Heavy Flow

Overview

What do you know about your menstrual cycle?

Your menstrual cycle is your fifth vital sign — a barometer of health and wellness that is as telling as your pulse or blood pressure. Yet most of us see our periods as nothing more than a source of inconvenience and embarrassment.

The reasons for this are vast and complex and many are rooted in misogyny. The fact is, women the world over are taught the bare minimum about menstruation, and the messages they do receive are negative: that periods are painful and gross, that they turn us into hormonal messes, and that they shouldn't be discussed.

By examining the history of period shame and stigma and its effects on women’s health and wellness today as well as providing a crash course in menstrual self-care, Heavy Flow aims to lift the veil on menstruation, breaking the "curse" once and for all.

Reviews

Heavy Flow is the book I wish I had when I was a teenager and am glad to have now. Amanda Laird answers questions you didn't even know you had about the menstrual cycle, with topics ranging from political relevance, to practical physiology, to nutritional support for people who menstruate.

— Kathleen Shannon, creative entrepreneur, author, and speaker

As fierce as it is fascinating, Heavy Flow outlines the path of the pro-period movement, bringing that red wave right up to your own front door and the reader's personal period experience. What could this cultural moment mean for you and your reproductive health? Laird answers this question with confidence and compassion, skillfully translating the hashtags into clear, honest, and much-needed health information. This is one of those books that's going to be hard to keep to yourself – you'll be loaning it out and losing it to your best friend, your sister, your daughter...

Holly Grigg-Spall, author of Sweetening the Pill

Heavy Flow breaks down absolutely everything you need to know about menstruation. Expertly written and easy to understand, this book takes the shame out of menstruation and empowers women to feel great about their bodies.

Ariel Ng Bourbonnanis, author and co-editor of Through, Not Around and co-founder of The 16 Percent

Reading Heavy Flow is akin to a long chat with a non-judgmental super-cool big sister who knows her stuff. Grounded in a fierce feminist commitment to body literacy as an act of resistance, Laird guides the reader toward better health and body positivity without the saccharine. Readable, inclusive, real and often funny, Heavy Flow is a myth-busting manual and menstrual-cycle roadmap that insists menstruators be seen and heard.

Chris Bobel, author of New Blood: Third-Wave Feminism and the Politics of Menstruation

With Heavy Flow, Amanda Laird has established herself as a leading voice in the long-overdue rewriting – and redefining – of menstrual mythology. Heavy Flow is more than a book about periods written for people who menstruate: it’s a call to action for all of us.

Abby Norman, author of Ask Me About My Uterus

Amanda de-mystifies menstruation for us in a way that is eye-opening and fascinating. I felt excited reading her book knowing that many women will have access to this information and will be able to take charge of their own hormonal health, and bleed with awareness! I sure wish I had this information when I was popping the birth control pill for over a decade.

Joy McCarthy, CNP and best-selling author of Joyous Health and Joyous Detox

Somehow Amanda Laird makes the ‘curse’ of menstruation almost feel like a blessing. She’s written an incredibly thoughtful and informative guide to not only understanding your body better, but learning how to have a deeper compassion for it too. Required reading for every person that has (or ever will) experience the flow.

Jessica Murnane, author of One Part Plant and founder of Know Your Endo

Heavy Flow is an important addition to the global conversation about periods. Periods are coming out in the open more than ever before, and as more women discover the connection between healthy menstrual cycles and overall health, they need a place to turn for guidance. Amanda has put together an encouraging and easily accessible resource for women as they strive for better periods. Amanda's passion for demystifying the menstrual cycle and eradicating menstrual taboos shines through on every page.

Lisa Hendrickson-Jack, author of The Fifth Vital Sign

Heavy Flow is essential reading for all menstruators. Laird challenges readers to think about their period in broader feminist terms – including that women’s pain is too often dismissed, and how essential menstrual products are out of reach for many. I look forward to having a copy on the shelf of our wellness center.

Caroline Starr, author and co-editor of Through, Not Around and co-founder of The 16 Percent

Heavy Flow delivers the goods – Amanda Laird gives the menstrual lowdown about why we don’t have to keep periods on the down-low. I love how she consistently challenges corporate messages of shame and shares her own personal, professional and practical ideas while effortlessly introducing stuff from the wider menstrual research community. It’s all done with a fun and enthusiastic push toward body literacy and empowerment – readers will feel like they’re part of the podcast or hanging out with a friend.

Chella Quint, comedian, artist, menstruation education researcher and #periodpositive founder

(5/5 rating) Laird delivers some really valuable and informative content in an easy to read manner without preaching and with a delightfully open approach.

Fictional Fix blog

About the Author

Amanda Laird

Posted by Dundurn Guest on May 8, 2018
Amanda Laird photo

Amanda Laird

Amanda Laird is a feminist holistic nutritionist specializing in menstrual health and is the host of Heavy Flow — a weekly podcast dedicated to casual conversations about periods and other taboo health and wellness topics. She lives in Toronto.