MENSTRUAL HYGIENE DAY IS TODAY
This is an important day for every woman (you just don’t know it yet ;). This day allows us gals to think about what it is to be a woman and what is means and feels like to have a period. It’s a day we can openly speak about our menstrual flow, our first period and realise that to break the taboo, we need to pass our knowledge on and speak about it openly and honestly whenever needed, not just on menstrual health day.
Knowledge and education is the best way to break the taboo, but still now in 2017 information about periods and our menstrual cycles are not being passed onto our daughters (or sons). The problem can sometimes be, that as mothers, we also have not acquired accurate knowledge about our periods because it was not passed onto us and so on back through the generations.
Almost every woman will get a period, in fact women will experience approximately 450 periods over a lifetime. How the heck did this become taboo?
Why are we not able to freely talk about something that we all have in common? We are NOT different, we are the same and if we share our same experiences, it can only bring us closer together.
Its time to connect again!
Connect and share our similarities and start to acquire useful knowledge to pass onto the next generations about our menstrual cycles (about our periods) to remove the shame and break the taboo. Its not like human existence depends on it 😉
An important milestone in girl’s teenage years is getting her first period. The majority of women can remember where they were when they got their first period… and usually these stories have shameful, negative emotions attached to this milestone. We NEED to change this. We have the ability to change the way girls feel about their periods, but it won’t happen if we allow silence to prevail.
My First Period
I remember strongly not wanting to get my periods. I remember in year 6, constantly checking my school chair for blood, as I couldn’t stand the embarrassment I would feel if I bled through my clothes. I remember way to many toilet visits to check for blood.
And the day arrived early in year 7. I remember a brown discharge. I remember showing my mum and for some fucking reason she was excited and said “I think this is it!” That really was the extent of knowledge passed to me from my mother about impending doom.
I remember taking the next day off school. I remember seeing bright red blood. I remember crying and calling my mum at work to tell her the devastating news, only for her to announce it to her work colleagues. I remember the embarrassment and shame I felt as I heard her announcement. I remember the anger I had towards my mum for telling anyone. I remember taking the whole week off school and I remember lying to my friends because I didn’t want anyone to know.
One good thing came out of it. I shared my parent’s bed with my mum all week and we talked every night till we fell asleep, while my dad squeezed onto my single bed. But we still didn’t talk about periods.
How Was Your Experience of Your First Period?
Remember back to when you first got your periods. Where were you? How did you feel? I’d love to hear them, good or bad.
I know for sure, that I will not let my daughters have the same experience and I’ve started this process already.
Start Talking About Your Periods
Us mums all know that toileting on your own ended the day you gave birth. But during my period I would lock the door, which would distress both my girls, as they couldn’t understand why they weren’t allowed in. They were literally banging on the door till it opened. And one day I questioned why I was doing this. I was being a part of the silence. I was creating a taboo around my period.
So, my next period, I didn’t lock the door. They were about 3 and 4 years of age at the time. They saw the blood on the pad, they saw my blood stained toilet paper and wanted to see it again. And I realised that this wasn’t weird. This was natural and I was showing them, that my period was normal.
As my daughters have gotten older (they are still only 6 and 8), they are still as fascinated and if they know I have my period they will be in that bathroom to observe the blood. And the questions have been many. What is that? Where does it come from? Why do you bleed from your vagina? Does it hurt?
And with every answer I give them it passes on knowledge. It empowers them to be proud of their bodies, to respect their bodies and to LOVE their bodies.
It connects us as mother and daughters, it makes us feel connected and the same. It allows us an open path of communication, first from me to them and one day from them to me.
I also don’t think this should be isolated from mothers to daughters. I feel it is just as important from mothers to sons. Teach them how normal and healthy and necessary periods are, make them more understanding and compassionate friends, husbands, dads, employers, people.
Break the Taboo
Its time we change the way we view our periods, the way teenage girls (and boys) view periods, the way society views periods. Be brave; break the silence and the taboo.
So, on this menstrual hygiene day, share a first period story, with a friend, with your mother or daughter, with your son or your husband or in the comment section below and be a part of the change in empowering girls and women.
Acquire More Knowledge About Your Menstrual Cycle
It is my passion to educate girls and women about their menstrual health. I felt so strongly about this that I wrote a book with the intention of passing on this important knowledge. I’d love for you to download the first 3 chapters for free right here, and if you want more, you know what to do.
For more info on World Menstrual Hygiene day visit their home page here.