Talking to Your Daughter About Menstruation
Let your daughter know that menstruating, or getting her period, is a natural, positive step toward becoming a woman. Encourage her to learn more about her anatomy, the menstrual cycle, and choosing menstrual protection.
There are two types of feminine protection products. Pads and Tampons, pads are worn on the outside attached to the girls underwear, tampons are inserted on the inside. Many girls start with pads to become familiar with their menstrual flow. Tampons absorb menstrual flow inside the body, but because tampons are reliable, comfortable, and worn inside so nothing shows, girls feel free to keep up with all their activities and to wear all their favorite clothes.
Watching your daughter grow up can bring up mixed emotions first you are thrilled she is becoming a young lady but you also yearn for the days she cuddle on your lap thinking you were the best Mom in the world.
You can help your daughter feel good about the changes and challenges she’s experiencing by being available when she has questions, being honest and informed, and by showing interest in her development.
Exactly when a girl will get her period depends on when she started puberty and also depends on her health and family history. If a girl’s mother started menstruation at an early age, then she is likely to start puberty and get her period at an early age, too. Also a girl whose mother got her period later will probably start puberty and get her period later. Usually by age 17 if by her 17th birthday she hasn’t started her period you need to take her to your family doctor.
There are things you can tell your daughter to watch for and expect such as; it is common for periods to be “irregular” for the first six to 12 months after a girl gets her first period. This could be getting two periods in one month or skipping several months in between periods. It usually takes the body some time to sort out all of the hormonal changes that are happening, after a number of months, the menstrual cycle should become more regular. On average, most girls will get their period every 28 days, although this can vary between every 21 and 35 days, Some girls get menstrual cramps (pains in the lower part of the abdomen and back) a few days before and during their periods. Taking a hot shower or bath, drinking a hot cup of tea, or using a heating pad or hot water bottle can make cramps feel better. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen and Midol also are helpful.
Make sure your daughter knows that when a girl gets her period, it means she can get pregnant. When talking about menstruation, remember to also talk to her about sex and about preventing pregnancy and STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases).
Above all make sure your daughter knows having her period is normal and a part of becoming a woman. Let her know all women go through this and she will not have to change the things she likes to do or the clothes she wears.
Make sure though to let her know that along with puberty comes many changes with her body and she will need to use deodorants, take more frequent baths and use pads or tampons while on her period. Reassure her that others will not know she is on her and she will not have to be worried about being embarrassed.
My Mother told me that when she started her period my grandmother had never discussed this with her at all so she saw she was bleeding she thought she was hurt really bad and went through the house screaming for help, make sure this doesn’t happen to your daughter, talk to her about it. This is your chance to get close to your daughter and talk about something important to her.