Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Menstrual Monday

By Michelle Schnaars for Menses

Don’t get red in the face, celebrate your day with style. Menstrual Monday was founded by a lady named Geneva. Who is this mysterious woman? Well, no one really knows, or at least no one has come forward and said who she is. But it is attributed to her, and so we give her credit. Menstrual Monday is celebrated the Monday before Mother’s Day because, “Menstruation comes before motherhood… and usually long after it, too.”

What’s the purpose of Menstrual Monday? DeAnna L’am writes the reasons to celebrate are to create “a sense of fun around menstruation.” “to encourage women to take charge of their menstrual and reproductive health.” and “to enhance honesty in our relationships.”

But it is something that can actually be celebrated anytime and any place, and with anyone we choose like the special women in your life: your mom, sister, aunt, grand mom, and friends. You can also celebrate by wearing the color red, taking a leisurely walk, telling the story of your first period, and by eating red foods like strawberries, strawberry or raspberry cheesecake, spaghetti, and pink lemonade.

This celebration is one way you can take care of yourself at this time. Make sure you have a good multivitamin, and or calcium with magnesium, as these will help encourage overall good health including healthy bones, less or no cramps, and less or no headaches and nausea. Other things that help ease this time are regular and appropriate exercise, and a balanced diet (meaning a balance of healthy foods).

You can also use this as an opportunity to make the switch from disposable to reusable hygiene products:

Some reasons women use cloth pads, sponges, or cups:
  • Cost effective. They last longer, therefore reduce your monthly expenses
  • Less waste in landfills that take years to degrade
  • They are healthier. They reduce the amount of harmful chemicals you are exposed to
I switched to cloth menstrual pads eleven years ago, and have never looked back. Back in 1985, shortly after starting my period at age 13 I found disposable pads uncomfortable, and I usually ended up with skin irritation from them too. However, I didn't learn about reusable products until some time in 2000 after a friend told me about them. She was using them and told me about the comfort, ease-ability (is that a word ;-/), and how much money she saved using them. But it wasn't until after my first period after my daughter’s birth that year that I had the chance to use them. Although I was too nervous to try them with postpartum bleeding, I did try them soon after, and found them to be completely wonderful. They were soft, easy to wash and store, and reduced the discomfort that I was experiencing each month. It was a good decision for me to switch. Remember, this is your time and your body. Figure out what works best for you.

Menstruation is a part of your life, or will become a part soon. It isn’t something to fear or an embarrassment. Not that you have to announce it on the mountain tops, but you don’t have to hide in your room either, though you might feel like doing that the first time. Understanding what’s happening and being prepared can help you to feel better about your period. And, celebrating it will help you to have an easier time each month, because you can’t run from it.

If you need resources or more information please visit the pages linked at the top right-hand corner. There you will find links to hygiene products, information about menarche (which is the first period a girl gets), menses (your period), and articles and books about this time. And, make sure you have your teen kit on hand before you start menarche. This kit should include:

  • 3 day pads, which when starting out can also be used during the night without the threat of leakage.
  • 1-3 panty liners.
  • A carrying bag for going out (to school, etc.), which will fit one or a couple clean pads, and has a separate side for soiled pads.
  • A storage bag for clean and or soiled pads, which will hang in your room or bathroom, if you have the latter option.
Talking with a trusted woman in your life will also help you to feel better, so go find mom, your sister, grand mom, aunt, even some dad’s are able to help. Whoever that person is, it’s never too soon to start talking about your period.


Tara said...

Great post! Wonderful ideas for Menstrual Monday. We will actually be holding a Menstrual Monday TweetChat in May if you would like to join us. More info at: Hope to "see" you there!

Michelle said...


Thank you for sharing about this timely information. Everyone, please visit for more information about these free TweetChats in May. Also, be sure to check out the rest of their exciting events when you're there, I don't think you'll want to miss them!


Michelle said...

We've added the TweetChat information on our sister site, Menses Today at Please check it out, and join these timely chats!