How did your parents prepare you for your first period?
Did they prepare you at all?
My memories aren't very clear, but I remember reading about it beforehand, and I had an older sister go through it first. When I started my period at school when I was 11, she was there to support me through it, help me find a pad, and make sure I was OK.
That's unfortunately not true for a lot of kids. (Feeling weird about discussing reproduction and anatomy with your kids? Check out my podcast episode with Melissa from Sex Positive Families!)
Many of my clients and community members have a few years to think about this, but the years are short, aren't they? This came up in my Facebook group a few months ago. Here is Danielle's post, shared with her and Zoey's permission:
Zoey is 10, and hasn't gotten her period yet but is very excited about the possibility. I put together these period packs for her to put in her backpack and to keep in the car so wherever she is when it starts, she'll be prepared. I wish someone had cared enough to do something like this for me when I was a preteen. I got my period at 11 and had to save up my lunch money to buy pads. I used socks and washcloths when I couldn't afford it and was never given proper education on my options. Zoey carefully picked the period panties she wanted, decided on organic cotton pads after looking at cups and tampons as well, and they came with these cute little wipe packs that smell wonderful. I'm so happy I can give her a different introduction to menstruation than I had. This is so healing for me. Now I want my own unicorn period packs. 😂❤️"
Did someone say unicorns???
I ran into Zoey at school a few days later and asked if she would show me one of her pouches, and if I could take a picture of her to share with this post. How sweet is this?
How to make a period pouch
- If you haven't, tell your child about menstruation so they know what to expect. (Tell your sons, too, so they understand what their siblings/peers experience!) There's nothing gross or shameful about how bodies work.
- Discuss various options such as disposable or cloth pads, period panties, tampons, and menstrual cups. Just because they're not comfortable with some options now doesn't mean they won't be later.
- Go shopping or order them items for the bag. Choose or make pouches.
- Keep a pouch in the car, in their school bag, or wherever they may need one.
In the comments, Danielle shared links to the items that her daughter chose.
3 Pack Teens Cotton Menstrual Protective Underwear Girls Leak Proof Period Panties
Danielle said they talked about several options, and Zoey chose these.
Rael Organic Pads Overnight Set-Organic Cotton Regular Pads, Overnight Pads, Regular Liners and Natural Feminine Wipes
They talked about reusable cloth pads for the future, but Zoey chose a disposable option to start (especially if she's not at home).
Rael Feminine Wipes
These flushable wipes are infused with herbs, but don't contain fragrance which can be irritating or cause pH issues.
Unicorn Makeup Bag (3 piece set)
There are so many fun and inexpensive options for the actual bags! You could even make your own as a fun project.
A few more tips
Other parents loved the idea, and added that they should make their own, especially if they're not sure when their cycle will return postpartum.
If you need resources for talking to your child about reproductive health, check out AMAZE.org on YouTube, or my podcast episode with Melissa of Sex Positive Families.
Another comment suggested packing an extra set of pants or leggings in their bag just in case.
And Zoey has 2 pouches in case a friend needs one in an emergency! How rad is that?