The first period: an important step in teenage life!

When a teenager gets her first period, it marks a turning point in her life. This period is expected for some, dreaded for others, so to prepare as best as possible, we have put together tips to make this transition smoothly .

How to prepare for your first period?

The average age at which teenage girls get their first period is around 12 years old . But for some it will start earlier and for other goods later. This is why it can be difficult to properly prepare your daughters before that day arrives. When they are still little girls, we want to protect their innocence. When they are older, it can be difficult to initiate discussion.
This is why you must be ready as a parent to support your daughter in this transition.

Be equipped for her first period

Mother nature is not kind enough to warn us a few days or weeks before the first period arrives, so you have to be ready.

To best support your teenager, give her the choice . Indeed, she will feel listened to and supported in this upheaval, if you give her the choice of protection. To do this, plan to have available:

  • Sanitary napkins
  • Tampons and panty liners
  • A menstrual cup
  • Menstrual panties

Make sure that disposable hygienic protections are as healthy as possible, like those from the Jho brand, for example. Because some feminine hygiene products contain chemicals that can be harmful to the health of girls and women. It is essential to inform adolescent girls about more natural and chemical-free alternatives.

For the summer, we also advise you to bring a menstrual swimsuit so that she does not experience her first period as a constraint that prevents her from having her period.

You must also have documented the use of each of them so that you can teach your teenager how to use it if you do not use it yourself.

By offering her the choice of her menstrual protection(s), you allow her to begin her life as a young woman with complete confidence. It is essential not to make her feel guilty and to give her the time she needs to adapt to her new changes.

Accompany her

Periods mark the beginning of a new responsibility for young girls, so it is important that they are supported in this change to understand all the issues and nuances.

Once the first period arrives, your role is to support your teenager in this transition. But providing the answers to your teenager's questions can be more or less complex depending on your relationship and their state of mind at the moment.
In order to provide a maximum response, you can provide resources such as young articles dealing with the subject, podcasts, videos.
Today you can also find a lot of content on social media. Before providing any resources, verify the merits and be prepared to meet your daughter's needs. You need to choose the content that is best suited to your teenager.

Then offer her an information appointment with a midwife or gynecologist to answer all the questions she may have. We must also be careful not to make them feel guilty or make them feel our fears, because they already have a lot to manage and learn. The kindness and love that you can give them will allow them to live better with this new component of their life.

Encourage her to talk openly about it to you . It's not always an easy subject to discuss, but they need your support during this time!
By helping them understand the impact of their periods on their lifestyle, you can help them experience this transition smoothly.

After the first period, your teenager's lifestyle is turned upside down

After facing the first periods, it's not over, the periods will come back every month and at the beginning, they rule the roost. Growing hormones, acne, alteration of sensitivity and emotions, etc… And at the beginning, young girls are not all “regulated”.
To cope with all these upheavals, you have to adapt your lifestyle . Sleep and diet will be your main allies in combating the inconvenience caused by your first period and all those that follow.

The sleep

Lack of sleep can disrupt hormonal balance and cause or worsen various disorders such as acne. It is therefore recommended that menstruating adolescents sleep between 8 and 9 hours per night . Here's a good reason to turn into a groundhog.

But it's not always easy to have a regular sleep cycle , so if they're having trouble getting enough sleep, you can help by providing an environment conducive to rest . For example, you can buy a new soft blanket, a brand new cushion that will replace the old, worn out one, etc. It's up to you to dig in with your teenager to see what they're missing.

You can also help them discover relaxation techniques , to do before going to bed. Practices such as meditation or yoga are simple to implement. If you don't know anything about it, you can find many tutorials and/or mobile applications to guide you in these practices.

When young girls adopt a healthy sleep rhythm at the start of their menstrual life, we observe that they stabilize their cycle more easily and reduce the inconvenience it causes.

A good diet

Just like sleep, diet plays an important role in the new lifestyle of menstruating adolescents .
When a young girl has her first period, she must be informed about the risks and causes of a poor diet . Such as, for example, the anemia, weight gain, bloating and inflammation that accompany this joyful period.

Fortunately, you can simply remedy some of its discomfort with a good diet. By adopting a complete and healthy diet, your daughter will already begin to feel the discomfort caused by her periods reduce.

During her period, she will therefore need to favor foods such as:

  • red meat 🥩
  • dark chocolate 🍫
  • rice and legumes (lentils, beans, red and white beans) 🍚
  • oilseeds (almonds, walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts) 🥜
  • fruits and vegetables for their vitamins 🍊
  • slow sugars 🍝

She will also need to drink more water than usual to avoid becoming dehydrated and to limit lower back pain. Cases of dehydration are very common among young girls, so grab your water bottles! 💧

Now let's take an overview of the foods to limit or avoid during this period. Foods to avoid as much as possible are foods:

  • containing saturated fats 🧈
  • rich in salt 🧂
  • caffeine, theine and sodas 🍵
  • dairy products 🥛
  • alcohol (for those of drinking age) 🍸

If you teach your daughter to put a little discipline on her plate during this time, she will thank you later. Indeed, a good habit started young and more often easy to maintain when it is independent.

Obviously, the more she follows a healthy lifestyle with a full night's sleep and nutrient-rich meals , the more she will help her body cope with these changes. In order to best help your daughter and not impose a strict and brutal change on her, you can start making changes (if necessary) to her lifestyle before her first period. The transition will be smoother and more bearable.

How to manage the stress around this change

Like all upheavals, the first period can be a source of stress for young girls. The more you support her in this transition, the more she will be able to cope with it and manage stress.

But above all, we must understand that they can be the sources of this stress. Obviously, the period itself is stressful, but other events such as the fear of having a mark or being teased can be the reason for this stress.

Prevention is often the only thing you can do as a parent, so make sure she has a spare protector or a pouch, a case if she has reusable protection. Also make sure that she has a change of socks available in her locker or bag. You can absolutely put together an “ emergency kit 🩸” including its elements so that she feels reassured.

Stress is also present in your teenager's daily life and it is completely different from what you may feel. You have to be attentive to understand your anxieties and needs in the face of this, but in most situations, you will be helpless.

For the army facing these challenges, teach them stress management techniques such as breathing exercises or easy-to-use mediation. If you notice that your teenager is particularly stressed, you can relieve her with homeopathic follow-up.

All of these factors: support, sleep, diet and stress management will help give your teenager the weapons she will need to cope with her first period and accept this new component of her life. .

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