03 Jul The Conversation About Periods Starts With Us
My first conversation about periods with my kids
“Mom, why do you have blood in your bum?”
This is how it started in our house. I was newly home from the hospital after having my second baby. My 3 year old daughter came in just as I was dealing with postpartum bleeding and the extra large pads that come with it. You know what it’s like, there’s no privacy in the bathroom when you have kids! She was horrified at what she saw.
I explained, “your brother came out of here and mom has to heal now. The blood is just part of the healing.”
“Oh,” she says and then moves onto something else.
Skip forward about 18 months. Here she comes again, barging into the bathroom while I’m tending to my monthly cycle–my period.
“MOM, are you ok?!”
She is nearing 5 years old and asking way more questions so I knew this was going to require more of an explanation. To make a long story short, I ended up trying to explain the monthly cycle (period) in her language. I ensured she knew that I was ok and this is part of being a lady.
Talking about periods
As I write this I feel uncomfortable with the idea of sharing this information with the world. Why? Because this is private stuff and we’re not supposed to talk about our female issues to anyone! We’re talking about periods after all.
WRONG. The struggle I have in my practice is that women suffer in silence with symptoms related to their pelvic floor. Symptoms like leaking, pain with intercourse, vaginal pain, or the feeling that something is falling out of their pelvis. These are symptoms that they’re embarrassed to discuss. They don’t talk about them; therefore they don’t know they can get help. Postpartum recovery is the fourth trimester and something ALL moms go through. It’s natural and not all the symptoms are glamorous.
You can see how when the conversations starts at a young age, it’s hard to explain these things to them. When they get older they don’t want to hear it from us, and next thing you know, you’ve missed your chance.
I want my kids to understand their bodies, to know what’s normal and what things to talk about. There’s a difference between being private and secretive. Yes, these issues are private and there’s a time and a place to talk about them BUT they do not need to be kept a secret.
I don’t always know the ‘right’ things to say, but I keep the dialogue open. As long as the questions are coming, I will continue to answer the best I can.
As someone who helps women address their ‘secret’ issues, I encourage you to start the conversation with your kids when they’re young. It doesn’t need to be a big formal talk, just answer the questions as they come and believe me, they will come!