty light period, which means I get to leave my DivaCup in for the full 12 hours. Ya, you heard me right: 12 carefree frolicking-in-white-pants hours. That’s less time spent futzing around in the bathroom and more time spent on important things, like eating pizza and binge-watching an entire season of Downton Abbey in one sitting. Clearly I have my priorities in order.

So there you have it, folks. This list could probably be 10 reasons, or 100 reasons but I thought I’d leave it up to all the other expert DivaCup users out there. So how ’bout it, gentle reader? Why do you <3 your DivaCup? If you haven’t tried it yet, go grab one now!

Buy the DivaCup

Yoga & The DivaCup

Monday, December 10th, 2012 by Madeleine

daniellesea Yoga & The DivaCupDanielle Hoogenboom, Love Light Yoga

Danielle Hoogenboom is one of my favorite teachers at my home studio YYOGA. I have always resonated with her story of self-transformation from being an cynical artist with some self-destructive habits to embracing her health and personal development through yoga. She is a Yin yoga specialist (Yin is the feminine principle, or “side”, in contrast to the masculine Yang, in the Chinese tradition), and you can also catch her classes at Unity Yoga in Vancouver.

She is a longtime advocate of natural menstrual products (in fact, when she learned where I worked she practically shouted “Lunapads? I love Lunapads!!!“) and so I asked her to share her thoughts about her relationship with her cycle, as well as how the DivaCup serves her yoga practice.

Our cycles are to be honoured as part of our practice. They remind us that there is an ebb and a flow to all aspects of our life.

My physical practice changes dramatically depending on my cycles. The few days before, I feel quiet and need time to rest, restore and prep for the days ahead! I need more sleep, heavier food and lots of water. The first days of my cycle, I have way less energy, and really reminds me that I need to slow it down, feel more in tune with my body’s requests and to back off a bit.

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5 sweet steps to yoga, periods & mindfulness

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 by Madeleine

pigeonpose 5 sweet steps to yoga, periods & mindfulness

If you’ve seen the hilarious “Sh*t Yogis say” video, then you will probably remember the moment where the yogini says, “The DivaCup changed my life!”. If you haven’t already heard of The DivaCup, Lunapads or other reusable menstrual products, prepare to expand your awareness – they are modern and effective conscious living products that can meaningfully support your health and yoga practice. Here are 5 sweet steps to extending your yogic consciousness to include your fertility cycle.

1) Mindful cycles
Most of us have been conditioned to some extent to see our periods as inconvenient, messy and/or not to be discussed as a meaningful part of our well-being, let alone honoured. Yoga teaches us to seek a deeper connection with ourselves, and to listen closely to the messages our bodies are sending us.

Our fertility cycles are of course part of our bodies and consciousness, and yet ironically in the context of yoga, can be viewed as a problem to be fixed, managed or hidden. Of course this makes sense from a practical perspective, however another level of perception is that in “putting away” our periods and rushing off to class, we can forget to be present with the fact that our body is doing something important that is worth paying attention to. What changes with your yoga practice might occur if you are mindful about your period?

2) Curiosity and compassion
When we become more present with our cycles and periods, there is much to be learned. The very act of washing and re-using cloth pads and cups encourages engagement, exploration and self-knowledge. Our menses are part of us: evidence of our fertility, our power, and our humanity. When we treat our periods as a natural process that is not frightening or gross, we send a more positive message to ourselves. Throw in some curiosity and gratitude on the side, and you’ve got a recipe for a mini-revolution.

When we get more conscious with our periods, we get more conscious with our entire cycles. This is a good, true and powerful place to be. The potential benefits include being more in touch with your needs for intimacy, boundaries, creative impulses and of course fertility. Whether you wish to conceive or not, understanding your fertility is hugely empowering and important for your overall health.

Many women claim that they dislike their periods less, and even experience reduced cramping, when they switch to reusable products. Yoga also teaches us that self-knowledge leads to self-acceptance: when we know and accept ourselves, we find love, compassion for ourselves and others.

3) Conscious choices
Most of us have been taught that our only options in terms of products are disposable pads or tampons. So when it comes to yoga, tampons are the way to go, right? Not so fast.

Those of you already aware of the risks associated with tampons in particular may have already switched to organic cotton disposable products: fantastic. For those of you still getting there, consider this: tampons may contain dioxins, pesticides and fragrances. In November 2011, the FDA recalled a brand due to contamination with a bacterium. Finally, tampons are drying: they don’t just abosorb your menses – they also take the rest of your natural, essential vaginal moisture. Perhaps this has never bothered you, however in conversation with dozens of women at a yoga show recently, complaints about infections and the discomfort of removing tampons came up time and time again.

4) What are the alternatives?
As someone who has been practicing yoga for decades, I can tell you that the DivaCup, an internally-worn reusable silicone menstrual cup, is definitely the most practical product choice.

In the same way that you do not “feel” a tampon when it is not being inserted or removed, you do not “feel” the DivaCup. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of an internal product because you dislike tampons, I encourage you to keep it in mind regardless – it really is a different experience. Yes, it does require more practice (yay mindfulness!) to learn how to use it, however it’s a beautiful opportunity to get to know yourself better, does not dry you out the way tampons do, and is just plain awesome.

For those of us who prefer external products, I can enthusiastically assure you that you will LOVE switching to Lunapads and Lunapanties. No more glue, no more plastic, no more icky wrappers: Lunapads are beautiful, soft and geared to match the same needs as comparably-sized disposable products.

Are they thicker? Some of them, yes – pads for heavier flow need to be in order not to leak (remember, they are not chemically treated or full of gels the way disposables are to attain their absorbent capacity.) In addition to layers of soft cotton fleece (you can choose organic as an option) pad style Lunapads have an additional layer of breathable nylon to prevent soaking through.

Another great option are Lunpanties: all-in-one padded panties that minimize bunching or shifting. There are even thongs for those of us who prefer a smoother line under fitted yoga clothing.

5) Embracing and letting go
Start now, why not? And don’t forget to check in with the Moon as well – are you/she waxing or waning? What do you notice? When your moon comes, notice the choices that you make around it, what products you use and how they make you feel. Consider charting your cycle, if you do not already do so (there are a ton of apps, and of course we are happy to share the our version:  The Lunapads Cycle Chart)

As your body releases the lining that might have become a nest for another life to take shape, take the opportunity to identify and let go of anything that no longer serves you, and in particular any feelings of loss or grief. Imagine it literally leaving your body along with your menses. Conversely, as the flow ceases, turn your attention to new opportunities and beginnings: what is within you that is now ready to manifest? How does your yoga practice change during your period?

A massive thank you to one of my favourite teachers, Danielle Hoogenboom of Love Light Yoga, who generously shared this image that so beautifully represents the body/mind/Nature connection!

Namaste!

Yoga, Lunapads & The DivaCup!

Saturday, November 17th, 2012 by Madeleine

68200 10151266721560839 1140366202 n Yoga, Lunapads & The DivaCup!

We had an amazing time attending the Yoga Conference & Show in Vancouver last weekend.

We had a good feeling about it going in – Suzanne and I both have active practices, and we have a ton of great relationships in Vancouver’s flourishing yoga community, including incredible teachers like Danielle Hoogenboom of Love Light Yoga and Will Blunderfield, as well as our “home” studios, YYOGA and Maa Yoga. It was awesome, with heaps and heaps of yoginis letting us now that they were either already customers or ready to incorporate menstrual product choices into their conscious living lifestyle – woo hoo!

Please check out our new friends the obakki foundation (for those who want to channel their taste for haute couture into social impact, or get a new water bottle that will help build a well in South Sudan), KooShoo (for anyone who wants to be warmer & more sensually happy), Tonic Lifestyle apparel (awesome yoga clothing), Rae Kai healing jewelry (our beloved neighbours), Chala Yoga‘s all manner of colourful snugglyness, Mala Imports Balinese rudraksha adornments, and the inspirational photography of Pure Souls Media: we were in good company!

We already know how Lunapads and the Divacup support our practices from a practical as well as mindfulness perspective, so we thought that we’d interview a yoga instructor who is relatively new to the “practice” of washable pads and cups: Erin Isnor (full disclosure: Erin works with two friends of ours – Nicole Bridger and Halfmoon.) She candidly shares how both products have relevance for her on and off the mat – enjoy!

Moonblood magic

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 by Madeleine

2012 07 25 19.38.29 225x300 Moonblood magicA couple of nights ago, on the eve of a Red Tent-themed gathering at the Lunapads office, I felt inspired to do something I haven’t done in years: use my menses in a personal ritual.

Over the years that I’ve been using Lunapads, I have on occasion taken soaking water from my pads and used it to water plants. They seemed to like it, and all was well.

A couple of years ago I was at Hollyhock and felt inspired (it’s the right place for that sort of thing!) to get a little more intentional by using my DivaCup to collect my flow then going on a walking meditation to visit a very large tree, digging a small depression at the base of it and then depositing my flow as an offering of thanks and expression of sisterhood: it felt great.

I hadn’t felt called to do anything of the sort since, until the other night. On a recent holiday to my “happy place” I received the gift of some new ideas and inspiration about stretching my creative horizons. I also happened to collect some seeds from a plant I hadn’t seen before and tucked them in my pocket with a plan to plant them in my garden at home and see who showed up.

I had the house all to myself (a highly unusual event!) and poured myself a lovely bath. While in the bath I was pondering the upcoming event and remembered that I needed to empty my DivaCup: voila, inspiration to use my blood for some form of offering! Following the bath I emptied my DivaCup into a small vase and diluted it with some water, put on my favorite turquoise silk pajamas, picked up my new seeds and headed to the garden.

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Krys’ Period Makeover

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 by Christa

Krys Krys Period MakeoverName: Krys

Age: 25

How did you hear about reusable menstrual products?
A forum I post on was talking about them.

Please describe your monthly needs.
2 Days heavy flow, 3 days of switching between a regular flow and spotting, 2 days of spotting.

If you are currently using disposable products, which ones do you use, and for what needs?
Tampons and pads, switching between the two: Super, super infinity, overnight, regulars, lights, you name it!

Why do you want to switch to reusable menstrual products?
I’m in the military and when you’re deployed and around men constantly, Everyone knows when you’re ‘on’ because you have to shop in the same small shops they do! I need something that is more discreet, comfortable (disp chafe bad!), & tough enough to withstand rigorous training sessions, irregular latrine breaks, and sweat without falling a part.

Anything else you’d like to share about yourself?
I’m a full time student and active in the US Army.

Based on your own experience, what message do you have for other women who might be thinking about reusable menstrual products?
Nothing beats being as comfortable as possible.

Read our Period Makeover Suggestions for Krys…
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