Getting teenage girls ready for their first period can be a significant milestone in their lives and let’s face it, our daughters are starting to menstruate earlier and earlier so it’s essential we have these important conversations to help prepare them for what lies ahead.
Here are some top tips to help prepare them for this important event:

Start the conversation early

It’s important to start talking to your daughter about menstruation before she starts her period. Ideally, begin the conversation around the age of 8 to 10, so she has enough time to understand and process the information. I did this with my eldest when she was about 7 and with my youngest when she was about  9 and we were literally just in the nick of time.

Provide accurate information

Make sure to provide your daughter with accurate information about menstruation, including what it is, why it happens, and what to expect. Use simple and age-appropriate language to explain the menstrual cycle and the physical and emotional changes that may occur during menstruation. Also be prepared to answer of their questions openly and honestly.

Discuss menstrual hygiene

Teach your daughter about proper menstrual hygiene practices, such as using sanitary pads, tampons or more sustainable options like menstrual cups and period panties, changing them regularly, and disposing of them properly. It’s important to discuss all the available options with them and to emphasize the importance of maintaining good hygiene during menstruation.

Prepare a “Period Kit”

Help your daughter create a “period kit” that she can keep in her school bag or backpack. This kit can include sanitary pads or tampons, spare underwear, wet wipes, and a plastic bag for disposal. Personally, ModiBodi period panties and their fantastic waterproof bags. This will ensure that she is prepared for her period even when she is away from home.

Normalize menstruation

Help your daughter understand that menstruation is a natural and normal part of a girl’s life. Normalize the experience by talking about it openly, and addressing any concerns or questions she may have. This will help her feel more confident and less anxious about her first period. Also, if she’s anything like my youngest daughter, she will need a few day to digest all this new information and then she’s going to come back at you with a bunch of questions you may have been totally unprepared for, like if periods make girls grown-ups then how to boys grow up? 😜

Discuss emotional well-being

Explain to your daughter that mood swings, cramps, and other emotional changes can be a part of the menstrual cycle. Discuss ways to manage these emotional changes, such as exercise, proper nutrition, and self-care practices and just be able to recognize that if she’s confused by her mood swings and all that goes with it, that it’s perfectly normal and ok.

Address peer pressure

Talk to your daughter about the potential peer pressure and societal stigma around menstruation. Educate her about the importance of respecting her body and choices, and that menstruation is a natural process that should not be shamed or stigmatized. I think it’s also important for parents to talk about menstruation with their sons as they also need to be educated and prepared for it so that they can empathetically help their female friends.

Be prepared for irregular periods

Inform your daughter that it’s common for periods to be irregular in the beginning and that it may take some time for her menstrual cycle to regulate. Help her understand what to do if she experiences heavy bleeding, severe cramps, or any other unusual symptoms. Also, introduce her to apps that can help her track her cycles ad her symptoms.

Provide necessary supplies

Make sure your daughter has access to necessary menstrual supplies, such as sanitary pads, tampons, menstrual cups, or period panties. Discuss with her the different types of menstrual products available and help her choose what works best for her.

Be supportive

Lastly, be supportive and understanding during this time. Your daughter may experience a range of emotions, and it’s important to provide a safe space for her to talk, ask questions, and share her concerns. And it’s important to offer her lots of support as she goes through those first cycles and adapts to her life as a woman.

Remember, every girl’s experience with her first period is unique, and it’s important to tailor your approach to your daughter’s individual needs and comfort level. By providing accurate information, normalizing menstruation, and offering support, you can help your teenage girl feel empowered and confident as she navigates this new phase of her life.

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