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Getting your first period is daunting. Often your first period comes without any stomach cramps or warning signs . You don’t want your daughter to be caught unprepared for this big moment. You may not be with her at the time so here are some pointers on how to make sure she feels ready!

1- Talk to you daughter about periods. If you don’t talk about it, you can be sure she will hear all kinds of things from her friends at school. Things that will unnerve her and scare her and will be mostly embellished and almost always incorrect. When you talk to your daughter about periods keep the conversation factual and scientific. Answer all her questions honestly and discuss your personal experience with periods too. This will remove some of the embarrassment around discussing periods.

2- When? The average age for menstruation starting is 12.5 years but girls are menstruating earlier and periods can start as early as 9. So make sure you’ve had the talk and have her period pack ready and packed.. When your child starts menstruating will depend on genetics, her weight, race diet. Whenever she starts don’t make her feel bad about starting too early or too late, don't compare he ahe to when you started or other siblings. Everyone starts in their own time and it's not a competition.

3- The first few periods are generally light. The blood may be brownish and she may experience spotting rather than a full flow. Let her know that’s ok. Teach her about menstrual hygiene and the possible of infections that can arise from not changing your pad often enough.

4- In our culture we would generally start our girls off with sanitary napkins. However now you also have the option of

Period panties – These are made with layers of absorbent material which absorbs menstrual blood. However because the first few periods are light your child will be very comfortable wearing a period panty as opposed to a pad.

Tampons – Tampons can stretch or tear your hymen (just as certain sports can) but it doesn’t mean that your daughter has lost her virginity. Tampons are the easiest and “safest” in terms of avoiding leakage. However young girls are generally not comfortable using tampons so wait till your child’s periods become a little heavier and she is more comfortable with the idea of tampons. Very useful if your daughter does a lot of sport.

Literally go with the flow mums.

5- The first period kit should be in your child’s school age from the age of 10.
- Get a small zippered pouch- you can use a small toilet bag or even those airplane pouches.
- Add a couple of sanitary napkins
- An extra pair of underwear
- An extra school skirt or uniform (in case her old is stained)
- An envelope/ small paper bag to dispose of any used napkins
- A plastic bag to store soiled underwear/uniforms

You can adjust this kit and add to it as your daughter gets more comfortable about the idea of getting periods regularly.

Good luck Mum!!

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