The Greater Boston area is home to many exceptional nonprofits, but the ones that serve moms are especially close to our hearts. Boston Moms is excited to spotlight and support the local nonprofit organizations that make our area so great.
This month we are showcasing Love Your Menses.
Love Your Menses provides a platform for girls and young women of color to embrace the transition period from pre-puberty into puberty. They advocate for equitable resources and safe spaces to menstruate and to flow through life unapologetically. Most notably, they are committed to breaking the period taboo in Black and Brown communities through evidence-based health education, resource connection, and mentorship.
Join us in celebrating Love Your Menses by learning more about their mission and donating to their cause!
Where are you located? We are based in Boston, but we also have teams in other countries, such as Haiti, Liberia, Nigeria, and Gambia.
What services does Love Your Menses offer to women and girls? Love Your Menses was founded in 2019 in response to the growing menstrual wellness needs of young people. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we provide a platform for girls and young women of color to become more aware of their bodies and to embrace the transition period from pre-puberty into puberty. Our goal is to create a safe, uplifting, and supportive space to dispel myths surrounding menstruation while empowering young people to love their menses. We are committed to breaking the period taboo in Black and Brown communities through evidence-based health education, resource connection, and mentorship.
What inspired the formation of Love Your Menses? As individuals who were never taught about menstruation or prepared for our first period, we founded Love Your Menses to break the cycle and ensure every girl is prepared for their first period and has access to resources and a support system throughout their reproductive years.
How does your mission support moms? We support moms (and dads) who seek support and resources on having conversations with their children about puberty and reproductive health.
We also support moms through our new initiative, Birthing During COVID-19. As we all know, periods don’t stop for pandemics, and neither does pregnancy. Therefore, we are supporting new moms in Boston by distributing postpartum care packages in collaboration with Bodily. Each postpartum care package includes essential items a mom would need as her body recovers post-birth, such as mesh underwear, breast pads, nipple cream, maxi pads, and a peri bottle. We are proud to have supported over 150 new moms so far with a care package!
What are your best suggestions for moms while talking to their adolescent daughters about periods? Dr. Ebere Azumah and I wrote a children’s book titled, “Mya Learns About Menstruation.” We highly recommend this book in every household as a conversation starter for parents who want to talk about the menstrual cycle with their adolescent children. We plan to write more books within the Mya + Menstruation series, so stay tuned! In addition to purchasing menstruation education books, we also recommend moms host period parties with their daughters or other girls in their family.
Period parties are a great way to bring some fun and excitement to something that has always been viewed as shameful, scary, and taboo. During these period parties, you can play fun games such as “name your uterus” or “make your own reusable sanitary napkin.” These are great hands-on activities to talk about menstruation and empower adolescents to understand, embrace, and love their bodies.
How do you start to break down the taboo that exists within communities of color to help young women and women learn about their bodies? What advice would you give to a mom who was raised in a community that holds these deep-rooted taboos but wants to take the first steps to be more open and honest with her daughters about their bodies? The first step to break the menstrual taboo in Black and Brown communities is to have community conversations. One thing we do is hold space for community members across the lifespan to learn about the menstrual cycle, share period stories, and share resources. We have found this intergenerational approach to be very effective, for many households include multiple generations that may have been taught different things about menstruation.
We understand not everyone was taught about the menstrual cycle and had a support system as an adolescent, so during our events we always have a separate breakout session just for adults — we realize they have their own reproductive health needs, and in order for them to support their child’s reproductive health needs, they may need resources and support for their own health.
Talk to us about your S.E.W workshops — what inspired them? S.E.W (Sustainable and Empowerment Workshop) is a program designed to empower youth and adults to learn about sustainable fashion and create custom reusable period products. Participants will learn the basics of hand sewing and create reusable period products, such as period underwear or reusable pads. The skills learned could be replicated for personal use as well as entrepreneurial endeavors in the future.
We are committed to protecting the environment, wildlife, and all menstruators by promoting eco-friendly and sustainable period products that are safe for the human body and safe for the environment and all wildlife. We have a virtual workshop series coming up on April 1 — please register on our website if you know a teenager ages 14-16 who may be interested in participating!
What is your favorite part about working at Love your Menses? My favorite part about working at Love Your Menses is our amazing team. We pride ourselves on being a majority Black-women-run organization, and 100% of our board of directors identifies as a person of color. We have team members who live in five different countries, and although we may be separated geographically, our values are intact and we strongly believe that if you “mentor a girl, you can change the world.” You don’t have to have a biological child to make a difference. Not everyone on our team has children, yet we are all committed to ensuring every girl in our communities has the resources they need to have healthy menstrual cycles and flow through life unapologetically!
What do donations to your nonprofit go toward? As a small nonprofit, we appreciate monetary contributions of all amounts. Donations to our nonprofit go toward our operations in the U.S., Liberia, Nigeria, Gambia, and Haiti. We purchase 100% organic cotton pads and tampons that we distribute to girls and women in need in the U.S. and overseas, so the majority of the donations we receive go toward the purchase of period products. Donations to our nonprofit also go toward general operating support, such as staffing, program supplies, and technology (since we are 100% remote due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic). All donations are tax-deductible.
Are there volunteer opportunities available? Yes! There are most definitely volunteer opportunities available. We are seeking volunteers who have an interest in social media, menstrual health education, or technology. If you would like to volunteer with us, click here! To stay updated, you can join the mailing list here.
If someone is interested in receiving help from Love Your Menses, what should they do? If someone is in need of period products and they live in Boston, they can text “MENSES” to 617-762-1188. If they do not live in Boston and need period products or would like to have us host a menstrual education workshop at their school, workplace, or community center, they can send us an email at [email protected]
Menstruation matters to all, and we encourage you to promote menstrual equity, whether it’s donating period products to someone in need or talking to a girl about the menstrual cycle. Let’s all work together to break the period taboo!