If you’ve been wondering how to prepare your daughter for her first period, follow these practical tips to make sure she’s ready:
Stock up on essentials
Though most girls get their first period around the age of 12-14, some can start earlier or later. It makes sense to keep a supply kit on hand – even if you think “Aunt Flo” is years away. As a mother, you know what types of products work best for you, so start there. Introduce her to your routine – or the one you started at her age – and adjust as necessary based on your daughter’s needs. Supply kit contents may include:
Most girls are more comfortable starting with pads. Consider getting teen-sized or ultra-thins in a variety of sizes.
- Heating pad
A must for those who suffer from difficult menstrual cramps. A heating pad set aside just for your daughter could be a lifesaver when the time comes.
- Pain meds
Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are great choices to have on hand if cramps become severe. Talk to your daughter’s doctor or follow the instructions on the label for proper dosing. If over-the-counter medications are not offering relief, visit a gynecologist for more ways to make your daughter more comfortable during her period.
- On-the-go kit
A cute, small zippered pouch containing a clean pair of underwear and a pad or two for your daughter to keep accessible will dramatically reduce anxiety about leaks and unexpected period arrivals.
Encourage period tracking
Inform your daughter of the benefits to tracking her periods. In addition to finding patterns that can help her predict when her next period will come, she can learn to begin managing her gynecologic health early. Reassure her that it’s normal to have irregular periods for the first couple of years, but if they are heavy or more frequent than monthly, it’s important that she let you know so you can schedule a doctor’s appointment. Women who tune into their bodies are better able to detect abnormalities that stray from their regular rhythm – and that can become a helpful diagnostic tool throughout the entire life cycle. If she uses a mobile phone, encourage her to check out various apps online that can help make period tracking easy and fun.
Be her ally
When it comes to preparing your daughter for her first period, you can be her biggest ally. Explain that it is a major milestone in any young woman’s life, and it’s nothing to fear or shame. Periods are normal and healthy parts of her transition into puberty. Being transparent about your menstrual cycles can help de-mystify your daughter’s experience, and ensure she gets positive and accurate information from you, and not second- or third-hand gossip from friends.
For more advice on how to prepare your daughter for her first period, schedule an appointment with our doctors and women’s health team today or call 920.885.6090. We can arm you and your daughter with the wisdom and support you both need.