I can still remember leaving a note in my mother’s bathroom informing her I got my period. I don’t know why I was so embarrassed to tell her in person. I guess, despite having two older sisters, we just didn’t talk about it much back then. And I don’t think we were the only ones.

Thankfully, these days, women and their daughters are talking about periods more often and more openly. In fact, periods have become the subject of many media reports recently. NPR declared 2015 the “year of the period” and Cosmo called it “the year the period went public.”  The issue of menstrual equality even made the cover of Newsweek last month!

So, while mainstream media has made it ok to talk about periods, the folks at Girlology have been encouraging us to do this for a decade.

bothLogosHires copy

It recently released a new free e-book for adolescent girls (and their moms) called You got IT. In true Girlology style, it is direct, honest and downright funny. Come on…”riding the cotton pony??” I must admit, I had never heard that one before!

You can expect your daughter to start menstruating around the age of 12, but it’s a fact that some girls are getting their periods much younger these days – around 9 or 10. Sometimes it takes both mother and daughter by surprise and we just don’t feel ready.

At our house, one of my daughters cried so hard when she got her period. She thought for sure this was going to stop her from doing the things that she loves. The other daughter freaked out – she was convinced that she was hemorrhaging and that it was NOT normal.

Sure, we can laugh about it now (and we do) but it would have been nice to have a factual, yet funny, guide that was instantly available to her on her phone, iPad or Kindle.

The book is practical, rather than clinical, even though it was written by Girlology’s founders, ob-gyn Dr. Melisa Holmes and pediatrician Dr. Trish Hutchison.


Dr. Melisa Holmes getting friendly with a stuffed uterus

They’ve been talking to teens about adolescence and sexuality for more than a decade – they know about periods! 


Dr. Hutchison wears many hats, one of which is a stuffed uterus!

Here are some of the the topics covered in the e-book:

  • a period should never make your daughter feel ashamed or embarrassed; it is natural and means she’s healthy
  • it addresses the dreaded “ooze” and “gush” that can happen when you stand up after sitting for a long time
  • different colors of blood and what they mean
  • blood clots and sizes
  • cramping and medication
  • feminine supplies – what size is best and why do they have wings anyways?
  • an appropriate way for a mom to physically help her daughter insert a tampon (loved this idea because I could never figure out how to help her!)
  • period probs – leaks, stains and how to avoid night time accidents
  • encourages girls to stay happy and active – “Having a period doesn’t mean you have to act grown up.”

This e-book is provided free, for a year, thanks to Girlology and its partner, Procter and Gamble. If you have a daughter who is in or nearing this stage of development, this is a great resource.

The release of the e-book coincides with World Menstrual Hygiene Day . This is a day that highlights the importance of easy access to clean and sanitary conditions for young women in developing countries. Did you know that one in five girls in India drops out of school after she starts her period because she doesn’t have pads or tampons? In some African countries, school girls don’t even have access to a private toilet to manage their period. Many non-governmental organizations are working together to change this. So I’d love it if you’d share this post on Twitter, Google Plus or Instagram using the hashtag #menstruationmatters.


Author Michelle

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Louise says:

    Hi Michelle – I chuckled when I read your article – it is funny and sweet now when you read about how our girls react to this event. One thing for sure, they are not prepared. When I was growing up my girlfriends were developing way ahead of me (my Mom took me to the Doctors, he said not to worry), I was given an address to write away for a booklet on Menustrating and it was mailed out in a brown paper wrapper with no distinguishing notes as to where or who it came from. I treasured that booklet – it answered all my questions and so was very excited when my first day. At last, now I was one of the “girls” – I had caught up! Discussing and writing about Periods takes away the mystery and enable the young ones proper information. Thanks, this brings back memories, now must get back to packin’ for the cottage.

    • Michelle says:

      You are exactly right – talking or reading about it makes it not so scary! It is a wonderful thing for mothers and daughters to share (or chuckle about) as it is something that is uniquely female, and a gift, when you are old enough to think of it that way. As for our girls, they are still kids…and need this very basic information in a language they can understand. Hope you enjoyed the cottage! 🙂

  • Michelle, this is so timely, because I’ve got a 12-almost-13-year-old who’s still in the waiting for this blessed event.;) At least we did not repeat her older sister’s “I got my period story.” Which, in summary, was: my husband was warming up the car (!) to take my daughter to 6th-grade camp. She used the bathroom one last time and, “What’s this in my underwear?” I shoved her out the door with supplies and instructions to tell her counselor what was going on…and being praying like a maniac. Still have post-traumatic mom-stress disorder from that episode. So glad I found you, a fellow mom of older girls, via your kind share of my Grown and Flown piece on Twitter! Looking forward to following you from now on!:)

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