"Here's How You Can Prepare Your Daughter For Her 1st Period"
Having "the talk" with your daughter before she gets her first period is absolutely important, because the various changes that follow the development, might be well dealt with after hearing from you!
Considering that periods are such a taboo in our society, there are various parents who refrained from talking about them to their daughters. You can absolutely change that!
Now is the time, we should move past the taboo.
It's the 21st century after all. The talk about menstruation is embarrassing for most people. You must've observed in your own self or your surroundings too that people are a bit hesitant talking about. In fact, just a casual mention of the word "periods" can trigger a lot of folks and give you judgemental looks. But society changes little by little and we are glad that you're contributing. How do we know? The very fact that you're reading this article shows that you care.
We get it. As a mother, you want your daughter to go through puberty in the happiest and most graceful way possible. But all of it can feel overwhelming - to think how much your little girl has grown and that she's about to enter womanhood. Time really flies!
As she steps in these years of puberty, she needs your support more than ever. Because let's face it- These years can be a little overwhelming and different. From raging hormones to painful cramps, PMSing and more - that’s a lot to deal with for a pretty young lady. So it's only obvious that you worry how she will manage her first period. But, having "the talk" with your daughter isn't easy either. It might feel a tad bit awkward. You might ponder about the ways to bring up the topic. But if you're still looking-
We've got you covered!
But first things first
Forget about your hesitations and embarrassments. Menstruation is not a topic that is still a taboo. It is your daughter after all. And she will come running to you when she gets her first period (mark my words). So, instead of waiting for life to teach her various lessons, why not prepare her beforehand?
Wouldn't that be better?
On that note, it's also extremely important to know, that before having the talk about the menstrual cycle with your daughter, you need to educate yourself first.
There are a lot of aspects concerning menstruation. It is true you know most of it but you might need to unlearn a few myths and relearn a few new information. And what are those? Here, we will help you find out.
Of course, some superstitions are prevalent in our society since time immemorial but remember kids nowadays ask the question of ‘why’. Your girl might want scientific reasons behind everything you tell her. So, why not get yourself out of the unrealistic beliefs first? Learning and knowing the scientific facts might help her and you understand the body and the system better.
Now, when it comes to educating your daughter about the menstrual cycle, the first thing that you should keep in your mind is that you need to be gentle with her throughout the conversation. The period talk should never become awkward or a little too overwhelming for your daughter.
It is not shocking that girls in their tween years, ie, between 8 to 12, also known as preteen years, are getting their first period. You, as a mother, might feel worried every time your daughter goes to school, summer camp, or a friend’s house for sleepovers thinking what if she gets her period there.
Now, the question you might want to ask is when to start this conversation with your daughter.
The earlier you start this conversation about menstruation, the better your daughter will be prepared for it. You are a mother and you will always know better about the physical and emotional changes of your daughter than anyone else.
- Physical changes, like an increase in height compared to other children of her class, noticeable hair growth on the legs, in the underarms, in the pubic area, breast development, skin breakouts, and body odor because of increased production of oil glands are a few things that you need to keep an eye on.
- During this time, before hitting puberty, apart from physical changes, your daughter can also go through some emotional turmoil, like mood swings, anxiety, stress, and an urge to fit into society.
These changes can be an indication for you to start the conversation with your daughter about the menstrual cycle. But it wouldn't be too wise to dump everything on her at once. Take some time and tell her gradually.
The most important thing is to be open and honest.
Talk about puberty and the changes that might come along. Tell her how she might feel different and awkward and assure her that everything is a natural process. Give her space and be that friend to whom she can clear all her doubts.
It is not expected from a little girl in her pre-teens to understand scientific jargon. Not to mention, she might also get scared.
Narrate to her like a story in simple language.
Bedtime stories were never despised by anyone and you can certainly take that route to make her understand things better.
- Explain to your daughters the common incidences, like period cramps, headaches, and other premenstrual syndromes too. It is always a good thing to share your own experiences with your daughter to give her assurance that there is no need to be worried.
- Practical advice is always preferable. Your daughter should understand how our body works. There are several sources, online and offline, which can be good options for your reference.
- It is quite obvious that normal sanitary pads are mostly available in the market. You may teach her how to use one so that she can use it by herself even if you are not around.
You may also consider telling your girl how most sanitary pads are made and what exactly they are made up of. Basically, non-biodegradable materials. You can even touch upon how that can become a problem for the environment. Educate her about sustainability and alternative sustainable period products that are available in the market, like menstrual cups, tampons, and reusable cloth pads. Show her how each of them is differently used.
Teaching her about sustainable period products will not only make her aware of the various alternatives but also will make her a wise woman in the future to choose from sustainable options.
- It is also important to teach her about tracking her menstrual cycle so that she doesn’t get anxious every month.
- Discuss every circumstance when she will have to manage everything on her own. Whether she is in school or a summer camp for an extended period, when you’re not present with her, teach her to pack a few sanitary napkins in her bag for emergencies. You may tell your daughter that she can also seek help from her teachers and friends if needed.
- Apart from periods and PMS, it's also important for your daughter to know about white discharge and spotting. Teach her how to use panty liners which will be helpful during her spotting and white discharge days.
Your daughter needs to get all the period facts right from you. You might become her period pal and help her understand such an enormous change better and more sensibly. You might follow up with the school but at the end of the day, you can provide her with the best assistance.
Anxiety would be at bay with your daughter learning about periods and hearing directly from you, because she would always know and realise that she her mother's support, always with her!