How to Help Your Daughter Get Ready  for Her First Period by Natalie Hobbs, Sahara

How to Help Your Daughter Get Ready for Her First Period by Natalie Hobbs, Sahara

Looking back on our own experiences, it may feel as though your first period happened a lifetime ago. Some of us vividly remember details such as the exact age, time, and location, along with the emotions that accompanied that pivotal moment. Others don't remember much, and some of us were totally caught off guard and had no idea what was happening.

In this article, our goal is to help you and your daughter get ready for this important milestone. We'll talk about things like when girls usually start their periods, signs that it's coming soon, and what to expect when her periods become regular. We'll also cover  swimming while on her period, without the need for a tampon.

When Do Girls Usually Start Their Periods?
Over the years, the average age at which girls start their periods has decreased. While it can vary, the average age now ranges from 10 to 14 years. It's important to remember that each girl is unique, and things such as nutrition, overall health and genetics can influence when it happens.

How Can I Tell If My Daughter Is About to Start Her Period?
Usually, girls start menstruating about two to two and a half years after they show signs of puberty, such as breast development. They often have some hair in their pubic area and underarms for the four to six months before their first period. And they might also notice vaginal discharge, which can start anywhere from three months to a couple of years before the actual period. Sometimes, hormonal changes can cause mood swings, acne, or feeling extra sensitive.

When Should I Talk to My Daughter about Periods?
It's normal for parents to feel nervous about talking to their kids about periods, but it's important to make sure our daughters are ready, informed and unafraid when the time comes. By starting the conversation early, staying positive, and explaining that it's a natural part of growing up, we can give our daughters a good foundation. By the age of 6 or 7, most children can understand the basics of periods.

Getting Ready for her First Period
It's important to have open communication and be prepared for your daughter's first period. Teach her about period underwear, pads, and tampons, and talk about the pros and cons of each. Explain how to use them properly and change them when needed.

You could also put together a period kit for your daughter, which might include:

  • A book about puberty that she can read by herself or with you.
  • A small, discreet waterproof bag that she can easily carry in her school backpack, sports bag, or during sleepovers. It should be compact yet spacious enough to to hold everything she needs to feel comfortable and confident.
  • Period underwear, like Sahara, which can provide her with protection without needing a pad or tampon.
  • Wipes for keeping her hands clean when there's no bathroom nearby.
  • Some relaxing items like a sleep mask, lip balm, stress ball, or bubble bath.
  • A small calendar with stickers to help her track her period and understand when the next one might come. Or she can use a period tracker app on her phone.
  • If she uses pads, include a few pads specifically designed for teens. Open one or two with her so she can see how they work and and learn that the adhesive side goes onto her underwear.

This period kit can be a lifesaver when her period comes unexpectedly, which is likely to happen frequently. It could also be helpful for a friend who is caught off guard and isn't prepared.

When Will Her Period Become Regular?

A regular menstrual cycle typically means having a period every 28 days, but anywhere between 23 and 35 days is considered normal. The cycle starts on the first day of her period and ends the day before her next period. Most females with regular cycles have periods that last about three to seven days.

After the first period, teenage girls often have irregular cycles for up to two years. During this time, their flow might be longer, shorter, lighter, or heavier than expected. Let your daughter know that these changes are normal. But if she feels uncomfortable or has any concerns, it's always a good idea to talk to a healthcare professional who can provide guidance and support.

There are also apps available that can help her track her period, or she can use a diary or calendar. When choosing an app, consider things like privacy (some have chat and/or community support), age-appropriate content, no intrusive ads, and affordability.

We can do this!
By being supportive and proactive, we can help our daughters confidently handle this natural part of life. Let's make sure they have the tools, knowledge, and confidence to navigate periods with ease.

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