A few days back I wrote about ways of initiating the talk about menstruation and puberty with kids. From the feedback that I received from mothers; I observed that many of them resonated with my viewpoint and are also cautious about the issues pertaining to menstruation. They are conscious about initiating this discussion and I assume there will be many questions in their mind about guiding their daughters when they get their first period too.
My First Period:
Puberty brings emotional changes along with physical changes also in a young girl. I remember when I got my first period; I felt very vulnerable. But luckily it was vacation time and I was at my grandparents’ home and had my grandmom, mother and aunt to help me out of the emotions upheaval that I was facing at that time. Also, I was 16 years old and I had a fair knowledge of menstruation.
A mother’s concern:
My daughter is 8 years, I feel she is too innocent and young but I am already seeing signs of puberty hitting her soon. So when she asked me about why I need to wear a sanitary pad, I explained to her about the changes in the body that a young girl goes through.
I have shared my experience in my post here:
“What If I Get My Period At School?”
I have always had this anxiety about what if I am not around my daughter to provide emotional support when she gets her first period? What if she gets her first period at school and what if she asks me, about having periods at her school?
All of these questions made me write this post. I have answers and would like to share with my readers.
As a mother be well prepared for the changes in your daughter. During a routine visit to your doctor, you should ask for guidance regarding when to expect the first period. After examining or observing your daughter, he will be able to tell you whether it is arriving in the next 6 months, or it could be a year or more away.
Prepare your daughter:
Firstly tell your girls not to be embarrassed about it. It’s as natural a change in the body as growing tall or losing your milk teeth. Even before she approaches her menstrual age, prepare her for this change. She should know what to do if she gets her first period when she is away from family. If in school, she can request a call home instead of feeling uncomfortable while having the first period.
Wearing a sanitary pad:
Inform about the use of a sanitary napkin and how to wear it.
Don’t get caught off guard:
Be prepared. Girls need to have their pads with them at all times to avoid worries and being caught off guard.
Carry an extra pair:
In order to avoid a panic situation, always carry an extra pair of undergarments.
Do not worry:
Girls need to know that they should not worry about the smell and should change the sanitary pad every couple of hours.
Do not hesitate:
In case one is not carrying a sanitary napkin, do not hesitate to approach teachers, school nurse or friends to ask for one.
In a highly unlikely event if the school doesn’t have a sanitary napkin, approach the school reception and call home.
Girls could get worried and scared if they are not prepared to face the situation of having their first period at school. So it is imperative for parents to keep them well informed and prepare them well in advance. Do not hesitate to seek the help of an expert to guide you through the entire process of this very important change in your daughter. This expert could be your doctor or a counsellor.
I believe that all the information that we give to our daughters should not become too overwhelming for them. You are a mother and the best person to make this transition easy and natural for your daughter.
Do share with us if your daughter has also asked you questions about her first period. Let us share our experiences and help each other solve the mysteries of parenting!