Puberty is considered as ‘early’ or ‘precocious’ puberty when typical signs are presented at the age of seven or eight. This might seem very young but it’s quite common and indeed normal for girls to begin puberty early and to begin menstruating as young as eight or nine. For girls of this young age, it can prove an emotionally and mentally difficult time. There are lots of ways, however that you can help your daughter if she has an early first period.
Why have her periods started early?
The main reason your daughter’s periods have started earlier than her peers is because the hormones in her body that kick-start puberty have started production. In most cases, there is no obvious reason why the body has begun producing these hormones. The onset of menstruation at an early age can relate to body weight as usually a period won’t begin until a girl is over 40kg in weight. It can also be related to hereditary factors and ethnicity. If the onset of puberty is very early (breasts develop before eight and periods start before nine) you should take your daughter to be examined by her GP to rule out any rare or serious brain conditions.
What can mums do to help?
If your daughter has hit puberty earlier than her friends at school, she may be feeling a little lonely and may even feel that she isn’t normal.If her period has begun early then it is likely that she will be taller and have developed breasts before her friends. This can result in her feeling self-conscious and a little embarrassed.
Being more developed can often be a source of ridicule among kids.
The best thing you can do for your daughter is to be there to offer reassurance, guidance and explain exactly what is happening to her.
It’s important that you make time to listen to her concerns and help her find ways to cope with any negative reactions she has from other kids.
How to prepare your daughter
If you notice that your daughter is displaying typical signs of puberty at an early age, then it’s a good idea to make sure that she is fully prepared for her first period. You can do this by:
Showing her how to properly use feminine hygiene products
Making sure she has a supply of them in her school bag along with anything else she may need such as a spare pair of underwear and painkillers.
The knowledge that she is prepared will make her feel a little more relaxed about the experience.