Talking to your little one about her first period can be a daunting and even uncomfortable conversation for both of you. But it doesn’t have to be.
If you chat regularly about all thing’s health and body, it will feel as natural to you both as it should do.
It can be a scary thought for a little girl to learn about her first period so be mindful of that and remember to go softly with her.
Here are some tips on how to have that conversation:
Being open about all things women’s health from a young age is key. Little girls go with their mums to the toilet quite a bit. If she notices you have your period and asks about it, don’t ignore it. Explain it as age appropriately as possible but don’t lie.
Start the conversation.
If an opportunity doesn’t come up for you to talk to your child about it by the time they are 7/8, you may want to bring it up. Gently, slowly and easily. But you could look for a natural way to talk about it, for example, if your child asks about body changes or if they ask where babies come from.
Start very basic. You could say something like, "when a girl starts to grow into a woman her body changes a little so that if she wants to have a baby when she is older, she can. Every month the body waits to see if the woman wants to have a baby and if she doesn't, the body bleeds a little bit. Not because it is sore but just because there is no baby there."
Here are some questions your little one might ask and examples of answers you might give. Remember, these are just suggestions; you know your child better than anyone and you'll know how to explain it to them in the right way for both of you.
When do you get your first period?
Explain that every girl's body is different. It can come between the ages of 10 and 15 but the average age is 12.
What causes a period?
A period happens because of a change in hormones. Hormones are messengers for the body. Every month the body gets ready in case you want to have a baby your womb gets ready and builds up a cushioned wall. If there is no baby there then every month the womb gets rid of this cushion and you bleed a little.
How long does a period last?
Your period usually lasts about 5 days but can be a little shorter or a little longer.
Does it happen every month?
Periods usually happen every month but for some, it can be every 3 weeks or every 6 weeks.