Hey moms, has your daughter entered puberty? She might be starting her period sooner than you think. Here’s a quick rundown of the things you and she should be aware of as she’s going through this changing (and potentially nerve-wracking) time.
You may have already brought out books or had a talk with your girl to help her learn about her body and the coming changes. And she’s probably talked about a few things with her friends - because all girls are curious about what the experience will be like!
With all of that information, she may be a little nervous and — when it does happen — you and she might still be very surprised! Being well informed, knowing first period signs, as well as being physically prepared can help you both navigate that first period as your daughter continues to move confidently toward womanhood.
What are the first period signs?
Remember that your daughter’s body is unique. Most girls get their first period between 11 and 13, but some have started as early as 9 or as late as 16.
We may not know when the first period will come, but thankfully, the period doesn't come alone!
Some distinct body changes signal that the body is going through puberty and their brain is sending signals to produce hormones. You will notice some new changes in your daughter's body as a result of estrogen and other hormones. Signs to take note of are:
1. Developing breasts. Her breasts may take three or four years to develop, but you can expect her period to start about two years after her breasts start developing.
2. New hair. The hair may be soft and fine or it may become dark and coarse, but pubic hair and underarm hair are both a sign of puberty.
3. Body Odor. Be sure to break out the natural, aluminum-free deodorant as needed and help your daughter understand the importance of good hygiene!
4. Vaginal Discharge. She may notice a white or yellowish fluid starting to make an appearance in her underwear. This is nothing to worry about - it just means that her body is getting ready to start her period. The amount will vary as the levels of estrogen in her body changes.
5. Mood Swings. Puberty brings a few unpleasant changes — and mood swings are one of them! Help your girl understand that their emotions are changing too, and give them a few resources on calming down and managing their feelings!
It can be concerning to you as a mom if your girl starts her period early or if she's the last of her friends. But remind yourself (and your daughter) that every body develops at a different pace, and that is okay!
The First Period
Your daughter might experience some cramping or feel that her stomach is bloated as the first period cycle starts. Maybe she’s been feeling a little sad, extra hungry, or cranky lately and wasn’t sure why.
Just before the period, hormonal changes can cause Premenstrual Syndrome, or PMS, for even the fist period. As the hormone levels even out in the first few days, PMS symptoms mostly disappear.
How long does a girls period last and what does it look like?
Usually, a first period is very light. It might be a few spots of bright red blood or a sticky stain that shows up in underwear. It might be red, brown, or even black. Reassure your daughter that the bleeding itself doesn’t hurt, although she may experience cramping that might be uncomfortable. Red raspberry leaf and other hormone balancing herbs can help with the cramps and PMS!
The blood may be surprising, and it may look like a lot, but it is really only around 3 tablespoons over the course of your whole period. The first actual bleeding may only last around 2 days, but it could last up to a week. If it’s longer, particularly if it’s still heavy after 7 days, talk to your daughter’s doctor.
How can I help my daughter emotionally and physically?
Reassure your daughter that no one will know she is on her period unless she chooses to tell them and it’s probably a good idea to tell mom. Your girl can still play sports (exercise can help with cramps and other symptoms), take a shower or bath (staying clean is important at this time!), and even swim while on her period (depending on which products she uses to manage it).
As you prepare for your daughter’s first period, remember that you went through this time too and make it as pleasant for her as possible!
Check out our reusable period care products to assemble your own first period kit with a few pads, hormone balancing tea, change of underwear and shorts, chocolate, and a water bottle! She may find that a heating pad is helpful. Also, our blog post, Signs Your Period Is Coming, was written specifically for your girl with everything she may want to know about how her body works and how to be prepared!
We hope that this information helps you navigate this next stage of life, for you and your daughter!