Updated: Feb 17
While many aspects of trucking are the same wither or not you are a man or woman, your period is not one of them.
Aunt Flo stops by once a month to visit with Female Truckers. You know she's expected at any time when you start having symptoms of cramping, bloating, crankiness, and moodiness.
In a previous post I discussed Aunt Flo’s monthly visit and provided some helpful tips for women truckers and how they can deal with their period while driving as an over the road truck driver. Don't let your period slow you down.
Below are some Dos and Don’ts that may help when Aunt Flo comes knocking at your door for next month's visit.
We will Discuss:
Use a heating pad
Common Over the Counter Medications
Eat Sugary Foods
Keep reading to find out how much ice cream I eat when Aunt Flo starts knocking at my door!
Who doesn’t love water? I personally hate drinking water, but during my period water helps with the bloating.
It seems counterproductive to drink more water when you are already swollen, puffy, and bloated.
But the more water you drink, the more toxins are being flushed from your body.
Drinking 10 8-ounce glasses of water throughout the day, will help you stay hydrated also.
If you keep a water bottle nearby, it will be easier to remember to drink more often.
Light exercise can help the blood in your body flow more easily, cutting down on the horrible cramps.
Walking, yoga, stretches, and swimming are great ways to gently move your body.
Sometimes sitting still can make the cramping worse.
I am guilty of wanting to lay around when I am PMSing.
If you like dancing, put on your favorite music and have fun.
My youngest daughter, Krissy loves a heating pad when she is cramping.
She will place it across her stomach and let the heat sooth, relax, and minimize her cramps.
Before Krissy starts her period, she soaks in a hot tub of water and Epsom Salts. The heat helps to release tension and the magnesium sulfate in the Epsom Salts provide the body with a mineral that is known for its soothing of muscles, and exfoliating effects.
Make sure to get enough sleep. During sleep your body has time to reset and restructure cells and muscles, healing your body. Even try taking a mid afternoon nap if you can.
If you suffer every month from PMS, keep a period journal. Include what pains you are having, where the pain is, how severe, and how long it last.
Pain could include cramping, headaches, stiffness, and other aches and pains.
Don’t forget to journal how you are feeling emotionally. Are you nervous, cranky, anxious, angry, tired, sleepy, crying or sad? You could also be happy and content, although most women would be envious if you are.
You can also record in your journal what day you started cramping, what day you started your period, how long you period last. Is your flow light, medium, heavy, or clotty? What color is it? Dark red, bright red, or even brown.
These notes will be useful if you decide to talk to your health care professional.
If you hate writing, but love your phone, look into getting an app that can keep track of all of this with the tap of a screen.
Clue Period Tracker, Ovulation App
This app provides information about your cycle. It tracks your period, how heavy the flow is, wither or not you use tampons, pads, etc. Clue also predicts your next period should arrive, and if you are interested in pregnancy, it provides an ovulation time. Other features of Clue, include recording mood, sex, energy levels, birth control reminders and more.
Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker
Another app with high customer ratings. Flo Period tracks female periods and ovulation, with features including mood tracker, PMS symptoms and pregnancy calendar for mom’s to be.
Period Calendar tracks your period, predicts ovulation, and provides a specific date that you should be ovulating. Period Calendar also tracks sex, moods, weight, and discharge. Like the two above it also has a birth control reminder.
Over the Counter Medication
While many of us don’t like to use medications, for those with a lot of cramping, achiness and bloating, Pamprin or Midol are both over the counter medications formulated for PMS symptoms.
I have heard varying opinions on caffeine.
Those who are against caffeine include, Tampax. Their website, states that caffeine can make you retain water, which makes you achy, crampy, and bloated.
While, Emma Thornton of A. Vogel, seems to agree that the caffeine in coffee and other foods can make you nervous and jittery. She recommends hot herbal teas, like Chamomile, Ginger, and Raspberry leaf tea. Another high caffeine food is chocolate, but if you can’t resist, have a small piece of dark chocolate.
When asked why does Midol Complete contain caffeine on Midol’s FAQ page, they responded with,
“Fatigue is a common complaint among women during their periods, so Midol Complete is specially formulated with 60 mg. of caffeine per caplet. That means a two-caplet dose is the caffeine equivalent of about one cup of coffee.The caffeine in Midol Complete also acts as a diuretic that helps reduce bloating.When taking Midol Complete, it's important to avoid any extra caffeine from other sources such as coffee or soda. Instead, drink more pure water to keep your body well hydrated. Midol Complete is the only Midol formula that contains caffeine.”
Pamprin also has a medication containing caffeine, named Pamprin Max.
In Pamprin’s FAQ page, they state that the
“caffeine is to relieve bloating, fatigue, and water weight gain."
But Pamprin also sells Pamprin Maximum Strength Multi-Symptom that is caffeine free.
With so many differing opinions you will have to decide for yourself, I have added links to the different websites so that you can read about them also. Just click on the red hyperlink to be taken to each website.
Personally, I need my coffee when I am PMSing, it helps give me a little energy.
And my daughter Krissy, well lets just say "You better not come near her with a ten-foot pool, before she has had her coffee. Aunt Flo really makes her cranky.
Just remember, what works for one woman, may not work for another.
Don’t Skip Breakfast
While many people prefer to skip breakfast, it is not a good idea when Aunt Flo is visiting. The cravings that your fluctuating hormones cause, are just intensified by not eating.
Eat small meals, to help keep hormones from fluctuating so often.
Grab an apple or banana, or even a breakfast bar, if you are in a hurry.
Don’t Eat a Lot of Sugary Foods
The first thing I want to do when Aunt Flo starts knocking is eat a half gallon of Turtle Tracks ice cream!
Although, I have a hard time adding this one, because it’s one of those "do what I say, not what I do" statements.
But, Web MD, states that sugar can cause mood swings from shifting levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone, possibly triggering mood swings and other PMS symptoms.
I crave sugary and salty foods. I know what Web MD says, but I just can’t help myself.
Do drink plenty of water. So light exercise, such as walking, swimming, or yoga. Use a small heating pad to help relive cramping. Get plenty of rest. Do keep notes on your PMS symptoms, use a phone app to make it much easier to keep up with. If you have awful symptoms, consider an over the counter medication. If it is really bad, discuss the issues with your health care provider.
Don’t consume to much caffeine, it may cause you to retain water and increase cramping. Don’t skip breakfast, small meals throughout the day can help to keep hormones on at bay. Don’t eat sugary foods, the shifts in blood sugar levels can trigger moon swings.
Remember, ever woman is unique, so are her mood swings, aches and pains during her period. While one idea may not work for you, it may work for you friend. Don't give up.
If you are having severe PMS consult your health care professional.
If you missed the first part of Aunt Flo's Visit, click here.
What do you crave when AUNT FLO starts knocking? Leave a comment below, we would love to know!