Help! How To Teach My Teen Proper Feminine Care?
Even if it feels like she’s grown so much in just a blink of an eye, your daughter still needs your help navigating teenhood.
Your precious baby girl once regarded you as the center of her universe, and for good reason. You are her source of love and guidance in a world where being a woman has its challenges. And even if it feels like she’s grown so much in just a blink of an eye, your daughter still needs your help navigating teenhood (despite the front she puts up sometimes when she says she doesn’t!).
With all the changes she’s experiencing with her body, there’s no better person to teach her proper feminine hygiene but you, mommy.
We know it’s not easy to start the conversation; many moms still feel uneasy about discussing feminine hygiene, thinking it’s a bit too close to discussing sexual activity. You know better, though—you understand that feminine hygiene is a topic every girl should get behind.
Not sure how to start a conversation with your growing girl? Are you equipped with the right knowledge, especially the dos and don’ts, of what she really needs to keep her healthy down there? With the right sensitivity for personal boundaries and a genuine concern for her health and wellness, you can have a fruitful and honest conversation if you follow our guide below.
Teach Her How to Keep Her Intimate Parts Clean
Now that your daughter is older and experiencing physical and hormonal changes, it’s important that she starts actively keeping herself clean. Generally, it’s simple. Because the vagina has its own ecosystem, one way to keep it in check is washing the external part or the vulva with a gentle cleanser that has the right pH balance at least once a day, like pH Care.
pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline a substance is. The intimates must be moderately acidic at a score of 5. This protects its environment from the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast.
But some soaps and intimate washes (especially when used as a douche) contain chemicals and ingredients that may change the vagina’s pH balance, giving way to infection and inflammation. That’s why it’s very important to use the right kind of gentle cleanser.
Other than washing, another way to keep it clean is eating healthy. Make sure your daughter controls her sugar intake since this is yeast’s favorite food too. Yogurt or food rich in lactobacilli are good to have every day as well!
Mom tip: Starting a conversation out of the blue about washing intimates may be a bit challenging. One way to break the ice is giving her a gift! Buy her pH Care and tell her how to use it before you segue to other important notes.
Help Her Recognize What’s Normal from What's Not
Science subjects in school do not normally teach hygiene for private parts. A lot of the questions about bodily experiences we girls encounter are usually discussed among same aged peers. Your daughter may be wondering what kinds of discharge, smell, and feelings are normal for her nether regions. It’s better that she receives the right information from someone she can trust, may it be you or an OB-GYN, before she starts experimenting on solutions that can lead to issues later on.
So, what’s normal and not for our intimate area?
Because it’s commonly a moist place, white and clear discharge are perfectly normal. It can have a musty scent, too. What to watch out for are:
- Heavy discharge
- Discoloration (not white or clear)
- Foul, fishy smell
- Burning, especially when peeing
- Bleeding when it’s not her period.
Once any of these issues pop up, visit your OB-GYN.
Mom tip: Approaching this discussion like a science topic may help ease the awkwardness from bringing it up. You can also pay a visit to your OB-GYN and give them some alone time to discuss intimate health. Just remember that when your daughter comes to you with a question, listen. Be open, do not judge, and be helpful.
Offer Tips for Managing Red Days
Let’s face it, having our periods can be such a hassle. Imagine how it’s like for your daughter who’s still getting used to it. We’ve experienced stains while we’re out, foul smells from wearing a pad too long, or itching after several days of having your period. Save her from the embarrassment and help her manage her menstruation.
First, teach her how to chart her period. After several cycles and plotting the first and last days, it should be easy to pinpoint the next time she’ll have hers. There are a lot of apps she can use as well.
Wherever she may be, it won’t hurt to always have extra pads and underwear in her bag. She must form a habit of regularly changing her napkin and panty liners, ideally every four hours (even if the pad’s not yet full). It may seem time consuming, especially in between classes, but it’ll save her from possible headaches — like infection from bacterial growth, itching and rashes from skin irritation, or staining from a full pad.
She can have a small feminine wash, like the travel-sized pH Care, to keep her fresh and clean down there in between changes. Wipes that’s made just for her intimate area can also help freshen things up while on-the-go.
Mom tip: To make sure your daughter forms the right hygiene habits, gift her with a care kit just for red days. She can replenish this as she uses the supplies. Use a cute bag and fill it up with pads, liners, wipes, feminine wash, water spray, tissue, disposable bags, pain relievers, extra underwear, and a stain remover.
Help Her Maintain the Right Lifestyle and Create Healthy Habits
We’ve mentioned the importance of healthy living for healthy private parts, and that entails eating a well-balanced diet. Fruits, nuts, and greens all contribute to keeping the balance in the area.
Make sure your daughter controls her sugar intake since this is yeast’s favorite food too. So eat these in moderation: white rice, bread, and pasta, and sweets made of simple sugars. Yogurt or food rich in lactobacilli are good to have every day as well!
Taking medication like antibiotics, immune system disorders, and hormonal changes can also lead to feminine issues. Visit your OB-GYN as soon as your daughter experiences problems.
Other things to note are wearing cotton underwear and loose clothes at home to lessen moisture build up, and wiping backwards after using the potty to avoid transferring bacteria.
Mom tip: Eating right should be a family effort, so make sure your pantry is stocked with healthy snacks. Take your daughter out for a shopping date and include buying the right underwear in the list. Lastly, give her a list of no-no products to use for her privates.
Dealing with your daughter’s adolescence and intimate needs may be quite a challenge for you and adjusting to this new mom phase is natural. But do know that as you are coping, she’s going through so much as well. Remember to always be patient, keep an open mind, and listen to her needs, whether she verbalizes them or not. That way, she’ll always know that you’re her safe place no matter what.