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Today Jaelin and Andie talk about those dreadful period problems and natural remedies for them.

Points from the video:

We woman need to look at our menstrual cycle as an inner guidance system. When we do this, we are able to heal both hormonally and emotionally. Studies show that women who have a positive outlook on their cycles, have fewer menstrual discomforts. Women who have had negative input, especially as a young girl, have more discomforts, PMS, and an overall unwellness around this time. Not unlike in labor and birth, the more positive our views are on labor and birth, the easier it is to manage a normal process our bodies go through.

First thing in managing our cycles, is changing our views on our menstrual cycles.

Five thousand years ago, the female body was considered sacred. The original word “taboo” meant “sacred”! In tribes around the world, first menstruation was honored as a coming of age and initiated the young girl into womanhood. She was honored by all. Woman were given time to meditate and rest during this time that was meant for reflection.

Our menstrual cycles are the most basic, early cycle we have. The monthly cycle ripening of an egg and subsequent pregnancy or release of menstrual blood mirror the process of creation as it occurs not only in nature but in humans.

The timing of the menstrual cycle, the fertility cycle, and labor also follows the moon-dominated tides of the ocean. Environmental cues such as light, the moon, and the tides play a documented role in regulating women’s menstrual cycles and fertility. Studies show when women listen and respect the cues of our bodies, our cycles regulate, fertility increases, and we have less discomfort.

We do this by understanding that in the first few weeks of our cycles (Follicular phase) we are productive, we have more ideas and creativity and are in a good place to initiate new things. Ovulation represent mental and emotional creativity is at it’s peak.

The second half of our cycle (Luteal phase) is a evaluative and reflective time. A time to look back at what has been happening, what is good and what could use improvement.

A few days before menses and during menses is a down time, where it is ok to rest, be non-productive, and get extra sleep. When we are in tune with this cycle and take time to wind down our bodies are able to manage this cycle well. Order out instead of cooking. Let someone else clean house or don’t clean at all. Let family know you need a break for a couple of days.

The second thing we can do to help our cycles is to recognize your rhythms and allow down time needed each month.

Menstrual Cramps: Over 60% of all women complain of menstrual cramps. Women with cramps have high levels of prostaglandins in their blood (PGF2), which stimulates the uterus to contract. (Sound familiar)

Advil: While not natural, this is many women’s standard remedy. Every four hours the day before your menses and the first one or two days of your menses (PG2 blocker; not my favorite choice, as this is hard on your stomach)

Vitex (aks Chasteberry) Every day for at least three months to reboot the system. During that time, reflect on your views of your body, menstrual cycle, and listening to the rhythms of your body.

Meditation  5 minutes a day, reduces stress hormones that increase menstrual cramps.

Diet: A nutrient-rich, whole food diet.  Organic milk, meat should be antibiotic and hormone free, 6 servings of vegetables and 2 fruits daily.  Cruciferous vegetables such as kale, collard greens, mustard greens, broccoli, cabbage, and turnips  all help modulate estrogen and are helpful for endometriosis and fibroids. 25 grams of fiber daily to help with elimination (pooping). Eliminating dairy may eliminate all cramps for some women.

Supplements: Vitamin D3Indole-3-C, High quality multivitamin, B-Complex, magnesium 300-800 mcg daily, Iodine-12.5 mg daily in food or supplement form, Vitamin E, Omega-3, DHA and EPA (food sources are sardines packed in their own oil, olive oil 2-3x per week, cold-water fish such as mackerel, salmon, and swordfish)

Black Cohosh or “cramp bark” as a preventative. Follow directions on bottle

Menastil – a roll on product made from calendula oil for cramps.

Homeopathy – You will need to see a specialist for this, but it can be very effective. black cohosh, Corydalis, Dong quai, Wild yam, fennel, mother wort, chamomile, white peony, Jamaican dogwood, black haw, licorice.

Castor oil packs: Saturate a piece of wool or cotton flannel, folded so that it is four thicknesses, with cold-pressed castor oil. Place the saturated cloth on the skin of the lower abdomen and cover with a piece of plastic. Place a heating pad or hot water bottle over the pack. Place a towel or blanket over the heat source to contain the heat. Do 3 times a week for an hour at a time. (Good time to meditate and reflect)

This is a long discussion and cannot cover all conditions, but his is a good start. If you send us suggestions we will do a talk on individual issues.

Questions Answered in the Video:

Can you touch on periods during nursing?

Is 13 too young for starting D3? About how much? Not too young. 2000 iu daily. Sounds like a lot but it’s not.

I need direction on what to use. I want to give up tampons. Period Panties, Pads, and Menstrual cups are nice too. Always look at the materials you are using. Try for pure cotton. No chemicals or chlorine if using pads.

I feel like when women are together a lot they ‘sync’ their cycles together. Is this due to hormones? and historically has this played a role in social settings? This could be due to pheromones and so much more.

Normal for a young teen to be irregular first couple of years from 1st period? At what point is there a concern! After 18 the periods should be regular.

Have you guys discussed using Afterease for cramps? This will be discussed in a future episode.

Resources:

Menarche: Honoring the First Moon

Taking Charge of Your Fertility, 20th Anniversary Edition: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health

Reusable Charcoal Sanitary Pads (from our store!)

 

If you are in Houston and surrounding areas, check out hhhomebirth.com!


 

About the Author

Jaelin Stickels

Jaelin married her high school sweetheart (Ted) in 1984 and is the proud mother of 3 grown children (2 boys & a girl). She has a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, a Master’s Degree from Georgetown and holds several other professional certifications related to health and wellness; currently, she is working on her Doctorate degree. Jaelin works as a Midwife and Nurse Practitioner with her business partner Andie Wyrick at Holistic Heritage Homebirth in the Woodlands Texas.

A certified nurse midwife and doctorate student has been in the Houston birth community for over a decade. Her experience includes elementary school nursing, hospital L & D, birth center, and home birth. Andie is confident in a woman's ability to grow and birth her baby. She feels a partnership in care is empowering and hopes to foster that relationship with families. She has a tender, lighthearted, and hands off approach to the evidence based care she offers. She has been joyfully dating her husband of 16 years since junior high and has five children. Her passions beyond bellies, birth, and breastfeeding are mission work and reading.