In today’s episode, I have a thought-provoking conversation with Elizabeth Tidwell, a menstrual cycle coach, as she shares her journey of healing and embracing the power of her menstrual cycle.
I wanted to talk about periods because even though they’re not front and centre of the pregnancy and birth experience – they are! We obsess over when they stop – are we pregnant??? – and then we obsess over when they start again. They are a HUGE part of this.
And, more importantly, I wanted to talk about them because I don’t think that we appreciate our periods much. There’s lots of negativity around them and so I wanted to flip the script and help you to LOVE your period and tap into their power.
Here are some of the things you can hear as part of this conversation:
Resolving Childhood Trauma:
Elizabeth opens up about her personal experience with childhood trauma and how it impacted her menstrual cycle. Through healing this trauma, she discovered that it had a profound effect not only on her cycle but on various aspects of her life. Elizabeth believes that addressing trauma is crucial to breaking free from negative cycles and embracing our menstrual cycles as sources of strength and wisdom.
Menarche Kits and Breaking the Cycle of Shame:
I love that Elizabeth has created menarche kits and creates resources for us to discuss periods with openly. Elizabeth emphasises the importance of releasing the shame and trauma surrounding puberty for the next generation. By providing education and support during this transformative phase, we can set the foundation for young girls to navigate their menstrual cycles with confidence and self-acceptance.
The Connection Between the Lunar Cycle and Menstrual Cycle:
Is this a myth? Maybe. We discuss the connection between the lunar cycle and the menstrual cycle. While there are different viewpoints on this connection, Elizabeth points out that light-sensitive hormones might have caused women to sync up with the moon cycle in the past. However, modern lifestyles with artificial light can disrupt hormonal rhythms. Despite the scientific explanation, Elizabeth emphasises the energetic significance of aligning with the moon cycle, giving it a sense of specialness.
Understanding Menstrual Cycle Awareness:
Elizabeth talks us through the concept of menstrual cycle awareness, which involves being conscious of the different phases of our cycle and how they impact our daily experiences. I struggle with this big time! Hormonal fluctuations throughout the cycle lead to varying emotions and reactions. Understanding this awareness can enhance communication, help avoid conflicts, and enable us to have a better understanding of our bodies. And for those entering perimenopause – very interesting!
Healing Trauma and Its Impact on Menstrual Health:
Trauma, whether big or small, can have a profound impact on our menstrual cycles. Elizabeth tells us how trauma can manifest in fears and phobias related to pregnancy and birth, body image issues, and fears of losing control. By healing from trauma, we can potentially resolve related physical and emotional issues, leading to a better relationship with our bodies and our cycles.
Fertility Awareness and Birth Control:
Elizabeth shares insights into fertility awareness and birth control. She suggests considering fertility biomarkers rather than relying solely on apps and algorithms. We know that stress and cortisol levels can impact fertility, so stressing about trying to conceive is probably going to hinder fertility. This is why she emphasises the importance of self-care during menstruation so that we can shift our we feel and honour our bodies.
I hope that listening to Elizabeth as she takes us on her transformative journey of embracing and loving her menstrual cycle can help you to learn to LOVE your periods. By addressing trauma, understanding our cycles, and cultivating self-awareness, we can unlock the immense power and wisdom that our bodies hold, and help our daughters to do the same.
Resources Mentioned During the Episode:
Here are some additional resources mentioned during the podcast conversation:
1. Book: “Wild Power” – This book transformed Elizabeth’s perspective on periods and is recommended for anyone looking to embrace and love their menstrual cycle.
2. Club Red – This is Elizabeth’s company that offers period self-care subscription boxes, menarche kits, workshops, and menstrual cycle coaching. You can find more information on their website.
Elizabeth is a woman who, four years ago, left the religious community she grew up in due to the traumatic messaging she received about her identity and femininity. After giving birth to a baby girl, Elizabeth realised she wanted her daughter’s female experience to be different from the societal shame surrounding female bodies and menstruation. She overheard a friend recommending a book on menstrual cycles, which piqued her interest. Despite not having her period due to an IUD inserted by her OB after giving birth, Elizabeth started to notice that she was missing something natural in her life. Intrigued by the idea of living by cycles and being connected to nature, she began exploring this concept further.
Elizabeth Tidwell is a holistic menstrual cycle coach who helps women and menstruators learn vital body literacy and facilitates a deeper relationship between menstruators and their cycles, bodies, and whole selves. She is a graduate of Red School’s Menstruality Leadership Program and Lisa de Jong’s Menstrual Cycle Coaching & Facilitation Professional Training. As a former university educator, Elizabeth is passionate about bringing menstrual cycle awareness to both her local community through live events and the broader international community through individual client work, virtual workshops, and group coaching programs. She prioritizes nervous system regulation and personal agency, empowering her clients in a trauma-informed environment. She’s also a mom and the founder of My Club Red, a hormone-friendly period self-care subscription box designed to transform menstruators’ periods into a time of self-nurture, radical rest, and self-connecting ritual.
Episode Time Stamps:
02:53 Left religious community, questioned female identity, embraced cycles.
04:14 Transformative book leads to period empowerment business.
08:07 Trauma affects menstrual cycles, awareness helps.
12:05 Trauma around birth, fear of tokophobia.
17:10 Period kits for girls with education included.
20:18 Using 7 words: Cycle alignment with lunar cycles, is it true?
21:32 Menstrual cycles, moon sync, hormones, artificial light.
27:00 Stress, nutrition, and endocrine disruptors affect fertility. Subscription box helps with hormone-friendly self-care.
28:43 Period: Connect, honor, and appreciate your body.
32:23 Menstrual cycles communicate overall wellness, impacting emotions.
36:36 Hormonal health imbalances affect overall well-being.
39:18 First period follows fertile phase; beware pregnancy.
42:01 Breastfeeding can suppress ovulation but not always.
47:01 Period self-care subscription box, menarche kits, workshops, coaching – myclubred.com.