Although we know that this is not strictly true, in some way, having periods marks the beginning of womanhood and becoming responsible. Take this milestone in your daughter’s life as a good time to teach her some valuable life-lessons about being a lady.
Moms don’t always know what to tell their daughters, when to tell them or how to say it. This is mostly because some moms don’t know where to start or because communication between mom and daughter has broken down.
Young girls mostly turn to their friends or the internet for information and advice, and this may not be what you would like her to know. So how do you start the conversation?
Midwife and health expert, Sister Burgie Ireland, shared some tips on how you want your little lady to know about the changes that are about to happen in her life.
- Start the conversation by talking about your first period and how you learned to cope. Give her the chance to ask questions and don’t be shy to give her honest answers.
- Remind your daughter that starting their period is not something to be embarrassed about, it’s natural to have this experience and that every girl goes through this.
- Your daughter does not have to go see a gynaecologist when she has her first period, unless it’s for a friendly chat and you have the confidence that they will give your daughter sound advice about reproductive health.
Things to remember
- Not all girls develop at the same pace and time. While some girls may have their period as young as nine, others may only have their first period at 18.
- Periods are naturally unpredictable in the first two years. They can be irregular and different each time, sometimes light and other times heavy and painful.
- A period starts about two weeks after ovulation (when the egg leaves the comfort-zone of the ovary). Teach your daughter to look out for these signs. This is mostly a wet-panty-feeling with a clear slippery vaginal discharge.
- Teach your daughter not to expect her period on the same date every month. This is because periods come in cycles rather than months. A cycle is calculated from the date of one period until the date of the next period. Sometimes the interval between periods is shorter (about 21 days) and sometimes a cycle can be longer (up to 60 days), but on average periods are spaced about 28 to 30 days apart.
- Teach your daughter how to wear a sanitary towel/pad or tampon and remind her to change it every four hours.
There are various product options available for your daughter to use to feel comfortable with the experience. She may prefer pads at first, and progress to using tampons to suite her lifestyle.
Teach your daughter to monitor her product choice according to her flow. Remember that every girl remembers what happened the first time she had her period so make it a pleasant memory.
- Information courtesy of Kotex.