Preparing your daughter for her first period can be uncomfortable for both the parent and the child. It’s an important thing to talk to her about it and not expect her to learn about it from school or be scared and shocked when it first happens to her. Most girls will start around 12 or 13 years of age but they can start much earlier or later.
It is important to talk to your daughter early and often so she will be prepared. You can start by asking her what she already knows about menstruation. Do not try to tell her everything at once or she may become overwhelmed. Go over the basics first. Explain why woman have their periods and what it will feel like. Also let her know that length of time of her period can differ. Teach her how to keep track of her periods once they start. A good time to plan this first talk is before a doctor appointment or around the time school starts sex education.
It is important to talk to your daughter more then once because she may think of questions later and be to embarrassed to ask them. The more you talk to her hopefully the more comfortable she and you will be. Your daughter might have questions about what to do if she starts at school or how to deal with any pain during her period. You will also need to discuss proper hygiene while in a swimming pool or overnight.
Another good idea is to show your daughter how to use both pads and tampons and the proper way to dispose of these. You may also want to take your daughter to the store and show her the different types of products and let her chose a few so she will be prepared when her period starts. Have her either carry the product in her purse or place in her locker at school. Inform her that if she is finds herself at school without the proper hygiene product to see the school nurse.
Be sure to answer any questions she may have. You want to try to make this a comfortable time for your daughter so she will not be embarrassed or scared by the changes her body is going thru. Also explain to your daughter that everyone starts at a different time so she will not worry if she starts before or after her friends. It is also very common in the beginning for girls to have irregular periods. So be sure to explain to her that her first period may not always be the a normal period.
Hopefully this will make your daughter more comfortable with her body and discussing changes she is going thru with you. It may be hard to see your child growing up but it’s very important for you to be sure she is prepared and comfortable with all the changes.