Swimming sans tampon – and other weird things to try

I’ve got a couple secrets to share, so lean in close. Then go tell the sisterhood.

Because we can all use a few more tips on dealing with the hiccups, lady-like gas or how to rock a beach party when you kinda forgot Aunt Flo was on the guest list, too.

Thumb sucking: the latest hiccup cure

This will make you really popular with the gentlemen (or other ladies, if that’s how you swing.)

Babies get hiccups a lot.


You know how it goes. If baby gets ‘em once, he gets ‘em, like, five times. Not that he cares. It’s just another weird day in this weird new world to him.

And the hiccups are tricky little devils. You think baby’s finally cured and twenty minutes later, his little body starts rocking again. The worst is when you finally get him down to sleep. Damn, those hiccups!

And so, ladies, bring on the boob. It’s the only way to shut that racket down.

Seriously, a little boob sucking and the hiccups are g-o-n-e gone. (Never mind that nursing might have invited the hiccups in the first place.)

This is one of those life lessons from nursing two kids.

Now how to apply this to your own life?

When I get the hiccups, I start sucking on my thumb like mad. Weird, right? So I only do this in private. Because a 40-year-old, thumb-sucking woman goes one of two ways: that’s really hot or so, so not.

When hubby gets the hiccups, he spends 30 minutes holding his breath, drinking water from a cup upside down, holding his nose while doing jumping jacks…

After a while, I take pity on him and remind him to get nursing. By which I mean, suck his thumb. He doesn’t buy it. If you think a 40-year-old, thumb-sucking woman is odd, well, wait til you see a 40-year-old, thumb-sucking man (with long, graying hair).

Plus, this trick never works for him. He has NO FAITH. So he fails.

You must believe, dear one, and suck like it’s going out of style. SUCK HARD, none of this wimpy shit. Ever seen a baby nurse? That kid is not fooling around!

Perhaps the socially appropriate route to take is to eat a spoonful of peanut butter. But not so appropriate if you’re allergic, right? In that case, y’all, thumb sucking works.

How to burp like a (lady) champ

Gas – it’s the newborn’s nemesis. We all know what to do, right? Start pumping those little baby legs. Push em’ up, push em’ up, wayyyyy up!

One foot, then the other foot. And repeat. Now you’ve got that kid riding a bike without training wheels. Look at her go!

Sometimes even we ladies get (she says in a still small voice) gas. You’ve got a couple choices. You can pop some tums, or down a carton of sugary, caffeinated cold beverages. Or you can do some squats, newborn-style.

Seriously, curl up in a fetal position and then extend your legs, one at a time. And repeat. Now roll onto your back and pull your legs up to your chest. Wrap your sweet arms around those legs and give yourself a little squeeze. Now extend your legs and then give yourself another leg hug.

Feel better yet? At least you can check yoga off your “to-do” list for the day.

Ditch the tampon when you hit the waves

I can’t guarantee this will work. So you should definitely try it in the privacy of your very own bathtub before you debut this trick at the latest fraternity-hosted pool party. Girls gone wild meets Stephen King’s Carrie would probably kick you off the “hook-up” list for the night.

When Aunt Flo comes to call during beach week, skip the protection and simply wet your bathing suit before you put it on. Flo will take a break. You can swim for hours with nary a care, as long as you KEEP YOUR SUIT WET DOWN THERE.

Your schedule should look like this: wet suit, put on suit, saunter down to shore, flirt with natives, jump in waves, relax on shore with a good book, jump in waves, play beach volleyball, jump in waves…And oh, yeah, don’t forget sunscreen.

I don’t know why this works or how I discovered it. It sounds like one of those things girls whisper to one another at summer camp. Must be some prehistoric evolutionary thing so we don’t contaminate the drinking and cooking water supply when we bathe upstream.

Things to consider.

1. Seventeen magazine, the expert on all things when I was 12, says this is a myth: “Your period doesn’t slow down or stop in water — it just may not flow outside the vagina because of the counter pressure of the water,” says Dr. Nucatola, Senior Director, Medical Services at Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

2. You probably shouldn’t try this when Aunt Flo has brought along reinforcements, like her nieces and nephews and the uncle from down the street. This is best practiced when she’s “light” in the baggage area.

3. Wear a black suit. You know, just in case.

Definitely worth trying. In your bathtub first.

If I haven’t weirded you out too much, let me know what worked. Comment below or share your own weird tricks on Facebook at MothersRest.

Photo credit: Angelina Litvin from

I asked a few girlfriends to read this post, and here’s their unedited, honest feedback.

The blog is refreshing and not the normal cute stories about your kids and everything’s so great! I like it!!

Hey! Thanks for sending this along. I might take out the tampon thing. Maybe replace it with a recommendation for a reusable cup like Diva or Thinx? Haven’t used them but have heard some good reviews.

I’m not weirded out at all! The gas/yoga thing is so true! The yoga pose is called “wind removing pose.” Ha! I’m sure there is some fancy Sanskrit term, but that’s what I’ve heard it translated to. And it WORKS! Plus, I’m totally intrigued by the whole no tampon/wet bathing suit thing! You might get some backlash if it doesn’t work, embarrassing moments shared on your blog, but it’s worth a test run in the tub! These are the things women need to share even if some are uncomfortable with them, it will make you think and maybe venture out of one’s comfort zone a bit??!! And I’m totally trying the hiccup cure next time I get them.

Interesting. And I don’t think it’s too weird, but I’m probably not the best judge of what is too weird. (I made momma cloth and used it when my period came back and just threw them in the wash with the diapers.) The first 2 suggestions had me thinking that maybe you had made it up just to see if you could get people to try sucking their thumbs and rolling around on their backs. When I got to the 3rd, I decided that would just be mean to make that one up. But I still don’t think I am brave enough to try that one. Or I’m too afraid of sharks!

To be honest – you had me laughing in the middle “gas” subject, but weirded out with the beginning and end. Maybe it’s being in a house of all boys, but I’m learning just how much the topic of flatulance makes these boys laugh. Hell, you say “tooted” around my reserved father and you’ll get a smile out of him! And don’t get me started on poop. I talk about bowel movements more in the past 4+ years, and think nothing about it. It’s a scary path we’re on being outnumbered females!

It’s definitely weird, but not uncomfortably so. It’s more like sharing conspiratorial secrets. But be prepared for comments. And I surely want to read them too. I’m intrigued by the swimsuit thing. What!?! I laughed aloud several times so relatively successful in my book. I’m pretty open when it comes to humor. It’s all fair game so long as it doesn’t belittle or ridicule a particular group. Unless you’re making stupid choices, then you’re fair game too. I ❤️ your blog because it’s (you’re) at the same point in life that I am.

And one friend’s husband wrote: “Wow, that is informational! I won’t wear a tampon to the pool this weekend!”

4 thoughts on “Swimming sans tampon – and other weird things to try

  1. I promised myself I would try the thumb sucking trick when I got the hiccups, and I did. I gave it my all. Meaning, I was surrounded by my brother in-law and 13 year old nephew when the hiccups came on, and I swallowed my pride and began to suck on my thumb. (a promise is a promise!) Maybe it was them laughing at me and planting a seed of doubt, but it didn’t work! I still might give it another go next time, because holding my breath until I almost pass out is NO fun!

    1. You are a true friend to give this a try!! I swear it works. My husband swears it doesn’t. Another friend recommended eating a spoonful of peanut butter. That sounds like a more socially respectable approach. Thanks for giving it a go!

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