Prepping Your Daughter for Her First Periodby Elaine Plummer
Unless your child is in a year-round program or home schooled, most kids are just finally heading back to school after having the summer off. While many moms experience the traditional sigh of relief because they’ve survived the summer, teen girls may not be as thrilled.
Why? Are they concerned about seeing their friends again? No, that is all good. Are they worried about classes starting? Not really, many girls are looking forward to school - REALLY. What I am referring to is that girls may wonder what to do with their period once school starts. For some girls, that causes real angst.
As a women’s expert on beinggirl.com, I answer questions from teen girls about periods, products, and puberty, along with other topics related to being a teen girl. Some girls start off by saying that their mom gave them products they don’t want to use and some even ask how to get their moms to let them use tampons. Some girls are upset because they don’t want to start their period at school, and they are worried everyone will know. Others ask how to get the teacher to let them out of class when the rule is that you can’t leave class, even to go to the bathroom.
With that said, I thought you might also want to know what the beinggirl.com experts share with girls about starting their periods in school:
What if I start during school?
Your period will probably not come flowing out immediately from the start. You will most likely - notice some dampness or wetness, and need to excuse yourself to the restroom and you may find - that you have your period. Carry menstrual protection in a backpack or purse so you can just take it with you to the bathroom. Changing during class breaks or lunch makes the most sense. If you aren't sure when your period is due, wear a pantiliner daily to avoid accidents. This will help keep you fresh and protected during the day.
Also, check for locations in your school where emergency menstrual products are kept. Sometimes it is with the school nurse, the health/physical education teacher, or even the school secretary. Chances are someone at school will have supplies for those unexpected times!
What if I can’t leave class?
If the school rule says you can't leave the room, then you have to make a stop at the bathroom during the times you can... whether you think you need to at that time or not. In most situations in life, you have to plan to live by the rules. If you think this rule needs exceptions, then you need to talk with the principal.
What if I start and don't have anything available to me?
We suggest that girls prepare an emergency kit when they are concerned that they may not have the period supplies they may need when they need them. I would plan on having more than one kit so you can keep one in your locker or backpack, one in your purse, and perhaps one in the glove box of the car you ride in the most. Here is what you will need:
- A cute cosmetic bag to put in your locker, backpack, purse, or glove box.
- A few pads/tampons. You should only need a couple of the product you prefer.
- Pantiliners come in handy if you start out with light flow or need one as a "just in case" plan.
- An extra pair of undies in case you have a leak or start unexpectedly.
- A baggie you can seal in case you need the panties mentioned above! This way you will have a place for your soiled panties.
- A few feminine wipes. These come individually wrapped for on-the-go convenience, and will make you feel more clean and confident.
Lastly, we get questions from girls who wonder how they should tell their moms that they started their period. While some of you may think your relationships with your daughters are open enough for them to come and tell you anything, she may see it differently. At beinggirl.com, we believe that a girl’s mom is her best resource.
Here is how we respond when asked:
Do I have to tell my mom when I start? How do I tell her?
We always think telling your mom something face to face is the way to go. Just sit down with her at the kitchen table and say, "Mom...I got my period. Isn't that great?" If you can't tell her face to face, try writing her a note and leaving it in a place where only she will find it - like her purse. Or you can go shopping with her and casually toss a box of your favorite feminine protection into the cart.
What do you plan to say to your daughter when she lets you know that she got her period? How do you help her prepare for her period -when she is at school?