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Preparing Your Daughter For A Non Toxic Period :: Safe Product Options And Natural Period Relief For Teens

February 24, 2017

Learn why non-toxic period products are safer, and what you can use for natural period relief for your teen.

Preparing Your Daughter For A Non Toxic Period :: Safe Product Options And Natural Period Relief For Teens

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

A Note From Renee ::

3 girls. 3 girls! I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I haven’t really given a ton of thought as to how we will handle this season of life! Now that I am emerging from the fog of a {long} season of baby-hood and see my little girls growing up before my eyes, researching safer period options has become important to me.

I asked my fellow Green Moms Network friend who is the expert on non-toxic personal care items, Brittany, from The Pistachio Project, if she would address this important topic with my readers. I know a lot of you are moms with kids – even if you don’t have teens in the house yet, this will help you get ready to walk through this special season of life with your daughter!

Welcome Brittany! We are thrilled to learn more about this important information!


Anytime is the right time to start researching!

My daughters are still a few years away from getting their first period but that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about how they will go about dealing with it. When I was a young girl, the only options I even heard about were disposable pads and tampons. I had no idea that there were more natural ways to deal with my period. Thankfully, I now know all about the natural and non-toxic ways to have a period and I enjoy that time of the month a bit more since making the switch. I want my daughters to have the same natural and toxin free period options when their time comes.

Preparing Your Daughter For A Non Toxic Period :: Safe Product Options And Natural Period Relief For Teens Healthier for Her

We’ve all heard about Toxic Shock Syndrome but disposable tampons and pads actually carry other health concerns as well. Synthetic materials, bleach, fake fragrances, chlorine, pesticides, dioxin and other harmful ingredients are in disposable feminine products! This stuff does indeed enter our bodies and can have a negative impact on us. Take dioxin for instance, it’s a known carcinogen that has been linked to cervical and breast cancer! Why in the world are brands allowing this to be in our feminine products?

Lighter Periods and Less Cramps

This has got to be one of the greatest reasons to switch to non-toxic period products. As a woman, you know that heavier periods and cramps are no joke, so naturally you would want to help your daughter so that she doesn’t have to deal with all that! Using feminine products that do not contain all those toxin ingredients that I mentioned above actually can mean less cramps and lighter periods. It’s pretty amazing!

Saves Money

Ok so perhaps your daughter will not care about this factor, as I’m assuming you are likely to pay for her feminine care products right now. But you will appreciate this! Think about how expensive buying period products for you and a daughter will be (or 3 daughters like I will eventually have to do! Oh my!!!) $120 is what the average woman spends each year on feminine products! I can think of better uses for my money.

Reduces Waste

Hopefully your daughter is already a budding environmentalist, but if not then this is a great place to get her aware of how much waste we create. One woman will use over 10,000 disposable feminine products in her lifetime! Those disposable products aren’t going to be breaking down anytime soon either! All that waste will sit in the landfill for ages and the chemicals will seep into the ground and water that we use.

Much More Fun

Sure, these products are ones that nobody but your daughter are likely to see but girls like to have fun! Having fun feminine products will make this new experience much more enjoyable for your daughter. Forget about boring white pads and tampons! These non-toxic period products come in tons of fun colors and patterns (I’m talking mermaids, leopard print, rainbows, emojis, I even just saw some Star Wars pads!!!)

Preparing Your Daughter For A Non Toxic Period :: Safe Product Options And Natural Period Relief For TeensCloth Pads

These are the reusable alternative to disposable pads/pantyliners. (They are also referred to as Mama Cloth but clearly that won’t fly with your daughter!) Their is a bit of ick factor as yes, you will have to rinse these out and wash them but it’s not all that different from dealing with leaked on panties.

Pros:

  • Super easy to use!
  • Similar to their disposable version.
  • Tons of sizes (super light panty-liners, medium flow, overnight, even thong sizes)
  • Super fun colors and prints!

Cons:

  • They have to be washed.
  • Can’t toss them like you would disposables so your daughter would need to carry a small wet bag with her to store the dirty pads. (I recommend a cute little wet/dry bag so that she can store her clean pads in the dry section and the dirty ones in the wet. Plus all she will need to take to the restroom is her cute bag; no trying to hide a pad in the palm of her hand)
  • Can’t go swimming (just like disposable pads)

I love Pink Lemonade Shop for all their cloth pads! They have so many great colors and prints! (A note from Renee: I use cloth pads if you are curious what I use! If you like to use Amazon, I have found lots of great cloth pad options on there too!)

Want more info on cloth pads? I have a more detailed post on mama cloth and how to make the switch.

Menstrual Cups

These are the reusable alternative to tampons. However, they do not look like tampons! They are cup shaped and actually collect the blood unlike tampons which absorb the blood. Like cloth pads, there is a slight ick factor because your daughter will be getting close and personal with her body.

Pros:

  • Can be worn for 12 hours straight including through the night!
  • Can be worn for swimming, sports, exercise.
  • Non-drying as they do not absorb moisture like tampons.
  • No leaks unlike tampons (so long as the learning curve is mastered)

Cons:

  • Have to dump and rinse the cup so it’s a little icky.
  • Must get very comfortable with anatomy (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing).
  • There is a learning curve. Such as learning different folding methods, inserting, and remove menstrual cups.
  • People who do not want their virgin daughters to use tampons would have the same issue with menstrual cups.

There are many different brands for menstrual cups each with their own pros and cons. I love SckoonCup personally but it’s also the only one I’ve tried so far.

Want more info on menstrual cups? I have a more detailed post on menstrual cups on my blog.

Period Panties

These are one of the newest non-toxic period product options! Period panties are quite literally underwear that are extra absorbent. They are like a pad and panty all rolled into one.

Pros:

  • Hold up to 2 tampons worth of blood (depending on panty style).
  • Custom sizing and variety of styles.

Cons:

  • They have to be washed.
  • Must remove pants to remove the underwear so that could be problematic depending on location.
  • Can’t toss them like you would disposables so your daughter would need to carry a small wet bag with her to store the dirty panties. (I recommend a cute little wet/dry bag so that she can store her clean panties in the dry section and the dirty ones in the wet. Plus all she will need to take to the restroom is her cute bag)
  • Can’t go swimming (just like disposable pads)

THINX is the popular brand for period panties! I haven’t tried them yet but they definitely seem like a great option. (A note from Renee: I am very seriously considering trying some Thinx out and they are on my wishlist – I really think they look great!)

Sea Sponges

If nature created a natural tampon, the sea sponge is it. These are actual live (used to be alive?) sponges. They are to be used similarly to a tampon minus an applicator.

Pros:

  • All natural, no man made products at all.
  • Not as scary looking to insert as a menstrual cup.
  • Can be worn for swimming, sports, exercise.
  • Actually contain healthy sea minerals that the body can use.

Cons:

  • Only lasts about a year.
  • Learning curve on how to insert.
  • Only holds one tampon’s worth.
  • Not vegan.
  • Can’t toss them like you would disposables so your daughter would need to carry a small wet bag with her to store the dirty sponges. (I recommend a cute little wet/dry bag so that she can store her clean sponges in the dry section and the dirty ones in the wet. Plus all she will need to take to the restroom is her cute bag)

I’ve not tried sea sponges yet but Jade and Pearl looks like a popular choice. (Edited to add: Please see the comments below for a quick note from a reader on some safety issues regarding sea sponges that was brought to our attention after this was published. This does concern me (Renee), so please keep those comments in mind as you make your choice!)

Preparing Your Daughter For A Non Toxic Period :: Safe Product Options And Natural Period Relief For TeensWhile on the subject of periods, let’s talk about period relief. When I was a teen, I was all about the Tylenol. Now that I’m older and wiser, I prefer not to use drugs unless absolutely necessary. There are lots of great natural options out there and I love using them and I’ll introduce these methods to my daughter when their time comes.

(Note from Renee: It is important to note that extreme PMS symptoms such as extreme cramping can be a red flag to mineral deficiency and hormones being off. I highly encourage a simple hair tissue mineral analysis with my NTP friend, Lydia to figure out your daughter’s unique biochemistry related to her symptoms. Your daughter does not have to live with extreme pain during her period. The items in this section should help with normal cycle symptoms. Coming from personal experience, I can attest to going from really extreme cycle symptoms to not noticing I’m having a period at all through mineral balancing!)

Red Raspberry Leaf Tea

Any lady who has gotten her period should be sipping red raspberry leaf tea! This tea is mellow in flavor (reminds me a bit of black tea) and is amazing for uterine health. It can help relieve cramps and other period related issues like PMS. If your daughter isn’t a big tea fan, try brewing an herbal tea blend similar to this nettle infusion – the hibiscus will make it taste better. You could stir in raw honey if you wish too.

Magnesium

Many people deficient in magnesium these days. Proper levels of magnesium helps with cramps. If you or your daughter are dealing with cramps, try increasing the magnesium rich foods, or spray some magnesium oil on your body.

(A note from Renee: I always keep Cell Salt #8 on hand for period pain. I don’t experience cramps anymore since balancing my minerals and recovering from post partim hormone imbalance, as well as taking a slow release magnesium supplement during the month, but when I was in a lot of pain, those cell salts really took the pain down quite a few notches. Cell Salt #8 is a homeopathic that helps the body absorb and use magnesium efficiently.)

Gentle Movement & Rest

Moving and exercising might be the last thing any woman on her period wants to do, but it actually works great for reducing cramps. Even if your daughter only does some light yoga while her period, it can help her feel better.

It is also important for there to be conversation about how she might feel the day or 2 before, and the first day or so of her period. Making your daughter aware that it is normal to feel more tired and need extra rest is important so she doesn’t feel abnormal. Explain to her it is important to listen to her body and get a little extra rest, take a long bath, and care for herself.

Rice Bags

Much like a heating pad, rice bags can provide warmth and comfort for any aches and cramps. I prefer to use rice bags because they are not tied to electricity and they can go where you go. You can also add soothing scents like lavender to rice bags. You can buy rice bags (sometimes referred to as aromatherapy bags) but it only takes minutes to make your own rice bag.

Menstrual Cramp Relief Salve

This cramp relief salve has worked wonders on my cramps if I get them. It’s not too complicated to make and will last at least a year. Make a jar for you and your daughter (it’s also helpful for any type of cramp/ache so others could make use of it too)

I hope this post has been helpful for you. Please use it as a way to talk to your daughter about these options and about how she can have a non-toxic period. Bonus idea: After you’ve talked to your daughter about what she’d like to use, put together a great first period kit for her!

BrittanyThomasBrittany Thomas is the author of The Pistachio Project. A mother to five children, she began her journey of living green and crunchy because she wanted the best for her kids. However, she soon realized that natural living was a benefit to herself as well and now she shares what she’s learning on her blog. You can also find her at Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Natural Remedies Products & Books We Love!

Kids Not Sleeping? Environmental Sensitivities & Toxins Could Be The Culprit!

December 8, 2016

Kids spend close to half of their 24 hours in a day in their beds! Are your kids sleeping in a toxin free zone?

Kids Not Sleeping? Environmental Sensitivities Could Be The Culprit!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site. I was provided product from NaturePedic in this post for review purposes and did not receive monetary compensation. 

Sleep.

The ever constant desire of almost any parent, and yet it is something that isn’t talked about near often enough.
We talk a lot on this blog about how to nourish kids with the right food so that they can function well all day, and sleep well at night, but the physical environment our kids are sleeping in is just as important as food to their overall health – both day and night.

Kids spend 8-10 hours of every 24 hour day in their beds. (Babies and toddlers 10-12 hours!)

Let that sink in a little bit.

Almost half of every day, our children are in a bedroom, sleeping. If you have never thought about it in that way before, it is a good place to start when asking great questions like, “Why is my (older) child up 3 or 4 times a night?”, and “Why do my kids wake up stuffy and sneezy, or coughing?”, or even “Why do my kids have darkness or redness around their eyes?”

Kids Not Sleeping? Environmental Sensitivities Could Be The Culprit!

This was me about 4 years ago when I put my oldest into a big girl bed for the very first time.

We struggled for almost a year with restless nights, darkness around her eyes, and super stuffed up noses every morning.

I couldn’t figure it out. Her diet was squeaky clean, and I had eliminated all sorts of common food allergens to no avail. I had never thought about environmental sensitivities until I started doing some digging around with my reading.

The very week we threw a load of dust mite arsenal at her room, the darkness around her eyes went away and she slept sounder.

We were still dealing with sneezy mornings (though admittedly less in intensity), and to be honest I knew what the problem was. She was sleeping on an old mattress. I knew it needed to be replaced, so we got to researching a solution. In the meantime, we covered her mattress with dust mite covers and followed a strict protocol to keep the dust mites under control.

 


Our Dust Mite Control Plan!

  • Use an organic pillow to avoid chemicals in the fibers
  • Cover the bed and pillow with dust mite covers.
  • Wash bedding in hot water weekly and put pillows into the dryer on high heat for 30 minutes every week.
  • Limited the stuffed animals in her bed to 5 or less and give those a tumble in the dryer on high heat along with the pillow every week.
  • Wipe down window sills and floor boards every 1-2 weeks, and dust mop 2 times per week. (We have hard wood floors in the bedrooms which is great for keeping dust at bay. If you have carpet, vacuuming every other day would be a good idea if you haven’t already tried that.)

Kids Not Sleeping? Environmental Sensitivities Could Be The Culprit!

My research into safe bedding really opened my eyes to the chemicals and materials commonly used in making mattresses and bedding.

I was even more convinced that her mattress had a lot to do with her environmental sensitivity symptoms. I couldn’t get over the polyurethane in the foams, the toxic flame retardants, the soy, and many other materials and chemicals used to make mattresses!

I spent all this time avoiding chemicals in the food she ate, only to have her spending half of her day in a bed full of toxins!

I researched so many sleep solutions and kept coming back to Naturepedic because the quality was so sound. We have been so happy with our Verse Organic Mattresses for the girls, and even more importantly, I am happy to report that my daughter has been sneeze and cough free every morning since we swapped out her mattress! The girls sleep 10-11 hours every night, and I know they are safe and comfortable.

Kids Not Sleeping? Environmental Sensitivities Could Be The Culprit!

The Naturepedic Verse Organic mattresses boast:

  • 100% Organic Cotton Fabric & Filling :: Organic cotton is the purest form of cotton and a healthier alternative to synthetic fabrics and foams. Naturepedic uses only U.S. grown and certified organic cotton as filling for its mattresses and buys directly from USDA certified sources. This increases purity, organic reliability and support for U.S. farmers. The surface fabric is soft to the touch and easily stretches to conform to your body.
  • Safe Fire Protection :: Due to the innovative natural design and intelligent mattress construction, Naturpedic passes all Federal and State flammability standards without the use of fire retardant chemicals or flame retardant barriers. This is achieved through superior product design, the use of more natural materials and the elimination of polyurethane foam.
  • PLA Comfort Layer :: The PLA comfort layer adds resiliency to the quilt for increased performance and moisture wicking. Our non-GMO PLA is a made from potatoes. It wicks away moisture, offers a comfortable resiliency, and does not off-gas harmful chemicals. In fact, it is used for food packaging and a number of biomedical applications.
  • Breathable Encased Coil Support :: The coils in the Verse are individually wrapped for full body-contouring comfort. This method ensures isolation of movement while promoting balanced support for proper postural alignment. Exclusive construction completely avoids the use of glues or adhesives. Provides just the right amount of bounce while adding excellent breath-ability and heat dissipation characteristics as compared with memory foam and even all-latex mattresses.
  • Safe Fire Protection :: Due to the innovative natural design and intelligent mattress construction, Naturepedic passes all Federal and State flammability standards without the use of fire retardant chemicals or flame retardant barriers. This is achieved through superior product design, the use of more natural materials and the elimination of polyurethane foam.
  • Organic & Greengaurd Gold Certified :: Not only are the individual materials certified, but the finished mattress is certified as well. This ensures that all components meet a healthy non-toxic standard. Certified by OTCO to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). All Naturepedic products are also tested for chemical emissions and certified according to stringent GREENGUARD® Gold certification standards.

An investment in your kids’ long term health

The day it dawned on me that what my kids were breathing in and sleeping on night after night affected their health, was the day my determination shifted to making that environment as safe as possible for not only their respiratory health, but their overall health. Sleep affects everything. Kids are unstoppable when they’ve had a good night of sleep, and every organ and system in their bodies function best when the body is well rested.

Kids Not Sleeping? Environmental Sensitivities Could Be The Culprit!

Start somewhere…

Here is your healthy checklist to get started on *today* for a better night sleep!

  • Naturepedic has an entire line of kid safe specific organic mattress toppers and pads as well as safe pillows and pillowcases that are a great start to breathing safer.
  • Remove clutter from the bedrooms to keep dust at a minimum.
  • Follow the dust mite “protocol” for cleaning the bedrooms above. Get the kids involved to help with the load. If the kiddos are old enough to toddle around following you as you clean, they are old enough to carry a little dust cloth to help!
  • Add a salt lamp to the bedroom to keep the air clean purified. The soft glow doubles as a night light for kids, and it doesn’t affect their sleep rhythms. I have noticed the salt lamp calms my kids.
  • Ultimately the mattress does in fact make a difference. All of these things made a huge difference but it wasn’t until the mattress change that my oldest was finally breathing better the next morning! The Naturepedic mattress has been a great change for us!

So talk to me! Have you experienced sleep struggles with the kids related to environmental toxins? What has worked for you?

Natural Remedies Products & Books We Love! Real Food Tips

Safe Skin Care :: Crunchy Balm Tallow Balm Review

September 23, 2016

A real food, tallow based healing and moisturizing balm, Crunchy balm is perfectly safe for babies to adults with results you will love!

Safe Skin Care :: Crunchy Balm Tallow Balm Review :: A real food, tallow based healing and moisturizing balm, Crunchy balm is perfectly safe for babies to adults with results you will love!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” I was provided product in this post for review purposes. Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

I think these days we can all pretty much agree that it isn’t just the ingredients in the food we eat that is important…the ingredients in the products we put on our body is pretty important too!

Our skin is the largest organ on our bodies and anything you put on it absorbs into your body. Flip over that bottle of soap or lotion you apply to yourself and your kids day in and day out and you have a list of every healthy ingredient or harmful chemical entering their body.

Luckily, there are so many easy personal care switches you can make, and one of the first I made was using grassfed tallow on my skin and on my babies. Years ago I read in the book Nourishing Traditions, that the saturated fats in grassfed tallow give cell membranes the “necessary stiffness and integrity” necessary for proper function, and after a few days of using tallow on my face before bed I could absolutely tell.

Safe Skin Care :: Crunchy Balm Tallow Balm Review :: A real food, tallow based healing and moisturizing balm, Crunchy balm is perfectly safe for babies to adults with results you will love!

Tallow is gently rendered beef fat.

Our ancestors frequently used tallow to moisturize and protect their skin, yet somewhere along the way we were led to believe that plant-based products were superior, although their chemistry does not match our skin well. Though plant based oils and butters can be great, animal products (like tallow) offer your skin a unique set of nutrients like vitamins A,D, E, and K in perfect harmony with their activators as well as anti-inflammatory CLA.

OK…so you are asking me to smell like a cow all day?!

Well, at first I totally did. I was not an expert DIY’er so I didn’t have a clue how to make it smell…less cattle like! I made my tallow and slathered it on. And you know what? I am still not an expert DIY’er in the least! Which is why I nearly flipped when my amazingly talented friend Emilie from Crunchy Balm sent me her handmade “tallow balm” that did not…I repeat…did NOT smell like a cow!

It was also not rock hard from being in the fridge, and absorbed much better. It truly feels like pampering, and after literally a decade of not using store bought skin care products to avoid toxic chemicals, I have enjoyed every minute of getting to pamper myself with skin care that not only smells amazing and is not toxic, but it works!

Safe Skin Care :: Crunchy Balm Tallow Balm Review :: A real food, tallow based healing and moisturizing balm, Crunchy balm is perfectly safe for babies to adults with results you will love!

3 Crunchy Balm Ingredients! That’s it!

  • 100% grass-fed Tallow :: The tallow in the balm is only sourced from grass-fed cows pastured on organically grown grass, which results in tallow that is rich in nutrients and free of pesticides and other toxins. Man-made toxins found in conventionally raised cows makes the fat from non-organic cows unfit to nourish your skin. Tallow nourishes your skin. It is health promoting and has a cumulative effect, which means the more you use it, the more soft and supple your skin becomes.
  • Organic USA Olive Oil :: Olive oil is superb for moisturizing the skin, containing 3 major antioxidants and hydroxytyrosol which prevents free radical damage to the skin. Because olive oil is very easily cut with cheaper oils and sold as olive oil, Crunchy Balm only sources organic USA grown and made olive oil.
  • Essential Oils :: All of the essential oils used Crunchy Balm products are of the highest quality grade. These therapeutic essential oils are carefully selected for their skin restoring properties. Far from the common “fragrance oils” commonly found in subpar cosmetic products, these plant essential oils can cause various neurochemicals to be released in the brain for true aromatherapy. (For those sensitive to essential oils on the skin, the Unscented Crunchy Balm is just the whipped tallow and olive oil – it is super smooth and creamy just like the scented too!)

Safe Skin Care :: Crunchy Balm Tallow Balm Review :: A real food, tallow based healing and moisturizing balm, Crunchy balm is perfectly safe for babies to adults with results you will love!

Crunchy Balm‘s Purity

Crunchy Balms are non-comodogenic, naturally abundant in vitamins A, D, E & K, sustainably sourced, and handcrafted.

All 3 Crunchy Balms are free from:

  • petroleum based ingredients
  • artificial colors, ingredients, or fragrances
  • chemicals
  • GMO’s

Crunchy Balm is going to make the best birthday gift, stocking stuffer, Valentine’s Day gift, Mother’s Day gifts….and gift to yourself this year!

Which is why Emilie was so gracious enough to give RGN readers a discount code so you can stock up for a year of gift giving as well as self care! Simply fill that cart up to the brim and use the code RGN16 at checkout to get 10% off your order! You can click the image below to get shopping! (coupon expires 10/31/2016)

Safe Skin Care :: Crunchy Balm Tallow Balm Review :: A real food, tallow based healing and moisturizing balm, Crunchy balm is perfectly safe for babies to adults with results you will love!

Find Crunchy Balm online!

Website :: www.crunchybalm.com
Facebook :: www.facebook.com/crunchybalm
Instagram :: www.instagram.com/crunchybalm