Your daughter’s first period – a guide for parents

As parents, we strive to be a source of support and guidance for our children as they navigate the various milestones of life. 

One significant moment in a young girl’s journey to adulthood is her first period. It can be a scary experience to go through, but by addressing this natural process with sensitivity and knowledge, you can help your daughters deal with the beginning of womanhood with confidence.

Understanding the basics of the menstrual cycle

Before diving into ‘the talk’ with your daughter, it’s essential for parents to have a basic understanding of menstruation. 

Menstruation is a natural bodily function that signifies a girl’s transition into womanhood. It is the shedding of the uterine lining and typically begins between the ages of 9 and 16, though this can vary.

Tips to start the conversation on periods

1. Setting

Approaching the topic of menstruation can be a delicate matter. Find a quiet and comfortable setting where you and your daughter can talk privately. Emphasise that what she is experiencing is a normal part of growing up and that you are there to provide information and support.

2. Age appropriate

Tailor the information you provide based on your daughter’s age and maturity level. Start with the basics, explaining what menstruation is and why it occurs. Use simple and clear language, avoiding unnecessary details that may overwhelm her. 

3. Preparation

Be prepared for questions and answer them honestly, reassuring her that these changes are a natural part of the female reproductive cycle.

Addressing myths and misconceptions surrounding periods

With so many rumours and misinformation flying around, it can be difficult, especially for young girls, to feel comfortable and confident when it comes to that time of the month.

Take the opportunity to dispel any myths and taboos surrounding periods and reinforce the idea that menstruation is a normal and healthy process. 

Encourage an open dialogue, assuring your daughter that she can come to you with any questions or concerns.

Best period products for young girls

When you’re on your period, it’s all about finding what makes you feel comfortable and confident. 

Pads:

These are the OGs of period products. Pads are easy to use and come in various sizes. They’re a solid choice for girls who are just starting out on their period journey. Plus, they’re super accessible – you can find them in pretty much any store.

Tampons:

Tampons are another popular pick. They’re discreet and great for active girls who might be into sports or just want something less noticeable. There are different sizes, so start with the smallest and work your way up as needed.

Menstrual Cups:

If your girl is eco-conscious or wants a longer-lasting option, menstrual cups are worth considering. They’re reusable, environmentally friendly, and can be worn for longer periods than tampons and pads. It might take a bit of practice to get the hang of it, but many girls find them super comfy once they do.

Period Pants:

These are game-changers. Period pants are specially designed to absorb menstrual flow without the need for additional products. They come in cute styles, are washable, and can be a comfortable and hassle-free option.

Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Encourage your daughter to experiment with different products to find what suits her best. And don’t forget to share your own experiences – it might make the whole thing seem a bit less daunting.

Your daughter’s first period doesn’t have to be awkward. By keeping it honest, and celebrating the journey into womanhood, you’re setting the stage for a healthy and open relationship with her own body. 

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