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Getting a period for the first time is a major adjustment for a young girl/teen to come to terms with, so it’s all about the preparation in the lead up to menstruation.
There are a number of things that you can do to prepare your daughter:
- Find books/audios/videos on the bodily changes that they’ll expect to happen over the next few years. These resources can be read, watched or listened to as many times as needed.
- Alongside the resources there can be a conversation with your daughter about what that might look like for her. You would also provide reassurance and comfort when she is feeling overwhelmed.
Demonstrate & Practise
- Set aside some time each week to show your daughter what to do when she does have her period – demonstrate/discuss how to use sanitary pads, how often to change them and how to dispose of them.
- Discuss how she would manage her period outside of the home and to look for sanitary disposal bins in the public toilets.
- It is also a good idea to create a visual cue card or script (with or without pictures) around ‘What to do when you have your period!’
- Chat with her about personal hygiene and the importance of keeping clean – showering/bathing might be required more often when she has her period
- Schedule in trips to the supermarket to show your daughter where the sanitary products are found and the different types that can be used (ie, regular pads for the daytime/lighter days and super size pads for the night-time/heavier days as well as tampons for future use)
- Make up a purse pack in preparation for the arrival of the first period (and every period after that) of sanitary pads and underpants that gets carried around in a back pack, schoolbag or handbag.
- The purse pack only needs to have a couple of spare pads and two pairs of underpants just in case there are accidents
Prior practise and preparation will help to get your daughter ready emotionally and physically for when her period arrives – it’s about making the experience as real and as normal as possible!
Written by Sherri Cincotta
If you would prefer to watch the video, click HERE