Period talk: How I plan to discuss menstruation with my daughter
Even today, in a lot of homes, mothers do not talk to their daughters about menstruation at all.
The ‘period’, or menstruation, is still a very hushed and taboo topic in our Indian society. But thanks to Twinkle Khanna, the ‘pad’ is going to make its big screen debut.
Twinkle would soon be producing a movie based on the life of the menstrual man of India, Mr A Muruganatham, who helped rural women get access to very nominally priced sanitary pads by inventing a pad-making machine himself. The title of the movie is Padman, and acclaimed director R Balki is on board to direct the same.
My elder one is almost 10 now, and as a mom, I am all set to do the talk with her. Of course these days it is easier to bring up the topic with your daughter and help her understand about it - she has already asked me about the sanitary pad ads on TV.
I remember the first time I got to know about periods or a sanitary pad. It was a chilly winter school morning in Delhi, and during the assembly, we were told that there would be a special class for girls of so and so classes. I was in the fourth standard then.
Of course, the boys got all excited and started whispering among themselves, curious about what could the class be about and why was it only for girls. We girls were curious and confused too.
So we were taken to the conference room, where representatives from the brand Stayfree were present. I think it was most likely the only sanitary pad back then.
We had absolutely no clue about why we were there. The session was informative, but I will admit it was scary, coming from a bunch of strangers who were telling me about how my body would suddenly change.
Continue reading on the next page to see why it is important for a mother to talk to her daughter about menstruation
It was more of a technical talk, instead of an emotionally connecting heart to heart one. In those days, and even today in a lot of homes I know, mothers do not talk to their daughters about menstruation at all.
But I have decided that I will. In fact, I will make sure that all the information that my daughter gets about menstruation comes from me. And I will be the one who will clear out all her doubts, fears and questions.
One of the main things that I want her to understand is that it is a very natural phenomenon that our bodies go through, and something that helps the human race to continue. Hence, instead of feeling ashamed about menstruation, a girl should be proud of it and feel good about herself and her body.
No one has the right to make her feel ashamed, dirty or weak about menstruating. I have felt the fear and the confusion myself, the awkwardness and the discomfort, and so, I will make sure that my daughter never goes through it. As a mother, I will prepare her for the start of a new phase in her life.
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