Letter on feminine needs and considerations when prepping…

Letter from Erica H

In all the blogs I’ve read I havent seen a lot address feminine needs when there is no more store to go to. Sure people can stock pile, but what happens when that stock pile runs out?

There are several products which can meet the needs for women monthly.

Menstruation cup: is a cup which inserts into a woman vagina which catches the flow for up to 2 hours. there are several brands on the market, such as the diva cup. There are usually 2 sizes and recommendations on which size to get.

The one advantage of the cup is its less mess overall, and does not require the use of extensive washing of reusable pads. Overall this is a good sanitary method if you don’t want to deal with reusable materials you have to wash.

Reusable pads: these can be purchased (such as the luna pad, there are many brands out there to shop around for) or made by hand. The idea is you create a holder which snaps around your underwear and the pad inserts in the holder. Both the holder and the pad need to be replaced (about every 4- 6 hrs depending on flow).

For hygiene it is recommended to place the used pads in water with bleech to keep from staining (although many brands I saw were made of a black fabric). these then would be washed once enough were collected, at the frequency one felt comfortable with.

Sea sponge: was the tampon replacement. It is a natural sea sponge which once inserted absorbs the flow. Depending on flow it should be removed and cleaned every 4 hours or so. The catch to the sea sponge is it should be washed in bleach and dried before reinsertion (it is a sponge), so you will need a few on hand. They are reusable. Unlike menstrual pads which can be made from most absorbent materials, once the sea sponge is ruined it cannot be replaced, so order a few to ensure you have enough.

Comments

  1. ahhhhhhhh!!!! ahhhhhh!!!! LALALALALALALALALALALALALA!!! im sorry,, the 12 year old came out in me. sometimes i cant help myself.

    • Homeinsteader says:

      Straighten up, bc! No. On second thought…don’t…you’re so much more fun like this! ; )

  2. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    Thanks for the very informative article. Both DW and myself are in our 60s so that hasn’t been an issue for a long time but our next extended family includes several women including a couple just hitting puberty and a couple who have had children or of childbearing age. It is apparent that there is a hole in my preps and your timely article will help us figure out what to do for the long term. I’m neither trained nor adept at dealing with toxic shock syndrome so the more I learn now the better kit I will be leaving behind for the extended family.

  3. Angry Mama Bear says:

    Great info Erica, and something that will need to be addressed eventually. However, products such as the menstruation cup, the famous DivaCup, can be used for up to 12hrs. :) Maybe the 2hrs was a typo.

  4. Erica H;

    Thanks for the reminders. Since these items are no longer needed on a regular basis in our house, it’s something that we don’t thing of much. However, it may be an issue, depending on what happens, how, and how long things get stretched out before the fall down.

  5. Crazy Stevo says:
  6. Encourager says:

    BC, me thinks this should have come with a warning of “Men – WARNING!! WARNING!! WARNING!! ~ FEMALE ISSUES DISCUSSED!!!”

    You crack me up BC! 12 year old, indeed…

    Good, quick article, Erica. Even though I am way past needing supplies, I have gone online and copied out instructions on how to make reusable pads, in case…

    • Those are good thoughts Erica, and we certainly need to prepare for this as well…I am a little concerned about using bleach around such a sensitive area ,especially for an item resembling a tampon, due to the toxic nature of bleach. I dont know if you are old enough to remember when women were being diagnosed with “Toxic Shock Syndrome” It has been a couple of decades ago. I dont know if they ever really determined the cause, but the White (bleached) cotton of the tampons was a suspected culprit. I use bleach on my whites when doing laundry, but I run those items through two rinse cycles…and of course I currently have the advantage of a nice washer and dryer verses a tub of water…Just a thought

  7. Georgeislearning says:

    I’m really glad you wrote this article. hypothectially if I had been storing up items incase of some kinda problem, I would probably make sure my wife had some type of pad. A person hypothecticlly could easily store up 6 months to a year woth of said pads easy enough. But you’re so right, what happens when those run out or you can’t get to them for one reason or another. What would you do. I have wondered what they used way back in time, what did the cave girls use? skip forward some years, what did cowgirls use? I like the sponge idea, sea sponge may not be easy to come by. can we expand on this article some? what leaves are most absorbant, the cup idea is somewhat interesting as caputreing the blood may have a use.

    I don’t want to be sick here but what other things could we use the blood for, other then just throwing it away.
    Now lets not let the 12 year olds in us come out, this is important stuff.
    I love dual use items , hypotheticlly speaking ofc :-)

    I’m going to scour the web for more info on this subject and will report back if I find anything worth while.

    • Georgeislearning says:

      sheep skin, fur to the inside. cheese cloth stuffed with various types of cotten type material, be it a weed, pplant or such. It appears way back they did nothing but leave a trail. Which got me to thinking, Idon’t want to leave a trail of blood for some one to easily follow us.
      The Germans way back did nothing but leaked and smelled bad. They didn’t care. Great times back then to be had for all I guess .

      I have found no other uses for the disgaurded blood.

      Best choice go ahead and add in another year of pads for storage
      Hypothectally if you were a prepper or someone who wanted more then the FEMA 5 day supply.

      Forgive my spelling spell check doesn’t seem to be working here

      thanks for the article

    • Patriot Dave says:

      I am not trying to be gross. Just yesterday, I read a recipe for making catfish bait using liver and its blood. so… why not? If you don’t have liver or dead animals, you could make a dough ball and add the blood. I would not use it to bait mammals. Don’t want them to develop a taste for human blood. composting? probably not. would attract animals digging in it. Decoy for zombies? :-0 fill a balloon to throw at an attacker? again, if no animals. reinact ‘carrie’ movie. :-p just thinking outside the box. So in other words, just properly dispose of it.

      • Georgeislearning says:

        Love the idea of using it as a type of bait, even if its just to catch a new bait, to catch the dinner. Great idea.

    • Indigenous people would sometimes use sphagnum moss as an absorbent – be it for menses, baby diapers, or heavily bleeding wounds.

      Also, in the civil war when bandages ran out, apparently the troops used sphagnum moss. Just knock off any dirt and wring it out really good before you use it. Putting some kind of cloth around it will help to keep it formed and clean.

      • Encourager says:

        I have read that the Indians used the soft inner wood of the Cottonwood tree as absorbents also.

  8. Tactical G-Ma says:

    Could make good barter items?!? !?

    • Crazy Stevo says:

      Got a stack for barter. Thought about that before my wife got onboard.

    • Georgeislearning says:

      that is a great barter item, thanks G-ma . can’t believe I didnt think of that.

    • Since I’m close to no longer worrying about this, I was thinking about barter items too. Unfortunately, I’ll likely need them for the daughters.

  9. Cliff in Douglasville says:

    Perhaps the discarded blood could be used to bait an animal trap. That’s the only thing I could come up with.

  10. I have over a years worth now, I think I need more. Reusable is the only way I can go for long term. So I need to invest in some. Oh and midol. I have a good 15 years left.

    • Georgeislearning says:

      dag nabit, Midol, why didn’t my wife tell me that. I mean if your trying to move over a distance last thing we need is cramps hurting us.

      along with the pads , the midol . great reminder ty

  11. Suburban Housewife says:

    What a wonderfully informative article. Thanks for taking on the topic.
    BC – you msde me laugh out loud!

  12. OK, I must admit I do feel self conscious standing in the line at COSTCO with a big bag of feminine product every so often, but considering the alternative written about here, I’m going to be in that line again tomorrow.

    • Tactical G-Ma says:

      Mexneck,
      It is obvious to everyone that when a man buys feminine products, they are not for him. But always buy chocolate with them. Then everyone will feel sorry for you. Not only is the woman in your life on her monthly, but she is PMS-ing as well. ;)

  13. Wellrounded says:

    I have a large stash of fabrics suitable for this or diapers etc, can be made up as needed (as well as snaps and presses etc to apply them). Sea sponges are good but must be dense and they break down pretty fast with repeated cleaning, you can buy them any where makeup is sold (well you can in Australia!) My daughter uses sea sponges for baby in the bath as they are so gentle and can be forced into skin folds without irritation.

  14. Erica H
    Good subject to bring up,personal hygene does’t get disscused enough.These may be icky,may not be as sexy as a tricked out AR or AK but are just as important. Especialy around our place, DW, 4 daughters,another daughter and grandaughter nearby.

  15. OK, guys leave the room. You are not needed

    When I first had my monthlies (I was 12 1/2 years old) we did not have the modern pads and God forbid: tampoons. My mother used cotton material solft, absorbent and not too hot, to make monthly pads. The material was cut in a rectangle and was basted at the edges. These rectangles were then sewed up to a 3 inches wide piece of the material to form a hammock with the extra material from the rectangle ends folded to form a pad. The ends of the the 3 inches hammock were folded and sewed to create a cuff at each end, they were used to install a piece of elastic with hooks at each end. Others used a little belt instead of elastic.

    These pads were rinsed after each use and then put in a bucket with a weak beach solution or borax. They were washed with the rest of laundry next day.

    I remember that I was given 2 dozens of these “menstruation pads” with the explanation as to their use. After that they came along as needed.

    If one lives where it is cold use cotton flannel.

    Make a few dozens of them and you are set. Since I have no need of them anymore I consider myself blessed.

    I wish I had a way to post a design of this very useful female item.

    God bless. Linda

  16. This is a very good subject to consider, along with other ‘personal’ issues. If we reach a truly SHTF situation, these things will be priceless to know, and possibly life-saving.

    When my ‘time’ came and I started menstruating (at 15), my grandmother showed me how she used folded cloths and safety pins. I, being a “modern” teen, was appalled. I had modern devices available, and a modern mother who got them for me.

    However, when I went to live in the Cal wilderness (at 17), I had to come up with something else, and Grandma’s ‘pads’ came to mind. That method served me well for several years. They were basically soft cloth, folded and pinned to underwear.

    I found some interesting info online about recycling menstrual blood:

    “The fluid emptied out from your Mooncup or pink water from rinsing out from your washable sanitary towels is a great source of natural nitrogen – it replenishes overworked soil and feeds the plants. People buy blood meal — the dried & powdered blood from livestock — as a non-synthetic fertilizer but why not cut out the middle man/middle cow? It’s as organic as you are.

    There are some potential problems with just pouring it straight on the garden – some blood-borne pathogens can be transferred around and apparently it can attract ants – but one way to minimize the risk of that sort of thing is to put it through a hot compost heap. If you know you have a blood-borne pathogen, you might want to look into the situation with your condition further – although apparently even hepatitis, one of the longest surviving blood-borne pathogens outside the body, only manages about 30 hours before breaking down (shorter if heated/exposed to sunlight).”

    Another consideration would be that any meds the woman uses, especially birth control & hormones, would be in the menstrual blood, and could contaminate the soil and/or be taken up by growing plants. In my research online, I found that most used or recommended use ONLY for non-edible plants and far from any water source.

    I also found some info about peeing in the compost pile! Who knew?

  17. ladyevidence says:

    Honestly, I love my diva cup. They cost around $30, last for years, and work better than pads or tampons in my opinion.

    And cloth diapers are amazing. There was this amazing blog that did a “Flat Diapers and Handwashing Challenge” a while back, which helped to teach people that you can cloth diaper with almost nothing… You can make flat diapers out of almost anything, and you can make a “washing machine” with a bucket and a plunger if you have to! I have used many kinds of cloth diapers, including flats, and I generally prefer it to disposables!

    I actually have several friends who go to the extreme and use cloth toilet paper, and love it… I haven’t gone that far, but if cloth diapers work, why not cloth toilet paper, right..?

  18. Well, I can remember my mother telling me about when she was a child/teenager and what they had to do, there were not pad or tampons in her time…she grew up on a secluded farm in the early 30′s, they had multiple rags (I am guessing that is were the term came from) that they would use as we would a pad. They are washable, reusable and having multiples allows you to always have one ready.

  19. Is anyone thinking about birth control??? I know that as much as I am looking forward to the birth of my first grandchild, once we hit rally hard times, a new baby is going to pose many new problems…sure, you can add baby food to your storage, and i thought of getting a couple of goats…need the nanny for milk for baby and dairy products…but my husbands says friends of his who had goats say they are very agressive. Any thoughts?

    • I, too, would appreciate feedback regarding goats being aggressive. I know billy goats are aggressive, but nannies? Have been thinking of getting goats for milk but know absolutely NOTHING about them or their care. Is it true you should have more than one nanny because they are social creatures and are miserable on their own??