My first postpartum period snuck up on me like a thief in the night. After going nearly 16 months with no period, I wasn’t checking for Aunt Rose. But as we know, all good things must come to an end and my good thing came to a screeching halt on a cold fall morning in September. My first post-baby menstrual cycle wasn’t dramatically different from my pre-pregnancy cycle, but it did seem a bit heavier than I recalled. I definitely struggled to get back into the swing of things and, overall, I felt pretty gross.
Ironically, the same week my period made her grand re-entrance, I received a lovely care package from NeNe FemHealth, a Black woman-owned vegan and organic feminine care and beauty company. Within the care package, I found a vast array of plant-based feminine hygiene products that helped me navigate my first post-baby period with grace.
Lotus Fresh Fem Wash
The Lotus Fresh Fem Wash can be used daily, during your menstrual cycle, and after sex. It is said to block yeast, prevent bacterial vaginosis, and minimize odor. This product came in handy as a gentle external cleanser that didn’t throw off my pH balance.
Lotus Fresh Feminine Wipes
It’s nice to have feminine wipes on hand whether it’s that time of the month or not, but they’re especially important when you’re on your period. The Lotus Fresh wipes are comprised of 99.2 percent water and are both flushable and biodegradable. The wipes are free from chlorine, dyes, alcohol, fragrances, lotions, phthalates, parabens and chemical preservatives. I found these wipes to be especially helpful to use during my cycle. They helped me maintain a fresh feeling throughout the day and helped ward off period-related odors.
Lotus Fresh Feminine Spray
The Lotus Fresh Feminine Spray is another product that helps keep your vagina feeling fresh between showers. It also doubles as a mild deodorant and makeup setting spray. This product did help me maintain a clean feeling down below during my period. I was also pleasantly surprised to see that the deodorant functionality also worked for me. I sweat a lot and I’ve always been married to traditional deodorants, but this spray did the trick for a day of moderate exertion around the house.
Healthy Lily Pads Sanitary Napkins
Healthy Lily Pads are cotton sanitary napkins with wings that are free from bleach, chlorine, perfumes, and ammonia. I used the Lily Pads for a couple of nights. I didn’t find the experience to be particularly different from my experience with other sanitary napkins, but I appreciated that they were free from harsh chemicals and toxins that you typically find in popular brands.
Nene FemHealth also offers a variety of natural cosmetics. Two items I was particularly impressed by were the Glycolic Papaya & Pumpkin Masque and the Ocean Hydrating Serum. Dry skin and dark spots are skin issues that I’ve been battling since having a baby last winter and this combo allows me to address both. While I haven’t been using the masque long enough to tell if it’s having an impact on dark spots and blemishes, I can say that it smells great and leaves my skin feeling extremely soft. It works very well when paired with the Ocean serum, which is deeply hydrating. There was no need to follow up with a moisturizer when I used the Ocean serum because it was literally all I needed to hydrate my skin.
Not only are these products effective and plant-based, but the company is owned by a Black woman, which is the sweetest cherry on top. To learn more about NeNe FemHealth, click here and visit her on Instagram @NeNeFemHealth.