Menstrual Health For Our Housemaids: There’s More We Can Do Than Just Talk

Posted on May 14, 2013 in Health and Life

By Swadha Bharpilania:

Whenever you walk into a room in your house and spot the woman responsible for keeping your place spotlessly clean, do you ever stop to wonder how traumatic work must be for her in those days of the month? We generally consider talking on this particular topic a taboo but menstrual health is something that is crucial for general hygiene.

hygieneOur maidservants generally reside in slums where the concept of hygiene is almost non-existent. Most of them cannot afford commercial sanitary napkins and often use cloth or towel during their menstrual cycle. Moreover, during those days proper nutrition is necessary which is not available to them most of the time, let alone during their periods. Also proper hydration is required during this time and the water has to be clean, because women are more prone to abdominal infections caused by consumption of contaminated water while they are in their periods.

So it is upon us to educate them, to make them aware of how they can take better care of themselves during their periods.

1.  Proper nutrition is absolutely necessary, so we can advise them on their food intake. They should take small meals at short intervals; they should eat blood enriching foods like carrots, tomatoes, spinach and beetroots. Some of which we can provide from our own kitchens in case they find these too expensive. Also the utensils in which they cook their meals should be clean.

2. They should be advised against using towels or previously used cloth rags to absorb menstrual flow. These cloth pieces become a storehouse for different kinds of bacteria if used again and again and can cause a variety of diseases. We can ask them to contact organizations which provide cheap but healthy sanitary napkins by providing them with the information regarding these organizations. Our country is soon going to have cheap pads available for women belonging to the lower middle class due to the wonderful invention of Mr. A. Muruganantham.

3. We should ask them to ensure that the water that they consume is absolutely pure. If clean water is not available (which in most cases isn’t) then we should make an effort to provide them with some. During their periods, after they have finished their chores and are leaving we can give them a few bottles of our own filtered water to ensure that they drink clean water.

So by showing a little bit of concern towards menstrual health of those women who work for us, we will be making a huge contribution towards general hygiene. We just need to be the ones taking the initiative don’t we?