Talking about periods – How mums can approach this

Your daughter’s first period is a momentous event in her life, but it can also be a little confusing and anxiety-riddled for both her and you. When it arrives, it’s important she feels prepared and is aware of what’s happening to her.

Lil-Lets, the number one-selling tampon brand in South Africa, would like to share some helpful hints and tips to help you to get the conversation started.

Discuss the science

Although it sounds like an obvious thing to say, it’s worth talking her through the basics of why we have periods, how the menstrual cycle works and the blood loss she’ll experience. A period happens because of changes in hormones in the body, essentially due to the thickening of the lining of the uterus. In other words, it’s her body’s way of preparing for a baby in the future.

Help her feel prepared

One of the biggest worries many girls have is starting their period when they are away from home or at school. Very often, wearing a panty liner daily can build her confidence as it alleviates any fear that she’ll be caught unawares. It’s also a good idea to give her some pads to keep in her school bag just in case.

Show her products

Your daughter may not know exactly what a pad looks like and it would be advisable to purchase a pack to show her. Once you’ve bought a pack, take one out, remove the packaging and show her how to use it and how to dispose of it afterwards. This will give her the confidence to do it herself next time. The same applies to tampons which are often confusing to deal with at first, especially as they come in both applicator and non-applicator variants.

Is there a minimum age for using tampons?

There is no minimum age for using tampons or a medical reason why a girl new to having a period should not use one. However, it is often best for them to understand their flow and monthly cycle before choosing to use a tampon. If your daughter is a swimmer or is sporty, she may choose to use a tampon during her sporting or swimming events, and then switch back to a pad at other times.  She should be comfortable about inserting a tampon before using it.

Anything else to add?

It’s perfectly normal for her period to last a couple of weeks too, so again, it’s worth sharing this with her so she’ll know what to expect.

See how to insert a Tampon here

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