HAPPY GIRL BUILDS A HAPPY HOME
Shhhhhhhh PERIODS...............!! Mom, I don't have any more pads, Mom: ok! I will ask your dad to buy but you don't go as it is weird for girls themselves to go.
Around more than 2 million girls will get their first period during this COVID-19/Corona pandemic.
Are you there for her?
I mean to support her mentally?
Well, If you are that girl or a parent or a friend you need to know/ tell her these things so she can get through difficult times like a good sailor would in the midst of a storm.
Firstly, CONGRATULATIONS !!! for getting periods you have reached puberty !!
Well, one of the good parts is during lockdown you do not have to worry to get your first periods in school or somewhere in public, with stained clothes around so many people. Right ? !!
Yes, you just need to know a few things and you are ready to take on to another level of Independence and knowing your self.
Most girls get their periods between age 11-15 years but 9-14 years is also fine.
What Are Periods?
Periods are the way your body signals that you have reached your puberty. It is a major growth spurt.
Periods / down/menses/monthly cycle/bleeding down there are the common terms used to convey the same thing
Periods are the part of the menstrual cycle and it is regulated by female hormones.
Periods come every month mostly at 28 days interval +/- few days.
They hurt especially, in young girls and if you are unable to bear the pain then ask for a prescription from your gynecologists and carry it in case you need it anywhere anytime.
Sometimes periods can be irregular or more painful, talk to your gynecologists if this is more or a routine.
take a journal and every month, note down you the date on which the first period started and when it ends as it is important while checking how regular your cycles are also for your gynecologists to track your reproductive health.
Reproductive health is your responsibility. trust me it is very easy to maintain while you are aware of it.
Getting first periods does not necessary means you are an adult or you are ready to bear a child but you can from having unprotected sex.
Using condoms while having consensual sex.
Getting pregnant is a real thing and with your awareness, you can avoid it.
It is your choice to use sanitary pads ( for example Whisper, stay free, etc ) or tampons or menstrual cups, choosing what is convenient for you.
How to deal with bleeding:
Sanitary pads: They are easy to use, need to be changed regularly to avoid staining whenever you feel wet and depending on your flow. They come in various sizes based on the bleeding (heavy/ moderately heavy etc) denoted on the pads with the drop sign..too many drops means for heavy bleeding, sometimes also written on the packet. Explaining to them how to dispose of them. Pads have almost no health risks.
Tampons: Less frequently changed, especially for more active and busy days more risk for getting infections if forgot to change or left inside the vagina for long.
For Parents/Caregivers: What to do during a lockdown:
Do not panic, it is more stressful and challenging for her than you could imagine!
Talk to her and educate her.
If she is not comfortable talking to you, let her talk to someone in the family whom she trusts and comfortable with, remember not to make a big deal about it.
Sanitary pads are covered under essential items so it would be easily available from the pharmacist or chemist shop.
Respect her need for space and privacy.
Eat and drink at your pace as sometimes some girls do not feel like eating rather take a hot drink like herbal tea etc.
Walking or light exercise depending upon how comfortable she is.
Helping her pain with painkiller prescriptions, keeping a hot water bottle on tummy, light back or tummy massage, hot drinks.
Do not create any taboo or certain restrictions on her while on periods, she needs awareness, education, and support. let her decide.
It is fine if she does not do any major work or talk to that day.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS):
As the name says 'pre-before, menstrual: menses/bleeding.
Does not occur in every girl.
It shows up almost a week before the periods.
Symptoms consist of mood changes, pain in breasts, body ache, change in bowel habits, etc due to hormonal levels.
Factors which affects PMS- stress, age, diet, hormones, environment change,
Keep your self hydrated, exercise.
Please do not silence/shame your girl for having periods. it is not something wrong.
Educate her and also the boys in the house about it.
Sex education is important, please educate her but 'only if she is comfortable talking to you about it ' or else leave it for another family member with whom she is more comfortable.
Her happiness, health, and safety should be topmost so awareness, education, and your support will make it smooth as anything. Do not worry after a while she will know how to care for herself and the people around her.
Take Home Message:
A happy girl raises a happy family :)