Do you remember the time when you had your first periods, and how you were scared and too shy to put it all into words? You probably haven’t forgotten the embarrassment you had felt when your mom or the bio teacher or the school nurse gave you the talk about menstruation. Well, if you’re a mom now, or a caregiver to a little girl who is approaching her age of menstruation, you probably don’t want her to go through the same nightmare. So, it is important to prepare your child for menstruation - and make sure that she is not embarrassed!
How to Prepare Your Child for Menstruation
Here’s how you can talk to your little one and get her ready to face the new change, without feeling shy about it!
1. Do your own homework first
Recently, a video has gone viral on social media in which people, even women, have shown their gross limitation of knowledge about periods, as they called menstruation everything from blood purification process to detoxification of the digestive system. Please don’t be that woman, especially to your daughter! Find out about menstruation and uterus, and how the inner lining of old blood and tissue slowly leave the body. Unless your idea about the biological details is not clear, do not attempt to explain menstruation to an impressionable youngster, or pass on your half-baked knowledge.
2. Don’t pass on prejudices
It’s 2020, ladies, and there is no time or space for prejudices and superstitions. Menstruation does not make anyone untouchable or dirty. It is not a curse and is definitely not a disease of any kind. It is not something to be ashamed of, and you should not have to hide it from the world. It is simply a transition of a girl into her womanhood, and is a natural process. If you have been told anything else by your mother or grandmothers, put a stop to the cycle of spreading misinformation about menstruation to future generations.
3. Don’t scare the young one
Almost every woman has had scary stories and nightmarish experiences, and you might be tempted to share yours with your child. But, it is best not to share those stories and burden her with the possibility of pain, unwelcome bleeding, or being shamed for her growth. Keep the conversation clinical, without placing the burden of how this is going to impact her whole life, or how she now has the big power of creating life. Remember that while these are true and amazing things, the person you’re talking to might find it hard to process so much of information.
4. Speak to a gynaecologist
If you think you are unable to handle the conversation alone, then get an appointment with a gynaecologist and have him/her have a conversation with the young one. A gynaecologist, especially someone who is young and has a fresh outlook, will be able to respond to all the queries of your child regarding periods and give her information. It is also necessary to talk to a gynaecologist to get the right medicine to deal with cramps. A gynaecologist will also be able to help with the transition from sanitary napkins to menstrual cups, which, eventually, will make periods much more hassle-free, with no stains, rashes, and repeated changing.
5. Find female hygiene products together
Thankfully, there are many kinds of female hygiene supplies available in the market, as well as on online stores. If you don’t want your child to go through the humiliating experience of shopkeepers trying to hide her hygiene products or giving her strange looks, you can simply browse online stores for the best products. It’s a good idea to prepare a period kit together. While it comes to someone who has not yet had her first periods, it is better to go for sanitary napkins. Add sanitary pads that can handle different levels of blood flow. You can also choose reusable napkins, available in fun colours for young girls. Don’t forget to add rash ointments, painkillers, and a mild intimate cleanser like Imbue Intimate Hygiene Foam.
Remember that a good conversation will prepare a child to accept the change easily and empower her to make choices about her own body. It will also teach her to be empathetic towards other women and their experiences. An important thing to do is to involve the men in her life in these conversations about menstruation so that she knows that it’s not something to hide or to be ashamed of. It’s the beginning of her womanhood – make it special for her!