Tuesday, November 18, 2008

WFMW Have a Happy Period--no, really!

I hate the kotex ads, but the idea of a happy period is one worth considering! After all, for years we've heard about 'the curse' and 'that time of the month' in every negative way imaginable...but it doesn't have to be a negative thing!
Here are a few things you can do that can make it a much happier experience for you (and all the people who live with you!)
♥ Red Raspberry Leaf (in teas, capsules, or tinctures) RRL promotes general reproductive health, and will reduce cramps,
♥ Drink your water! Being dehydrated will exacerbate anything, and most people are dehydrated most of the time. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
♥ Take calcium and magnesium (magnesium is in chocolate, which is probably why you crave it, but the sugar will increase symptoms, so don't do it!) (RRL has both calcium and magnesium, as well as iron which is important because you're losing iron with the bleeding)
♥ Avoid caffeine, sugar, grease and salt.
♥ Drink chamomile tea.
♥ Exercise! Get those endorphins flowing, and it will lift your mood. Some women also report that it helps with cramps. If you're able to get out in the sunshine that should help too.
♥ If you can't get sunshine, try Cod Liver Oil--it is like liquid sunshine for your body, providing vitamins A and D as well as essential fatty acids. It's a major mood booster. (The brand I linked is actually quite pleasant--I mix it in yogurt or orange juice and it's not fishy at all!)
♥ Vitamin E can help with cramping pain (it must be chelated and powdered, the oil will not work).
♥ Vitamin B can help with stress and mood
♥ Try some yoga--cat's pose and child's pose are both good ones for menstrual woes. Aside from the relaxation and improved circulation, yoga can also release endorphins and improve mood.
♥ Many women report that switching to cloth pads or menstrual cups shortens the duration and heaviness of their flow, as well as reducing cramping.

Works For Me Wednesday is brought to you by Rocks in my Dryer. Come share your tips, or see what works for others! Click the icon above to go to this week's entry.


Jessica said...

Ew... if you want to do the Red Raspberry Leaf, do the capsules! The tea is nasty!!
Oh, yeah, and I thought the menstrual cup did wonders on making my period lighter and making the cramps disappear, until I realized I hadn't had a period at all - just implantation bleeding! Craziness...
Oh, how are those cloth tampons coming along?

Carolyn said...

Thanks for the great tips! My mood swings are horrendous that time of the month and now I know why I have those irrational chocolate cravings-- the literal turning the house upside down to find one left-over M&M from Halloween in the couch cushions-cravings.

And next time I'll be using these handy dandy little knitted tampons which will hopefully help the flow/duration of aunt flo that has been frustrating me lately.

TopHat said...

I'm curious how cloth pads reduce the length of a period. My nosey BIL had heard in the family gossip line that I don't use tampons (gasp!) and wanted to know why I use cloth.

Although, to be honest, I don't know why my BIL asks to know what I put and don't put in my vagina...

Brooke said...

I started using a Diva Cup after my second child was born. However, I only had 3-4 periods before getting pregnant again, so I was just starting to get the hang of it. I've had 4 cycles since my 3rd child, and with the exception of the first, really crazy period, they've all been shorter than ever before and almost no cramps at all! My periods are now only 4 days long (used to be 7) and I have two "heavy" days that aren't really heavy at all and two light days. Since I only have to empty it 2x a day, it's almost like NOT having a period. I just can't say enough good things about my Diva Cup!! Though a word of warning for anyone who decides to try one, the learning curve is a 2-3 cycles in my opinion. I was pretty frustrated with it at first, but I'm really glad I kept with it! Oh, and I cut the stem completely off because it was really annoying. I found that I needed to do kegels to strengthen those muscles for the Diva to stay in place as well.

Becky said...

You know, I'm pretty lucky in the period department - it's not really such a bad time of the month for me.

I do have some friends who could seriously benefit from a few of the things you listed, though. Thanks for the info!

Jenni said...

Concerning RRL:
I don't care for tea, and do take the capsules. Be sure to drink plenty of water with them (I drink 8oz water/capsule) because you need the water to get the full benefit of them.
Also, if you want to do the tea route, I've heard several ideas of ways to make it yummier...Some women mix it with apple juice concentrate, some drink it chilled with lemon and honey, some drink it hot hot hot, some just chug it as fast as they can. Some women really love it though, so I'd say if you're a tea drinker, particularly if you're fond of herby teas such as chamomile, then there's a good chance that you'll like RRL tea just fine. ☺

Jenni said...

Knitted tampons--I have finished several, and have given them to a few friends for beta testing...hopefully I'll be offering them for sale in a month or so. ;)

Concerning "shorter/lighter flow" with cloth pads or a cup, I have heard rumors that the chemicals in disposable pads/tampons actually *increase* bleeding--whether this is because they are toxic chemicals, or because the companies are intentionally inducing extra bleeding (to sell more of their product), I don't know...I have not seen any science about it, but I have heard it from a lot of anecdotal sources.

Cynthia said...

I've heard good things about the Diva cup. I might have to try that. I'm fortunate to not suffer much at that time of the month though. I suppose now that I'm getting older, it could change. My reproductive years are almost behind me (okay, so I'm only 36 but feeling really old today).

I didn't know about the Raspberry Leaf Tea- good to know.

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Carrie said...

In my personal experience the tampons DO cause more bleeding and cramping than pads do. I don't think it is anything that they put in them for monetary gain, but just like with diapers, I bet chemicals in the manufacturing process have a part to play. I think I am going to switch to the Diva cup.

Quinn said...

Thanks for the tips. You have some great ideas.

Epson Salt Baths can also help.

Carolyn said...

I just picked up RRL tea today. Is it weird that I'm almost excited for AF?


I'll let you know if there's an improvement in my mood/flow.

Also... do you have care instructions available for reusable menstrual products? I'm a rookie at this stuff.

Jenni said...

I wrote a post on caring for cloth pads...I do basically the same thing with my knitted tampons, except I do put them in a little mesh bag in the washer so they don't get lost in there. :)

TopHat said...

So I've used cloth in the 2 most recent periods I've had and they've cut my period in half! It's like magic.

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