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How to talk about periods with your daughter

Periods 101, School
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How to talk about periods with your daughter

First Period Talk: How and when to talk periods with your daughter

If your child is coming up to the age of their first period and you’re feeling a little anxious, don’t worry, you’re not alone! It’s a whole new chapter to and it can feel a little strange at first getting used to it. But it’s so important to talk about it. The key thing is always to emphasise that periods are totally natural. Here’s how to have the first period talk…

What age should you tell your daughter about periods?

Mother comforting daughter

Since most girls start their periods around the age of 12, some even as early as 8, it’s incredibly important that we openly explain periods from a young age. Start by not hiding or shying away from discussing or showing sanitary products, and if they ask about them then explain what they’re used for in simple terms.

Gradually, as they get older, you can explain it all in more detail so that it becomes a more ‘natural’ and frequent topic, as opposed to a taboo and awkward ‘first period talk’. It’s likely that your child will be taught briefly about menstruation during sex education around the age of 8 at school, so we recommend making sure they understand what a period is by about 7 years old. It is better that your child is aware of periods before they are taught about them in school, so that you can reassure them with any concerns they may have, and to avoid shock and confusion when the topic comes up. 

How to talk about periods with your daughter

So how do you have the period talk? Having the first period talk can be a little intimidating for parents that may feel embarrassed or awkward. Try and forget about any embarrassment or shame you associate with periods. You want to be able to openly discuss these topics with your child so make sure you are giving off a period positive energy. You can begin by asking your child what they already know about periods –

Sister On her Menstrual Cycle

Have you been taught anything about periods in school? What do you know already? Or do you know anything about them at all? 

Alternatively, if you’re concerned about how your child will react to the conversation, you can try approaching it in a different way like watching a sanitary product TV ad, watching YouTube videos explaining a period, or showing some quirky social media pages that are period positive - Disney’s new movie ‘Turning Red’ does a great job of acknowledging puberty in a Disney cartoon for the first time!

Use diagrams to explain the process of a period using terms like ‘vagina’ or examples of TV programmes that discuss periods openly. Keep an eye out for anything that you can use to spark the discussion of first periods. It’s all about making sure your child knows that they have someone to talk to if they have any concerns about this new chapter in their life. 

It may also be a good idea to prepare for a few questions by doing a little bit of research to explain things as clearly as possible. Here’s some you can consider:

When will I start my period? 

Your daughter’s period will start when her body is ready- typically between the age of 8 and 16. It’s important to be prepared, but also that you knows that there really is no normal time to start, everyone’s bodies and experiences of puberty are different!

Does it hurt to get your period?

Sister suffering with period painGetting your period is a normal part of growing up. If your daughter experiences pain, it is usually felt as painful muscle cramps in the tummy, sometimes spreading to the back and thighs.  However, if she is experiencing a lot of pain it is essential that you take her to a doctor- it could be something more serious like endometriosis.

What happens if I start my period at school?

If she starts her period at school then it is nothing to worry about- it’s just about getting comfy with her flow and being prepared! Check out our blog on ‘How to get through school on your period’ to get ready.

    What if the blood leaks through? 

    Leaks happen! When blood leaks through to pants or trousers she shouldn't panic! There are plenty of ways to remove the stains. Give her some spare underwear to carry with her in case she needs them and keep some of our  remüvie™ Intimate Stain Remover on hand to save all her undies and fave white jeans from menstrual leaks!

      Can you see the pad or tampon?

      No, she won’t be able to see her pad or tampon through her clothes but trying our reusable period pants can provide extra comfort for the first few times, as pants feel much less foreign than pads or tampons!

        How much blood will I lose?

        On average we only lose 60 millilitres of blood during periods, which is much less than most of us think! Again this varies person to person, so it is good to pay attention and get familiar with how heavy her flow is!

        Consider discussing these questions when you have the first period conversation with your child. 

        nüdie Organic Period Pants

        Another great way to prepare for a first period and avoid leaking through is to wear period pants. The best part about our period pants is that they absorb up to four tampons' worth of flow, allowing you to wear them for up to ten hours! This will help relieve your child's anxiety about getting their period unexpectedly so they won't have to worry about timing toilet trips to change pads throughout the day, particularly at school. You can also guide your daughter to read our blog titled ‘What to expect when you’re expecting your first period for more information. 

        Advice for Dads talking to daughters about periods

        We’re here to help you dads! We know that this is probably out of your comfort zone, and dads talking to daughters about periods isn’t something you know about – so you’ll have to learn about periods before you discuss them, but there’s plenty of things to guide you along the way so don’t worry. Here’s a few quick tips to guide you in the right direction.

        Firstly, the conversation doesn’t have to be awkward at all. You may notice some signs that your child is starting their period or coming up to the age of puberty so you can use that as your queue to approach the conversation.

        Sometimes girls may feel a bit uncomfortable chatting to their dads about periods. Make sure you don’t force the conversation and bring it up when your daughter is

        My first period kit

        in a comfortable environment! Obviously doing your research is important, but sometimes it can be a bit harder to relate to someone who has never experienced periods. Chat to your friends and family about their experiences and feelings, so you can go into the conversation prepared on the emotional side as well as having all your facts! 

        Stock up on our sustainable period products so that you’re always prepared for any unexpected encounter. Buy a few different absorbencies and just store them in a cupboard so that you’re prepared for any type of flow.  

        Putting together your daughter’s first period kit

        So, if you’ve already stocked up the bathroom cupboard with everything your child will need to start their first period, then you’re on the right track! Here’s a few things to make sure you have…

        nüdie period cup

        Try getting a pair of reusable period pants,  to make sure your child doesn’t have to worry about leaking through – this is usually one of the main period worries! Alternatively, more people are trying our teen Mooncup to see which sanitary product works best for them. The menstrual cup collects your menstrual fluid rather than absorbing it, maintaining your vagina’s delicate pH balance.

        Stock up on all period care buying tampons and pads in various sizes so that they can choose the comfiest and most suited ones to their menstrual flow. 

        If you want to be extra prepared for any leakages, then you can check out remüvie™  stain remover which easily removes any period blood stains quickly. This could come in handy when the first pair of favourite jeans are ‘ruined’!

        And when the time comes, just be there. Buy some chocolates, ice cream, pizza, and treats. Be a shoulder to cry on, a hub to chat to and an information book for questions and concerns. Be open minded and period positive to ensure that your child can come to you with anything. It can be a daunting chapter for you, but it can also be scary for them too. With the right guidance and a period positive attitude, you’ll get through it!

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