There comes a time in every mother’s life when her little girl walks through the door of womanhood. What follows then is a dilemma: should you hold her hand during this phase or should you let her fall flat and figure it out for herself? Most mothers choose the second option; through no fault of their own though. It’s what generations before them did too. The whole ‘out of sight, out of mind’ rhetoric is what this part of the world has been constructed around.
Do it but don’t say it. Have it but don’t discuss it. Don’t talk. Don’t talk. Don’t talk. Mothers and daughters; fathers and sons. Mothers and sons; fathers and daughters. Silence. Silence. Silence.
How then do you break away from this? How do you just wake up one day and decide, you know what I’m going to tell my daughter about the changes her body will undergo in the near future; I’m going to tell her because my mother didn’t tell me. That’s when you opt for the former. That’s when you say, I’m going to hold her hand and make sure she doesn’t stumble when walking through the door of womanhood.
If you’re reading this article then congratulations, you’ve already taken the first step. Now let us help you so you can help her.
Here are three tips to make the ‘first period’ conversation go smoother:
Don’t wait to have one big talk with them when they’re older. Instead, start with little steps. It’s best not to make up stories like an angel came down from heaven and handed you to me, because that’s going to go down the drain at some point. Be straightforward and open with her. For example, if your six-year-old finds a pack of Butterfly pads in your closet and ask what it’s for, tell her. Not in extensive detail but set the context for that future conversation. You can ease her into it by saying when girls get older they start bleeding from their vagina every month. This doesn’t happen because they’re hurt or sick, but it happens so they can eventually become mommies themselves.
Ask her if she knows what periods are. Chances are she already has bits and pieces of information from her girlfriend, if she has already started school. Help her make sense of those bits and pieces. Explain how the first few months will probably be marked with light bleeding which will gradually become heavier as she grows up. Describe what the colour of the blood could look like. It could range from red to brown or even be blackish sometimes. Tell her how it’s best to change her pad every four to six hours. Just talk. Address concerns.
Lucky for you, Butterfly Breathables already offers periods kits: a basic ‘Hello Period’ kit. This will help your daughter feel safer. There’s always that possibility of her having her first period while she’s at school. So a period kit is the best way you can make sure she has all she needs and there are no surprise stains along the way.
If things don’t go as smoothly as you’d imagined – in case your daughter has period-related health problems – reach out to a gynecologist.