While many parents would rather not think about it, once your daughter hits a certain age it is inevitable that she will get her first period.
You may not be able to be sure of when that will be, but the best thing you could do for your daughter (and you) is to be prepared.
This means having the conversation regardless of her having sex education in school.
Here are a few things you need to know about your daughter's first period to give you a heads up on what might be to come:
It may be scary for your daughter
Regardless of her age or her maturity, some young women will find the first period a little scary and be quite upset. That’s not to say all young ladies will react like this, but be prepared for some tears as well as some moodiness.
It isn’t her fault as she must find her own way around the whole period thing and get used to it. She may have gotten a fright at the reality of finding blood on her knickers and may feel embarrassed too, so just relax and sit down with her to talk through her feelings.
You’ll need to go through the hygiene chat
It doesn’t matter if you had this conversation in preparation for her period as the truth is, she probably didn’t pay too much attention then. Now it must be done though, and you’ll have to talk through the use of sanitary towels, how to apply them and how to keep oneself clean too.
This means chatting about showers, clean underwear and disposing of sanitary towels, not only when at home but when out and about too.
She’ll need her own little bag or "period pack".
It helps her to have her own stuff in a private bag, especially if your daughter is shy. So, give her a small beauty bag for putting her pads and some wipes into.
She should have one for her school bag regardless of the date as, during the first few months, menstruation can be unpredictable.
A clean pair of underwear is handy too. Remind your daughter about the importance of changing her pad regularly and if she does have a leak or an accident tell her to throw out the underwear by wrapping it in tissue and disposing of it.
You can talk to your daughter about tampons too, but most young girls will prefer to use pads at first.
Reassure her that it is all normal.
The pains, cramps or the feeling of emotions are all normal and your daughter needs to know that. If she has bad cramps, make sure she knows to tell you so that you can talk to your pharmacist or doctor about it.
While there is no way to improve your young daughter’s moods, just try and be mindful of the journey she is going on and be understanding. Things will settle down once she has come around to her new way of being. For the first period, a little treat to a coffee shop for cake is needed and she’ll be delighted with it!