World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019: Prepare your daughter for her first period: A teenager who is already facing a lot of changes, puberty may worsen the experience being terrible. But as menstruation is the most natural and inevitable part of a girl’s life, she must be prepared for it before it arrives for the very first time.
World Menstrual Hygiene Day 2019
Though the Bollywood film Pad Man has opened up discussions around menstruation, there’s still a long way to go. The experts advise that it’s important for young girls to be aware of periods before their first one.
Everteen® conducted a survey for Menstrual Hygiene Day which says that menstruation is no more a hush-hush topic. The survey had participation from 2,400 women – working women in the age group of 25-35 years – from Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. As many as 67.7% of women believe that a popular Bollywood movie made people talk about menstruation openly.
According to Gauri Singhal, Founder and CEO of FLOH tampons and Shelly Singh, Obstetrics and Gynaecology Consultant at Momspresso, to make sure that the first period is less scary and more comfortable here are some things that moms and dads (yes, dads should have this conversation with their daughters) can tell their girls to better prepare them for their first period. Following are glimpses of what she suggests:
- We bleed red: Leading brands that use blue ink to depict period blood are essentially attaching a message of shame to periods. Let your daughter know that we bleed red and that there’s no need to be ashamed of it. It is important to let them know that it is natural and nothing to fret about. With the right intimate care solutions, they will be able to forget that they are on their period and just go with the flow.
- Don’t let periods hold you, set yourself free: After getting their first period, girls are usually sceptical about going to school or participating in co-curricular activities. Parents should urge their daughters to let go of these inhibitions because periods shouldn’t disrupt their daily lives. Today, there are multiple options such as tampons, period pain relief patches, panty-liners and other products that can make periods truly comfortable so girls can continue to remain on the go even while they are on their period.
- Beat the cramps: Different women experience period pains at different intensities, and sometimes it can be bad. Since girls are starting to menstruate at a much earlier age, it is not advisable for them to take medication. However, if you feel the period pain monster tugging at your insides, you don’t have to ingest a pill to beat it anymore. You can simply use herbal period pain patches that discreetly yet effectively soothe the cramping. So, next time period pain shows up, put on a patch, put on your best smile, and get ready to take on the day!
- Personal hygiene is a must during this time: While it is essential to maintain personal hygiene throughout one’s cycle, the menstruation period requires extra care. Tampons and pads must be changed every 4-8 hours depending on the flow. And she must wash herself every time she uses the washroom, and keep herself clean since menstrual blood can lead to infection and bad odour. During the period, it is easier to contract bacterial infections or vaginitis.
- Tell her not to shy away from periods: Repeat this as many times as you can — ‘periods are not a taboo’. While pregnancy is celebrated in India, periods are treated in a hush-hush manner. It’s about time we break out of this regressive socio-cultural mindset. Periods should no longer be a secret between moms and daughters but can and should be discussed with brothers and dads too.
- Sanitary products must be disposed: It’s important to wrap it in a newspaper and dispose this in the bin rather than flushing it down.
- Make her comfortable: Comfort her by telling not be scared of ‘leaking’ and if it happens, she can just throw that underwear panty away and use a fresh one. Also, apprise her that other girls in her class are also going through similar changes and they can watch each other’s backs.
The next generation should be that of the trailblazers who finally break the shackles and speak out freely about menstruation. But, it will all start with that one talk that you have with your daughter as she stands on the threshold of puberty. Make sure it is an impactful and an empowering one, for she might be the one who changes the way women perceive their periods. In doing so, she might just change the world!