How I handle my period living off-grid!




Before I moved off-grid, I had a little bit of experience in this department. I’m allergic to pads(and I’m assuming tampons.) For me, I need to use alternative methods, or I break out into a very bad rash, in a place you never want a rash. At the risk of sounding like a tampon commercial, I’ve never let my period stop me before, why now?

I will admit, alternative products do take some getting used to. I had a hard time figuring out exactly what to do in the first place, and my doctor only suggested trying organic products. I still have issues, even with the supposed 100% cotton, chemical-free brands. So, I decided to take the step towards something else.

Besides, there are many benefits to getting away from “traditional” period products. There are several studies on the long-term health effects of chemicals used in pads, and their link to cervical cancer. Most of the products I use are completely reusable, meaning I’m spending less money on my periods every month(score) and stepping toward self-sufficiency by using these products. It could also be healthier.


Lucky for us, we have options and many are available cheap and on Amazon.


Reusable Pads

This is what I use. They are made from bamboo cotton, a renewable source, and they have excellent absorption. They can feel a little bulky, but there are panty-liner sizes for my lighter days. These are for a heavy flow, or an overnight pad.

These do have some cons, but I think they could be solved with a little fixing. They want to move around, especially if you’re a victim of the “mom-tinkle” like me. They can get heavy. If they had more than one snap, replaced the snaps with velcro, or made a little better way of “sticking” to panties, they would be drastically better.

Another great thing about reusable pads is that they are DIY-friendly! There are great patterns out there for many different styles, meaning you can sew a completely custom set of pads for yourself. This is great for us women who need a little extra back-coverage.


Menstrual Cup

I personally have not used one, but I hear from friends(and other off-gridders) they are excellent, so I wanted to include it, here. You may need to see your doctor for a fitting!


Period Panties

The prices of these have dropped dramatically since I last shopped for pads and I’m actually considering ordering these. They definitely eliminate the shifting problem, but I can’t seem to find a pair for heavier flows. This could be my next sewing project!


It seems to me that these would be perfect for night, as well. They could be custom made to include better back coverage and even better side coverage. Honestly, a pair of boxer-like panties with built-in absorption sounds WONDERFUL. Onto my sewing machine!


Period Subscriptions

If you are living off-grid, or planning to move off-grid, but still have access to your mail, a period subscription may be for you! If you’re prepping, possibly consider purchasing some reusable pads just-in-case, but a period subscription ensures you always have what you need, without leaving your homestead.


Free Bleeding

This isn’t for everyone, but, before I found reusable pads, this was my go-to when I was around the house. When I had to pick between a crazy, itching rash and bleeding through a pair of pants and onto a towel, it was an easy choice.


There’s several ways to free-bleed. It’s easier for women with a light cycle to free bleed, but not impossible if you are heavier. The key is to take a mid-day shower and change your pants/panties.


You can free bleed any way you feel comfortable, whether it be sitting on a towel in an old pair of sweats, sleeping on a pad or even having designated clothes to free-bleed in, you just need to figure out what works for you.


Free-bleeding can be messy, but as long as you are mindful of those around you(not bleeding or staining shared spaces, like a couch) it’s a great way to contain your period.



Handling Cramps

Ibuprofen can be purchased in bulk, but if you’re wanting to get away from NSAIDS, there are ways to ease those cramps, even off-grid!


Heating Pad

Non-electric heating pads are available! They’re also an easy sewing project.


Warm Bath/Hillbilly Hot Tub

A warm soak in a tub is great for relaxing your angry uterus. Epsom salts can help with any swelling, as well. I’m not sure if salts are ok for hot tubs, but salt baths are great!


Gentle Massage

You(or your partner!) can gently massage your lower belly, relaxing those tense muscles.

Taking a Walk

Sometimes, a short walk can relax you, and cause your uterus to calm down, even just a little.

Handling other Shark Week Symptoms

“The Curse,” as my grandmother called it, comes with other symptoms, from fatigue, upset stomach, hot flashes and so much more. These still need to be handled, even off-grid. While I can’t address every single symptom, I’ll try to get in some of the most common ones!


Fatigue

It always happens at the worst time. There’s 50 bags of feed to be unloaded and you already feel run-down. Sometimes our bodies can use up a lot of energy during our period. I fight off this fatigue with some high-protein, high-(healthy) fatty snacks and meals. Talk to your doctor about your diet and how that can help your period symptoms.


If you’re craving sweets, try to ward that off with some fruits. This can help your body obtain healthier sugars and create more energy for double-time.



Nausea/Indigestion/Upset Stomach

I like to drink chamomile some tea, sweetened with a little honey. Peppermint tea is great too, for me. Even some sweet tea helps me!

Period Poops

Baby wipes! If ya’ll figure out how else to handle these, please let me know!


Hot Flashes

Sleeping naked. If you can’t sleep naked, sleep in as little clothes as you feel comfortable in. Layer your bed with a top sheet and then a blanket, so layers are easily shed. Purchase a cotton t-shirt about 5x too big for you. Wear shorts underneath if you’d like. It makes a nice, cool sleeping dress!


If it’s the day, I like to have a cold snack, like a popsicle(it’s easy to make healthy popsicles from your own fruits, berries and juice.) Even a *cold* glass of water is helpful to me. I always step outside, too. They almost always happen in the truck for me, so I just roll down the window and get some fresh air in. It is extremely helpful.


I think it’s also worth noting, there’s a tea with great reviews I’ve been considering trying. It’s supposed to help with menopausal hot flashes, but I’m curious if it will help with them in general. Here’s a link to it, if you’ve tried it, please let me know if it works!


An actual image of me, on my period.

Insomnia

I find it’s harder for me to fall asleep, and stay asleep during this time. I try to stay away from taking melatonin, but I really have to put effort into a better night routine than any other time of them month.

Drinking a warm cup of chamomile tea, sweetened with honey(sugar wakes me up,) makes me sleepy. I also find that I sleep sounder after drinking it.


Body Pains/Sore Breasts

A hot bath with some epsom salts is amazingly helpful for this. The salts aren’t necessary but are helpful. If you don’t have a bathtub, a hot shower can also help.


Emotions

Sometimes I cry because my cat did something cute. It’s normal. Sometimes hormones cause us to feel like that. Watching a sad TV show or movie and having a good cry can help!


Anxiety

If you already suffer from anxiety, you may be familiar with the PMS jitters(as I call them.) There are tons of natural ways to fight anxiety, but I prefer to use hemp oil. Please talk to your doctor before using any supplements- I am not a dietician or doctor.

There are so many symptoms women face every month that are not even listed here. I am sorry about that! I wish I could help each and every one of you a little better in your off-grid journey, but if you have a specific symptom not listed here, and would like my input, please feel free to use the contact button at the bottom of this page, and I’d be happy to hear from you!


We, as women, must stick together, especially in the tough journey of going off-grid! We are all beautiful and capable of conquering the world. I am so happy you are all on this journey with me and I look forward to the next post!




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