Menstrual Hygiene: Top 6 Amazing Tips for Talking To Your Daughter
While today’s millennial women see menstruation as a form of freedom and liberation, teenage girls of every generation normally have negative views about the idea of growing up, understanding the different gender roles imposed by the society, dressing up appropriately and accepting physical changes such as growing breasts and getting their monthly period.
You’ve been on that stage and it is a mother’s instinct to guide and be a role model to your child. Your daughter’s first period is one of the major events in her life.
Having a teenage daughter who just got her period might be a tough time for a mother like you. She might not welcome her first menstruation in a positive way.
She might hate getting her boobs and all the physical changes her body has to go through to prepare her towards puberty and womanhood.
And who is the best person to talk to her about menstruation and hygiene? Of course, it’s you. Your motherly love and instinct is strong enough to handle and make her feel cared and protected.
Here are some tips on how to talk to you daughter about menstrual hygiene:
1. Educate her about menstruation
Start with the basics – share details about menstruation and how her physical changes are normal. Tell her more about her monthly cycle and how beneficial her period is to release excess iron from her body.
Let her know about her body’s capability to bear children and potential health problems caused by bad hygiene, especially during menstruation.
2. Introduce feminine hygiene products
Your daughter isn’t familiar about feminine products not until she gets her monthly period for the first time. She doesn’t have any idea about tampons, sanitary pads, liners or menstrual cups.
Most mothers only introduce feminine hygiene products from the moment their daughters get their first menstruation.
Share your best menstrual hygiene products. Show them and teach her their purpose and how to properly use them. If you’re a mom who breaks from the traditional sanitary pads, you might be interested to try menstrual cups.
They’re safer and don’t promote yeast growth and infection. If your daughter has been complaining about itchiness and allergies while wearing pads, a menstrual cup is the best alternative because the material is safe and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals.
Encourage your daughter to change pads or liners because wearing them for too long might cause irritation and skin rashes. Another advantage of using menstrual cups is that she will be more conscious of emptying her cup.
If you’re going to buy a cup for your daughter, make sure that it’s authentic and not made of cheap and unsafe materials.
Almost all cups that are made from the US are safe and DFA approved. Please refrain from buying cheap cups, especially those that are made in China.
3. Remind her to change her pads regularly
One of the challenges most moms face is when their children get their period earlier than their peers. Your girl may not worry about menstruation when her friends don’t have their period yet.
She may not consider having a good hygiene as a serious matter and may feel embarrassed about menstruation related conversations.
Make her feel at ease with her period and educate her about the importance of changing her pads regularly to avoid skin irritation and vaginal infections.
Check out my post about the dangers of sanitary pads.
4. Provide her with a starter’s kit
Your daughter might need your help managing her menstrual needs especially in the first few months after getting her period.
Most feminine hygiene products nowadays include first menstrual kit that includes a menstrual cup (sanitary pads if she prefers pads than cups), liners, disposable bags to dispose her used pads, hand warmers to ease her cramps and hand sanitizers.
Some companies also offer cute pad and cup pouches so that she’s at ease carrying them with her in school during her menstruation. Don’t forget to include feminine wipes in the kit so she feels clean.
5. Encourage her to keep track of her period
Some girls experience irregularities in their cycle especially if they are active and are into sports. One of your daughter’s worries each time she gets her period is having period stains, the first one is suffering from menstrual cramps.
Period stains can lower a girl’s self-esteem and prevent your girl from joining school activities because she doesn’t want to have embarrassing stains on her clothes.
The best thing to do is to encourage her to wear liners before her expected period and let her carry her pads or cup inside a pouch so that she’ll be ready when her monthly visitor comes.
If she uses a smartphone, you can help her look for an app that monitors her monthly cycle. Some apps notify the user's days before her expected period.
They’re not 100% accurate but it’s a good reminder to your daughter so she can be prepared and maintain a good hygiene during her menstruation.
6. Introduce period panties
Period panties are better than regular panties, whether you’re having your menstruation or on your regular days.
It’s good to introduce period panties to your daughter especially during the first days of her period where she’s expected to have heavy flow.
Period panties can help prevent leakages and are also comfortable to wear. One of the best things about wearing period panties is that they are moisture wicking and keep her dry all throughout the day.
They’re also hypoallergenic so you are assured that your daughter will not suffer from unwanted allergies and skin irritation.
Your daughter’s menstrual hygiene lies on how well you train and guide her in her journey towards womanhood.