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Tips for having an open conversation with your daughter about menstruation

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Puberty brings with it physical changes, mood swings, emotional changes and the desire to spend time alone. Parents might start noticing changes in the behaviour of daughters by the age of 8 — the time when her puberty has started. The stage is signified with the development of breasts, growth of pubic and underarm hair, vaginal discharge and the beginning of menstruation. Talking about periods with your daughter is essential so that she understands that it is a natural process and holds importance in female bodies. Mothers should not fear to talk about menstruation with their daughters so that the latter do not have to feel embarrassed or stressed. Below are a few tips to keep in mind for initiating the ‘period talk’ with your daughter:

Inform about the positive side of Menstruation

Menstruation might seem like an illness to most of the young girls because of its symptoms. Mothers should be vocal about the positive aspect of periods and should communicate that it is a sign of body functioning properly. Daughters should be communicated the message that periods prepare them for pregnancy and that the process helps the womb in getting rid of the tissues it no longer requires.

Communicate about PMS and menstruation symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects the emotional as well as physical health of girls — usually before the start of menses. Mothers should converse with daughters about the symptoms of PMS in advance so that the latter do understand what happens to the body pre and post menstruation. Conditions like abdominal bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea and emotional outbursts are a part and parcel of the process. These symptoms persist until the end of periods.

Talk about menstrual products

Menstrual care is not possible without the right product. Daughters should be informed about menstrual products like tampons and sanitary napkins. Parents should tell their daughter how to use the products in order to make things easier and less awkward. Discussing the suitability of each product during different situations is important so that the daughters understand when to use what.

 Maintaining personal hygiene

Young girls are unaware of the changes happening inside the body and need guidance during such times. Maintaining hygiene down there becomes crucial once girls start menstruating. Mothers should tell how many times the product should be changed and the disposal methods. Regularly changing the product is suggested so that there is no leakage and no occurrence of rashes.

Lastly, parents should tell their daughters that periods in the starting will be irregular and the latter should not get worried as stabilisation of the period takes time in the beginning. Girls can track their menses through period tracker apps and prepare themselves for the next period.

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