Puberty is a life-changing event for most people. In particular, getting your first period for many children can be a nerve-racking experience trying to understand the ins and outs.
Your child may have a million questions. And they might not understand what is happening to their body if you don’t take the appropriate actions to prepare them. That’s why we’ve created this guide for you about how to prepare your daughter for her first period.
Talk to her about it early.
The earlier you talk to your daughter about puberty and periods, the better. You may want to start when she’s around eight years old, so she has time to ask questions and clear up any misconceptions. She should understand what to expect before it happens. Some children get their periods at eight years old, so it’s important to prepare them.
Explain the menstrual cycle.
The process that the body goes through each month to prepare for a possible pregnancy is called the menstrual cycle. It’s important to explain this cycle to your daughter to help her understand what’s happening to her body each month.
Use diagrams or pictures.
It can be difficult for children to understand abstract concepts like puberty and periods. That’s why it can be helpful to use diagrams or pictures to help explain it to them. You can find many resources online, or books can help illustrate what’s happening during puberty and menstruation.
Get her a period kit.
Having a period kit is a great way for your daughter to feel prepared for her first period. It contains everything she’ll need, like pads or a menstrual cup. You can find these period kits pre-made online, or you can make one yourself pretty easily.
It can help her feel confident and comfortable when her period does start. You should also show her how to use menstruation supplies such as tampons or period panties before her period comes.
Answer her questions honestly.
Your daughter will likely have a lot of questions about puberty and periods. It’s crucial to answer them honestly and openly. If you don’t know the answer, tell her you’ll find out and get back to her. It shows that you’re open to communicating with her about all aspects of puberty and that you’re taking her questions seriously.
Show her how to track her period.
Gone are the days when you have to take out your notebook or calendar and cross off the days until your next period. Now, period tracker apps make tracking your period much easier.
Most apps allow you to input your symptoms, flow and other data to get a better understanding of your cycle. Teach your daughter how to use one of these apps to track her period and better understand her body.
Help her build a positive body image.
One of the biggest challenges girls face during puberty is developing a positive body image. It can be difficult to deal with all the changes going on inside and outside your body. You can help your daughter by talking about body image positively.
Tell her that all bodies are different and that there’s no one right way to look. Encourage her to focus on things that make her happy, not what she thinks is wrong with her body.
Teach her about healthy relationships.
Puberty is also when kids start to think about relationships and sex. It’s important to talk to your daughter about healthy relationships early on. Teach her that respect is key in any relationship.
Discuss consent and what it means to give someone your consent. Talk about safe sex and how to protect herself from sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy.
Let her know it’s okay to be different.
One of the hardest things about puberty and getting your period is feeling like you’re the only one going through it. Remind your daughter that she’s not alone. There are other girls out there who are also experiencing changes. Those changes may not look the same for everyone, and that is fine.
Tell her it’s okay to be different and that she can embrace her uniqueness. Emphasize the importance of being authentic to herself.
Help her deal with stress and anxiety.
Puberty and getting your period can be a stressful time for kids. They’re dealing with all sorts of new changes and hormones, which can lead to anxiety and stress.
Help your daughter deal with stress and anxiety in healthy ways. Encourage her to exercise, get enough sleep and eat a nutritious diet. Help her practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing or yoga. And if she needs it, talk to her about seeking professional help.
Acknowledge that it’s a tough time.
It’s not easy being a teenager, especially when you’re going through puberty. Your daughter will appreciate knowing that you understand just how tough it is.
Acknowledge the challenges she’s facing and let her know that you’re there for her no matter what. Let her know that you love her and support her through all of life’s ups and downs.
If your daughter will soon be going through her first period and you’re unsure about how to explain it to her, let’s see how we can help. Schedule an appointment with Shady Grove Gyn Care today.