If you ask any woman about whether she remembers the first period she got, the answer is likely to be yes. She would remember everything about that day. It can be a scary and unsettling experience for any girl to feel the cramps in her mid area and for the feeling of first flow of menstrual blood as it comes out. This moment does need some loving guidance and a lot of information for the young girl to understand the changes her body goes through when she gets her first period.
Even the process of how she protects and equips herself to deal with the flow can be a really new and mystifying process that needs some information and even possibly some literature to help her understand. The point we are trying to make here is that every mother needs to prepare her daughter for this moment. Since this can be both scary and unsettling.
The question here is what is the right age for a mother to prepare her daughter to face the possibility of her getting her first period? Once could say before she gets it. But can you truly say that you know when that is going to be?
The time when menstruation starts is also the time for puberty and puberty is now coming earlier. In the past few years, studies have shown that children of both the genders are entering into their puberty at an earlier age. Some girls are known to start developing breasts from ages as young as 7 years. But the norm is that puberty occurs between the ages of 10 to 14.
Puberty is the stage when children starting maturing in the sexual sense. In girls this means the budding of breasts, and then comes pubic hair and then armpit hair, followed by menstruation. This is also accompanied by a spurt of growth. Since the body type of each person is different, the order of things listed here may differ from one girl to another. Normally menstruation occurs about 2 years after the start of puberty. It is vital to guide a girl so that she can deal with the physical and mental changes that take place. To do this you need to talk to her before she enters puberty and gets her period.
You can have the talk with regard to puberty at an early stage when she is around 8 years old. Even if you think it is early, believe it is the right age. You can phase out this talk in parts giving your daughter the time to digest and understand things.
Be open and forthright in answering questions. Relating your own experience about how you hit puberty and when your periods started would also help in making her feel at ease.
Make the conversation simple and very matter of fact. You can also bring up the bra issue at this time. You could show some of yours and tell her what your feelings are in this matter. You can also tell her the choices that she has in this regard.
You will also have to tell her about sanitary pads and tampons and tell her a little about their usage. Though tampons can be used as soon as girl starts her first period, some may find it more comfortable to start with sanitary pads. You could ask your daughter about her preference.
The next stage would be to tell her that getting her periods means her body is ready of pregnancy and childbearing. As a matter of fact there have been cases when a girl has become pregnant even before she got her first period. Ovulation may take place before the period even begins.