For parents, it’s crucial to educate and talk to their daughters about this biological process (menstruation) at the right time. Here’s how to help your daughter get ready for her first period.
New Delhi: India-set short film ‘Period. End of Sentence’ has won an Oscar at the 91st Academy Awards on 24th February 2019. The film, directed by award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi, explores the deep-rooted stigma attached to menstruation in rural India. The documentary follows girls and women in Hapur in Uttar Pradesh and their experience with the installation of a machine that creates low-cost biodegradable sanitary pads in their village.
The machine, not only helps improve female hygiene by providing basic sanitary pads but also supports and gives women the chance to break or eliminate stigma around menstruation in India. Period, backed by Indian producer Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment, bagged an Oscar in Documentary Short Subject category at the 2019 Academy Awards. Talking about menstruation is still considered a taboo subject. However, Period Oscar win is being seen as a step forward in the fight against menstrual taboos in countries like India.
For parents, it’s crucial to educate and talk to their daughters about this biological process at the right time. Perhaps, your daughter’s first period can be exciting and nerve-wracking simultaneously. The average age for a girl to have her first period is 12 years.
Preparing your child for her first period
- Talk to your child about the menstrual period before it actually starts is the best thing you can do as a parent. Ideally, it would make the discussion easier and less tense when you talk to her once the menstrual cycle begins.
- Tell your child that menstruation is not a disease but a natural biological process that’s a part of female reproductive health. Explain to her what menstruation is all about, including age-appropriate information and the average length of a period. It’s also important to educate her about the symptoms like abdominal cramps, uneasiness, etc.
- Tell your girl about the importance of maintaining good hygiene during the menstrual period, which is essential for development and well-being. Introduce her to sanitary products – such as sanitary pads, tampons, and menstrual cup – and teach her about the right way of using them. For instance, using damp and dirty menstrual clothes or using a sanitary pad for longer than 4 hours can be harmful, increasing the risk of UTIs, genital rashes, etc. Also, help her choose a good product that will enable her to continue with her daily routine.
- When your child has their first period, remember that this is also the time to talk to your child about sexual intercourse and pregnancy.
- Make sure that the men in your family are involved in the discussion. This will help them understand better about a woman’s body as well as eliminate the stigma surrounding menstruation.
- Be prepared to handle all her questions by gathering enough information about this topic. Make sure that you’re ready to answer the basics, although you may not know everything at this time. You can download videos, or read books or articles for more information and tips.
Additionally, don’t forget to teach your child about how to handle accidental flows. One of the best tips you can give your girls is suggesting them to You which includes as suggesting them to always carry an emergency period kit in their bags.