The first menstruation period can be a traumatic experience for a pubescent girl if she does not know what to expect. Every mother would want her daughter to be fully informed of all the developments in her body beforehand. Here are some ways you can introduce your daughter to menarche.
Mothers might find it awkward to explain periods to daughters when they have not taken place yet. They should know that some girls may begin as early as 9 while some may have to wait till they are at least 13. It is always a good idea then to gradually prepare for the first period. You do not need to have a single boring lecture on menstrual flow. You need to provide her with the whole picture. Tell her that in the coming years her body will change and discuss each topic regularly. For instance, one day you can discuss hormones and the role they play in development. Another day you can talk about growth of breasts.
If you tell her only the mechanical details of what happens during periods she is likely to be confused and might want to avoid the issue altogether. This will make your job more difficult. Children are naturally curious and above all she will want to know why women must go through menstruation. Sex education is the first step. Keeping aside your own embarrassment over articulating sexual functions you must answer all her questions honestly. Do not be surprised if she recoils having learnt the facts of life. You must remember not to bombard her with information but ration it as you deem correct.
When you are done with the background information on sex and puberty, discuss menarche in greater detail. Do tell her to expect her first period anytime in the coming years and advise her to carry a sanitary pad in her school bag in case of an emergency. Pre-pubescent girls often believe they need to restrict their physical activity when they get their first period. Bust all such myths early in your discussions. While you should tell her about cramps, headaches and other physical conditions that she may experience she should not dread playtime or feel unnecessarily stationary. Tell her to consult her teachers or the school nurse if she feels unusually sick. If you go an extra mile and talk to the class teacher in advance your daughter will feel more relaxed.
Lastly, you must not treat the explanation process as a series of grand events. If you keep your attitude cool when talking to her about periods it will inspire confidence in your daughter. She will subconsciously learn to treat menstruation as yet another facet of life and not something to either deride or keep as a sacred secret.
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