This is a HUGE moment in your daughter’s life (and yours) and with it comes significant responsibility and a learning curve for your both.
Entering the world of menstrual cycles, feminine hygiene and hormones can be daunting for girls. Think back to how it felt when you got your first period. For many of us, we had a packet of pads or tampons thrown at us and then we were left to our own devices! Not exactly a celebration of all things femininity. But it does not have to be like that in your place. Here’s how you can prepare and support your daughter as she navigates the experience of getting her first period.
Even before your daughter has had her period, it’s time to begin the conversation about what growing up means for girls. This will help take out some of the shame and embarrassment that many girls feel around their periods. It’s not a taboo subject – it’s beautiful (even though it might be hard to see it that way) and natural and a moment to be celebrated.
Talk to her about your own cycle and your relationship with your menstrual cycle. Introduce her to feminine hygiene products and help her to understand what’s on the horizon. Read books together, look up websites, talk with older cousins, friends and relatives – get as much information together as you can. You can also get
Join online communities (Rebecca Sparrow on Facebook is a particularly good one) or Libra Girl Zone where the questions of younger girls are answered in a supportive and friendly environment. OThis is a big step and it’s one that should be celebrated!
How do we deal?
There are a number of choices your daughter can make when it comes to handling her period.
The obvious choice (and the route that many of us went) is using pads. Talk to her about application, use and disposal as well as how regularly she should be changing them.
Tampons can be a trickier beast to tackle and are potentially best left until she’s a little older and feeling more confident with their application. That’s not to say that she can’t use them, just that it might be a bit overwhelming if she’s not fully comfortable within her own body.
Period underpants (there are heaps on the market, take a look!) are a fantastic new technology available for girls and women. You can wear these period underpants in place of tampons, pads or moon cups. They absorb the blood throughout the day and they are easily washable. This is a non-confrontational yet still hygienic technology as opposed to the above options that might be well worth your while considering, particularly if your daughter is hesitant about her first period and what that means in terms of comfort and management.
Once the period arrives, so too does that old saying about this being a beautiful and special time in a young girls life. And it truly is! Getting your first period and beginning your menstrual cycle heralds a big step towards adulthood. You’ll likely find yourself being quite emotional as this means that your little girl is well and truly growing up.
So why not celebrate?
It doesn’t have to be a big party or anything. But you could take this as an opportunity to celebrate on your own with your daughter. Going out shopping together, getting your nails done, buying a new skateboard, taking her to the movies – whatever appeals to your daughter, take this as an opportunity to show her that you’re proud of her and that you’re there to support her through whatever life has to throw at her.