A new school year comes with a lot of firsts. The first time you meet a friend who will change your life. The first time you fail a test and try to hide it from your parents. And for many menstruators, it’s the first time they get their period.
Someone’s first period – known as menarche – is obviously a BIG deal, and you want to ensure they feel supported. Here are some tips on how you can help someone with their first period:
Tell Them A Period Is Natural, Beautiful, and GOOD
The average menstruator starts getting their first period between the ages of 10-15, but every person’s body works on its own schedule.
This can be scary, overwhelming, and stressful. But remind the person getting their period that menstruation is COMPLETELY normal and is a sign of a healthy, developing body.
If they’re curious, you can go more in-depth and explain the Four Stages of the Menstrual Cycle!
Show Off Different Period Product Options
If there are already people with periods in the home, you can show the new menstruator whatever you have on hand. If there aren’t any products stocked under your bathroom sink, go ahead and purchase a few options, including tampons and pads.
Let them decide what option they’d like to try to make them feel more comfortable and confident in living with their period. It might take a few tries to get it right and to feel “normal,” but assure them they’ll get adjusted!
Here is a helpful guide on How To Use Tampons and Pads!
Walk Them Through What They Can Expect Next
Like snowflakes and Taylor Swift songs, every period is different. Managing menstruation is a great responsibility to put on a young person, and it’s crucial to prepare them for the various side effects they could experience, including:
- Bloating/Weight Gain
- Abdominal Cramps
- Food Cravings
- Breast Tenderness
Talk about what they’re currently feeling and what can help. From Midol and Ibuprofen to reality TV and a nap, there are many ways to treat period symptoms.
WHEW – what a day for everyone involved. Just a reminder that it’s essential to be there for them. Answer the questions you know, research the ones you don’t, and make yourself emotionally and physically available for them – they might forget what their first period felt like, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.
We’re passionate about making the world better for people with periods and are happy you are too. Read more about Aunt Flow and our dedication to helping people – period!