By Nona Woman
Nona Diaries is a series featuring inspirational women and their period stories.
Today’s feature is about Monica Pranatajaya. One half of Nona’s Founding Team. Ex-Strategy Consultant with experiences in UK based EdTech and FemTech start-ups. Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from London Business School. Dedicated dog Mom, health and wellness enthusiast.
Hi! Let's start with your name.
Tell us how you got into Nona and what you like most about it.
This might sound super cheesy, but it was definitely serendipitous. After High School, Nicole and I went our separate ways. We only reconnected 5 years later, when we both had learned that we were applying for Grad School. Nicole was key in convincing me to come to London Business School for my MBA. During the program, we both interned at FemTech companies which really opened our eyes into the inequities of women’s health in Indonesia. The articles that we read of Indonesian girls’ experience with their period shocked us to say the least. It was only natural from there that we merged our passion for health and wellness, and experiences, both personally and professionally, to elevate women’s health in Indonesia.
What I love most about having started Nona was getting to work with one of my best friends and also receiving the messages of gratitude from not just our friends but also our followers. I really feel that just from what we’ve done so far, we have been able to actually help women to understand their bodies, be confident about their periods and improve their overall health.
Describe your period in 3 emojis.
🤷🏽♀️ 🪶 ⚡️
It’s non-existent (right now, because I’ve just stopped birth control after a solid 5 years, and my cycle is still adjusting). So really when it does come, it will be a surprise and you can bet I’ll be celebrating it with my friends. Before that, my period has always been pretty short and light. At times they were accompanied by horrible back pains and nausea but nothing serious, a warm heat pack and a lie down used to ease them :)
What feelings do you have towards your period?
At this point, I would be really grateful. Grateful to know that I can have my period back, grateful to know that I am healthy.
Do you get any womanly intuition or signs when your period is coming?
More of a sign than a womanly intuition but a honkin’ pimple around my chin used to give me the warning that my period was coming.
Are there any habits that you incorporate into your lifestyle to honor your period?
Not intentionally, but I tend to have more tea and bubble baths during my period. So really, just anything that’s warm and comforting.
What’s a period myth that you believed as a kid that you now think is ridiculous?
You can’t go swimming in the ocean on your period or sharks will come and eat you! Yes, sharks have a great sense of smell - they can detect blood from a quarter of a mile away. However, our period blood is not just blood - it’s a whole hodgepodge of fluids and mucus from our bodies. Also, just because they can smell our period, it doesn’t mean that they want to eat us.
So in conclusion, we don’t have to be scared about swimming in the ocean on our periods.
If you could give your younger self advice when you first got your period, what would you say?
Don’t ignore those missed period months, it’s your body trying to tell you something! Get some rest and eat better!
Read more about other inspirational women in our Nona Diaries series. Want to nominate any other women for this series? Email us or let us know here!