Sanitary Pads, as a teen I was aware of the toxicity of a lot of sanitary products ( my hippy mum was ahead of the game) I was an early adopter of organic cotton pads that did not stop the level of monthly waste. I switched to a moon cup after having my daughter after friends in Ibiza raved about them. I have been very happy with mine but I have very light periods and work from home so for me it works, however, MANY of my friends are now moving over to reusable sanitary pads and I have heard rave reviews on the new design from Mama Designs so I reached out to Keira O’Mara to find out more.
Hi Keira, Welcome to No Mum Is An Island. I am a great believer that no mum or dad should have to do everything themselves, we can’t possibly know it all, and we need all the support we can get, there is a wealth of information out there to help us upgrade our parenting experience, to make our lives easier and this website is a hub for just that! We love that you take the time to design the things that you see missing in the market from innovative mother and baby products including your most recent reusable Sanitary Pads and create them yourself to solve other mums’ problems.
Can you tell us how Mama Designs came about?
I launched Mama Designs 12 years ago whilst on maternity leave with my eldest who is now 13. I was really self conscious breastfeeding in public and came up with an idea for a discreet supportive breastfeeding cover. When I couldn’t find one online I decided to use my redundancy money to create one. That was my first product Mamascarf. We now have a whole range of products for mums and babies and sell to parents worldwide. I have recently had baby number 3 so I am getting to road test all of my new designs myself.
You have many award-winning designs what accolade are you most proud of?
I think winning a Mother & Baby award. They are still seen as the Oscars of the baby industry, so I think that was probably up there. I also have a few Junior Design awards that I am very proud of too!
You have just launched your own Reusable Sanitary Pads why is better to switch to these?
When I first started researching these I was amazed by what I found out about disposable period products (pads and tampons, which don’t have to say all of their ingredients on the packaging. Most contain lots of chemicals and plastic, a pack of disposable pads contains the equivalent to 5 plastic carrier bags. Now that is not good for your body.
Added to that, each pad takes 500 years to decompose. Such a lot of these used products end up on beaches, approximately 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet in the UK every single day, according to figures published in the Journal of the Institution of Environmental Sciences. I was just so shocked to hear these stats.
How much money will it cost to switch over to reusable sanitary pads and what is the long term saving potential?
I would recommend starting with two or three packs. They start at £13 for 3 and go up to £15 for the maxi pad. The maxi pad will hold 40ml of liquid (compared to 10ml that a maxi disposable will hold) so they are super absorbent. Long term, research suggests that the average women spends £5 a month on period products, so that in 6-9 months they will have paid for themselves and will last you for years!
What would you say to women who are worried about how to clean these reusable sanitary pads?
It is actually a lot easier than you think. You rinse them out or handwash them first and then you can pop them in with your normal wash or handwash and they can hang to dry overnight. They fold into themselves when not in use and you can store them like this clean or used until you get home. We have a neoprene pouch that is washable that they can be stored in.