FROM PUBERTY TO PERIODS - A MUM'S GUIDE TO YOUR DAUGHTER'S FIRST PERIOD
They grow up so quickly, the baby girl you brought home from the hospital is no longer that tiny little bundle in your arms and now as they approach those tween years, a new exciting chapter begins.
As a mother you've been there to help her learn and grow and have watched her experience so many new things and as she approaches puberty your once preschooler will start to blossom into one day being a strong, confident woman. There will also be plenty of mood swings, eye rolling, pimples, attitude as well as a first period to embrace along the way.
The thought of "menarche" - which means a first period - is quite daunting for most girls (whether they admit it or not) so conversations around it need to be ongoing, lighthearted, positive and supportive and more importantly well before menarche arrives. In a world that is increasingly better at talking about gender-related subjects, menstruation is still often a taboo subject which can have an negative effect on how your daughter grows up to feel about her cycle and body.
When will it happen?
The first obvious sign that puberty has begun is a noticeable change in breast shape. Breast buds can be seen protruding and vaginal discharge may appear on underwear plus hair starts to thickens on the legs. As puberty progresses, breasts may enlarge and a sudden spurt in height can occur. Other signs can be armpit and pubic hair appearing, sleep patterns changing and some girls experiencing cramping.
Why teen period underwear is a safer option for an unexpected period than panty liners or an SOS pack
Most girls will experience their first period within 2-3 years after the development of breast buds. The average age for girls to start menstruating in Australia is 12-13 years but anywhere between 9-15 years is considered normal. While some girls will have bright red blood with their first period, other girls may only have spotting (red-brown discharge). Both are normal but consult your GP if you have any concerns.
Periods are often irregular in the first few years as the body adapts to the rapid physiological changes - a normal cycle for one girl might be as short as 21 days or as long as 35 with 2-7 days of flow - so even girls with regular cycles might not have a period every single month.
When to see your doctor
- You are 16 years or older and haven't started to have periods
- Your periods are heavier than usual
- Your periods are getting closer together or further apart
- Your periods have stopped and you don't know why
- You have severe period pain
Source: Health Direct
Knicked period underwear is designed to give you up to 10 hours of protection and is ideal for girls with medium to heavy periods, as it offers them a whole day or night of protection without the need for bulky pads or intrusive tampons.
Take a look at our range of Knicked period underwear to find the right product for your daughter.
Books that helped me
If menstruation wasn't something openly discussed in your own childhood, this can all feel a bit strange at first. Here are some great Australian books on puberty and periods which can assist if you're unsure how to begin the conversation.
The below two overseas titles could also be helpful..