Calling all dads! Have you been avoiding puberty and period chat?
Let’s be honest, talking about periods to young adults can be awkward, especially if it’s not something you’ve experienced first-hand! To all dads out there, we’re here to help you prep and make the topic as easy-going as possible.
If your daughter is about to or is already going through lots of change, she may feel insecure and not 100% comfortable talking about it. But just remember, the main thing is to show that you understand and are there for her as support if she needs you to be.
Small gestures can go a long way to help your daughter have a positive period. So, here are our ‘period talk’ top tips for dads…
1. Create a period-friendly home: Even if your daughter hasn’t started her period yet, it’s a great idea to keep your bathroom prepped with period pads, extra toilet roll, hand soap and a small bin.
2. Out & About bag: Save your daughter from ‘one of the worst moments’, by preparing a small and discrete wash bag with a selection of period pads, so she always has something to hand if her period starts unexpectedly. She can simply pop the bag into her rucksack or handbag and totally forget about it until she needs it.
At Bloom and Nora, we’ve got you covered! Our Trial Kits are perfect as they come with a selection of reusable period pads in a cute Out & About bag.
3. All the products: Try not to go OTT with buying all the different period products. Sticking to period pads can be a good option for a first period as tampons can be quite uncomfortable and daunting.
Just so you know...our reusable pads are made with soft natural fabrics making them kind to skin and super comfortable to wear.
WHAT TO EXPECT
1. First periods: The average age for a female to start her period is 12. However, everyone is different! Did you know periods can start anywhere between 8 and 16 years old? Being armed with nuggets of information can be helpful and reassure your daughter that she’s ‘normal’, even if her friends are experiencing something different. (FYI: First periods can be fairly light and irregular for the two years).
2. Premenstrual Symptoms (PMS): Have you ever overheard a conversation about period pains, cramping, tiredness, headaches, or serious bloating? This is PMS! PMS happens just before a period as hormone levels change, affecting the body. PMS affects everybody differently. Try to be as understanding as possible and be ready with comfort food and a hot water bottle!
3. Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS): TSS is rare, but can be a potentially life-threatening illness! It’s caused by an infection with certain types of bacteria building-up inside the vagina and releasing harmful toxins into the bloodstream. TSS can happen in two ways:
- When a tampon is left in for too long (especially super absorbent tampons) as it may encourage bacteria to grow.
- When a tampon sticks to the vaginal wall (this can happen when blood flow is light). When the tampon is removed, it can cause small abrasions.
If your daughter prefers to use tampons, try encouraging her to read the product instructions or let her know tampons should be changed every 4-6 hours, and not used when her flow is light.
Did you know, a range of toxins, dioxins, and carcinogens have been found in tampons?! Bloom & Nora reusable period pads say no to nasty chemicals and irritants, and yes to a positive period.
LET'S TALK PERIODS
1. The conversation opener: If you’re ready to have a chat with your daughter about periods, that’s great! A good conversation starter is to ask her about what she already knows – you may be surprised; she may know a lot already.
2. Research together: Being open with your daughter about how much (or little) you know about puberty can help her feel not alone and more confident talking to you about the changes she’s going through! There are some really handy websites and leaflets to look through together to help you both know what to expect when puberty hits.
3. Short and sweet: Once you’ve had the conversation, it’s time to hand over to your daughter – it’s her choice if she comes to you with any problems or for advice. But still, keep an eye on her and if she seems to be in any pain or discomfort, simply ask if she’s ok and how’s she feeling.
WHEN TO SPEAK TO THE EXPERTS...
1. Irregular periods: An average period cycle lasts 28 days, but when your daughter first starts, her period may be irregular for the first two years. Reassure her this is normal and there are apps that can help record her cycle. If your daughter is still irregular after puberty, there can be a number of reasons why, so it’s best to book an appointment with the doctors.
2. Painful periods: Naturally, period pain and cramping happen during or leading up to a period. However, if your daughter is in serious discomfort, it’s time to speak to the experts and book a doctor’s appointment.
3. Depression: Although periods create hormone changes, if you notice your daughter is having serious low days when she’s on her period, it’s again best to book an appointment and talk to the doctors.