Updated: Aug 8
There are no doubt many questions swimming through your young daughter’s mind when it comes to the upcoming changes her body will have as she moves from childhood to almost adulthood.
I am here to help you navigate the ever-changing body of your preteen daughter with these helpful tips:
#1 Start the conversation early
By the time your daughter is around 8 or 9 years old, she should have a general idea of what is to come in puberty. Many of you might think that age is too early, but preparing for the inevitable prevents feelings of stress and shame later on. Talking early and candidly about the human body is a great way to prepare your daughter for the changes she will experience. This will allow her the time to digest the information so as not to be overwhelmed when she notices things like breast buds, hair growing in new places, oily skin, acne, body odor, and her first period. Early conversations will also give her the time to ask questions about her body and what comes next.
Beginning the puberty conversation early also allows for the creation of a safe and open environment, free of shame and embarrassment. With the growing use of social media among young teens, she will see information that may bring about more questions, stress, and apprehension. Allow her, early on, the security to know that she can come to you for help navigating the information she might see online or hear from her friends.
Keep in mind, when speaking with your daughter about topics relating to puberty, she is looking for practical advice. Do not be overly dramatic. Meaning, dramatizing period cramps, mood changes, and food cravings will not help her when her first period starts during lunch in the school bathroom. Instead, reassure her that menstruation is a natural process and there is nothing to be afraid of or grossed out.
To begin the conversation with your daughter, here are some books and resources to look into together:
#2 Make sure your daughter is well-equipped with the necessary supplies
From 8 until about 17 years old, your daughter can start he period at any time. The average age of menarche (first menstrual period) is 12 years old. Talk to your daughter about the type of period supplies that are available— tampons, pads, menstrual discs, and cups, period panties… the list is ever-growing and changing. Let her know that she may have a preferred method depending on her flow. She, for example, may prefer using pads on her heavier days and opt for tampons on lighter flow days. Make sure she is ready for those surprise moments of life.
#3 Keep in touch with a medical professional who she is comfortable with and who will answer your questions in an informative and non-judgmental way
After her first period, she will no doubt have more questions about her body and if what she is experiencing is normal. This is the time to make an appointment with a doctor who understands how to teach in a way that is informative and empowering.
That’s where I come in 🙋🏻♀️.
In appointments with me, I speak with both daughter and parent to make sure they are on the same page and comfortable with talking about how the body changes during puberty. We talk about what they already discussed together, and how the daughter is feeling, and I fill in the blanks with all the questions they may have. We usually discuss the importance of tracking menstrual cycles and symptoms— this is a way to make sure we pinpoint any unhealthy hormonal changes in the cycles early on. We also discuss the importance of proper nutrition and exercise as the body will require certain nutrients to support a healthy menstrual cycle.
Ideally, all girls should feel informed and confident about their changing bodies and future reproductive health. This is a time to build their self-esteem and build their support system during a confusing time. Remember, you should be her first resource for information. If there is a topic you are unsure about, be honest and say so. From there, take steps to learn the answers together, seeking help if needed.
Let's make 2023 your healthiest year yet!
If you’d like to work with me and get a more in-depth look at your hormones, cycle, and overall health, call Olympus Movement Performance at 760.216.6047 in Vista, CA, or The Adapt Lab clinic at 858.209.2400 in Solana Beach, CA to make an appointment. I look forward to helping you get your health back on track!
Discover the Power of Cycle Syncing: Optimize Hormones and Well-being. Explore my FREE Ebook on holistic cycle syncing for women. Learn self-care, nutrition, and exercise strategies tailored to your menstrual phases. Empower fertility awareness and embrace your body's natural rhythms. Claim your Ebook!
*Disclaimer: Although I am a doctor, I may not be your doctor. The information contained within the pages of this site is for educational purposes only and should not be used to treat conditions. Please consult with your doctor before implementing any of the treatments, diets, supplements, etc. mentioned in this blog.*
*Dr. Francesca is an affiliate for Amazon and other companies. Some links contained within the blog posts may be affiliate links from which she receives a small commission at no extra cost to the customer.*