As a women’s health physical therapist, I found it actually quite fun to prepare a pre-first-period gift box for my oldest daughter. We have had many good conversations about the changes she and her friends are going through as tweens and it only felt right to make getting her prepared for her first period more fun and exciting instead of something to dread.
I researched online for products I would include in this box and came up with what felt right for her. A combination of practical and some fun things. It’s been over 2 years since I made this for her and we even recorded a video of the unboxing. She was a great sport about it all and has actually now used most of the products more recently.
I’ve compiled a list with some links to items that I absolutely love to recommend. Given that I am a strong proponent of non-toxic products, I will trend towards those products for most things.
1. Organic menstrual liners and pads. There are fortunately so many organic options now that we found at our local Target and online. Starting them off without having bleached cotton pads and tampons is huge.
2. Period Underwear. These things are a lifesaver for those times that a needed trip to a bathroom is delayed or all the other surprises that periods love to do. So much more comfortable than wearing a liner and they even come in boy shorts which can be great for girl sleepovers so they don’t have to worry about leaking overnight.
3. Microwavable hot pack for cramps.
4. Hormone-supporting herbal teas or supplements.
5. Hygiene products like razors and shaving cream which often is a new thing for girls around this same time.
6. Their favorite chocolate.
7. Fuzzy socks or other comfortable clothing items.
8. Books on puberty. My favorites are The Care and Keeping of You and Below Your Belt. The second book is an absolute favorite and a highly educational book not only on puberty but general pelvic health co-written by a pelvic PT! The style of the book is similar to the American Girl one with cute cartoons and drawings, but with excellent information done in an easy-to-understand way. I have heard adult women comment on how they themselves learned much from this book.
Putting these items into a gift bag or box can make what may feel like an awkward conversation feel more fun. The feeling of being prepared can make your daughter much less afraid of the unknown and hopefully feel more comfortable coming to talk to you. As mothers, we can make such a tremendous impact on their future pelvic health. So often, we as pelvic physical therapists hear from our patients how they were never told about _________fill in the blank topic and how they wished they had known more before suffering for too long.
While I am not usually seeing adolescents in my office for pelvic PT, I KNOW that the statistics say that they too are having pelvic health issues. So it is my hope that I can empower my fellow mamas to empower their daughters. A listening ear and guidance from you can go a long way in helping them on their journey with female pelvic health. Hopefully, this inspires you to make a first period box if you have a daughter or at least feel inspired to have those conversations with her!