A common question we get regularly comes from mothers wishing to help educate their daughters on pregnancy prevention, their menstrual cycle, and overall health. Sex ed seems to have left a little to be desired for, as most females have no idea why their cycle matters, how their cycle works, and a lot of women are under the impression we can get pregnant 24/7/365.
We also live in a society where miserable periods and PMS are considered “normal.” Miserable periods may be common, but it’s actually not normal to suffer with horrific acne, cramps, sore breasts, heavy bleeding, etc every month.
Our menstrual cycle is the greatest indicator of our underlying health. It’s monthly feedback on how our body is responding to our nutrition, exercise, environment, and lifestyle. Easy and symptomless cycles? The ultimate feedback we’re crushing life. If we’re crushing good habits and still suffering, it could be a sign we’re dealing with bigger underlying issues at hand.
Want to help your daughter have better menstrual cycles?
1. Educate: Buy her a copy of The Period Repair Manual by Lara Briden. Every woman should own a copy of this book so they can better understand their body.
2. Support Cycle Tracking Apps: Encourage her to track her menstrual cycle using @naturalcycles, or free smartphone apps like Clue, Flo, Eve, etc.
3. Prioritize Sleep: Encourage 8-9 hours of sleep each night.
4. Prioritize Fiber: 25-35g daily from sources like avocados, berries, etc with plenty of water each day.
5. Well-Rounded Meals: Aim for a protein, carb, healthy fat, veggie, and fruit at every meal. Also make sure your daughters are encouraged to eat enough overall calories.
6. Encourage Movement: Body was meant to move. Encourage her to find a sport or way of exercise she loves and to be active daily.
7. Safer Products: We are what we eat and come in contact with. The products we use may fuss with our health and hormones. Encourage the use of safer skincare, haircare, beauty, and cosmetic brands, such as Beauty Counter.
Most importantly: Encourage open discussion around pregnancy prevention, sex, and hormonal birth control. While hormonal birth control is super effective at preventing pregnancy, it may come with costs that many doctors fail to mention (like increased risk of depression, inflammation, insulin resistance, changes to weight, nutrient depletion, changes to gut and thyroid health, etc). It’s important to work closely with your daughter and her doctor to find solutions that are right for her!