Between December 2015 and February 2016 we tested the Natracare® Maternity Pads. Twelve of our Testers reviewed Natracare Maternity Pads: 8 Mums used these post-birth; the other 4 participants used the pads as they have heavy periods.
I am delighted to bring you the results of this one-off trial. Our Testers were so impressed with this product we have decided to award it three awards: Best eco-friendly, Best organic and Editor's choice.
You can read more about this trial by clicking on the links below:
Natracare maternity pads
RRP: £2.59 (10 pads)
Twelve of our Testers reviewed Natracare Maternity Pads: 8 Mums used these post-birth; the other 4 participants used the pads as they have heavy periods. I am delighted to say that the overall feedback about these pads has been very positive.
Natracare Maternity Pads have excellent eco-friendly credentials: organic cotton cover, chlorine-free absorbent pulp and plastic-free pads. Participants praised the pads highly, mentioning the quality eco-friendly ingredients, comfort, absorbency, breathability, and odour-free effectiveness - even when used during the night.
Most participants agreed these pads stayed in place well, only one tester experienced some 'sideways bunching'. Although the pads don't have wings, one tester commented they were just as effective at avoiding leaks as pads with wings. However, when asked specifically for their thoughts about wings, many of the participants said they would welcome the addition of wings to these pads.
All participants said they normally use sanitary products manufactured with plastics, perfumes, dyes, chlorine bleached pulp and super absorbent polymer (SAP), but most agreed they would be happier using a more eco-friendly product - without these ingredients.
Most participants said the pads were just as efficient as their regular brand, but preferred these because of the added benefit of breathability, and peace of mind that the ingredients are eco-friendly.
Although some participants thought the pads were too expensive, over 90% would either recommend these pads to others, and/or consider buying them in the future.
Unfortunately, no other manufacturer of eco-friendly pads agreed to take part in this trial. There is definitely room for more competition in this niche category, but with an established reputation as a highly respected brand, Natracare are setting a high benchmark for others to follow.
This is what some of the Testers said:
- A good size and fit. Very comfortable. I believe they would suit all body types. They stayed in position, were soft and absorbent. Having used several different maternity pad brands, I found these to be the most absorbent whilst still being as comfortable as the rest.
- Perfect size for me and very comfortable to wear. I wore them day and night
- I feel pads in general are more secure with wings but I got NO side leakage from the night time maxi pads so I didn't find the ones with wings any better.
- I don't like how other pads make me feel sweaty and damp. These pads kept me clean and dry. With most pads I have worn I end up in a mess because the blood seems to run over the surface of the pad before soaking in. These pads kept me very clean. I felt confident wearing the pads.
- I suffered no adverse reactions despite suffering from Lichen Sclerosus so it is important for me that pads are breathable.
- Best pad I've tried for staying fast
- Soft and comfortable while being absorbent. Was good to know product was natural especially when using after birth as I felt confident I wouldn’t be causing skin any irritation with chemicals or fragrances.
- I usually feel conscious off odour when I used other pads but didn’t notice an odour with these. I also felt I could wear them for longer.
- I would pay this now that I know how good the product is, however, pricey compared to supermarkets own brands. If I hadn't been testing this product it is unlikely I would have chosen it from the shelf due to price. I would have went for a cheaper option (unless on offer).
- Size, shape and fit were perfect for post-birth.
Awards: Best eco-friendly, Best organic and Editor's choice
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When considering products for testing, I aim to source what I believe to be the best products on the market. Where such a product is quite unique, I will set up a one-off trial - we did this for these unique products: Swimava™ Ring, Dribblebuster® bib, Bickiepegs Teething biscuits, Weleda Perineum Oil and SnoozeShade®.
The decision to undertake a TIPS one-off trial is based on a product’s unique features. I decided to go ahead with a TIPS trial of natural eco-friendly maternity pads because they are:
- designed to be a high performance alternative to conventional disposable pads but with eco-friendly credentials that are second to none
- made from organic cotton, natural, renewable and sustainable materials
- chlorine, fragrance and plastic free
- biodegradable and compostable.
For this one-off trial we are only testing one product: Natracare Maternity pads. In this trial we've asked women to test the product during the final weeks of their pregnancy and up to the end of their six week postnatal period. Due to the narrow criteria we also included women who suffer from heavy periods.
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For this trial we sent out 14 packs of Natracare®, nine to newly delivered mums and five to women who suffer from extremely heavy periods. We received 12 completed questionnaires including 8 post birth and 4 from women suffering from heavy periods. This was a return rate of 85%.
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Guidelines for Testers (this was provided to all Testers who took part)
How to test
1. Please read the following information before you start testing.
We'd like you to remember that you've agreed to keep all information and details of the TIPS testing process confidential at all times. This includes details of companies involved in the TIPS Award Scheme obtained through the testing process, whether before, during or after testing a particular product for TIPS. Testers cannot discuss TIPS trials in progress on social networking sites, including posting on blogs, facebook and Twitter.
Read the instructions provided with your test sample. These tell you:
- how to use, and dispose of the product
- how it might be different from other brands
- why it is more eco-friendly that other similar products.
2. Before completing the questionnaire
I would like you to use all the pads that you receive so you get a chance to test the product thoroughly. Once you've done this you will be able to comment fully and give your thoughts on what works well and what maybe doesn’t. You should then complete the questionnaire.
3. Completing the questionnaire
There are 5 sections in the questionnaire:
- The product: in this section, we ask about the packaging, design and information provided on packaging.
- About you in this section, we ask about you and the products you usually use.
- Using of product: this includes questions about ease of use, comfort and effectiveness, ease of disposal and overall convenience.
- Feedback: in this section, we ask you to comment on your favourite features, suggest improvements, and tell us whether you believe the product provides good value for money.
- Awards: in this section, you can suggest an award for the natural eco-friendly maternity pads.
I look forward to reading your feedback and comments on this innovative product and maybe you can suggest other eco-friendly brands that you have tried and might like us to test in the future. I hope the eco-friendly maternity pads you are testing will provide you with the dryness and comfort you have come to expect from your current brand. You can also be assured that this product is a guilt-free alternative to conventional products: they will biodegrade naturally rather than end up in land-fill for years to come.
Please feel free to tell me exactly what you think, good or bad. Your feedback will be made available to the manufacturer. My aim is to provide them with data that will enable them to improve their products for you, the consumer.
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As you can see, there are many aspects of design to assess when testing this product to make it safer for you and safer for the environment. This can only be achieved when manufacturers use top quality materials and pay close attention to detail when designing their products.
Thank you again for all your hard work. You can be sure that your independent testing and comments will help to give parents the best and most unbiased advice available.
Sharon Trotter - Founder and Director of TIPS Ltd
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Disclaimer: TIPS Ltd is not responsible or liable for any failings of products or product information provided to Testers during a TIPS trial. The responsibility remains with the individual manufacturer. Research is constantly changing and while every effort has been made by the author to ensure the information contained in the guidelines is accurate and up-to-date, parent testers must still be encouraged to seek the advice from their Midwife, Health Visitor, GP Lactation Consultant if unsure of any point.
©TIPS Ltd 2016
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