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Bloody Hell

About those early periods.

By L.C. SchäferPublished about a month ago 4 min read
Top Story - August 2023
Bloody Hell
Photo by Natracare on Unsplash

A quick note to men

You may be tempted to skip this, thinking it's not for you. Don't. Unless you live on an island populated entirely by males, there are insights here for you as well. And if you already know them, then you might have something to add. If you have a daughter, or niece, or female students, then this is absolutely for your consideration. It is likely that a girl would prefer to get a commemmorative gift from her mother, or another female relative. The other stuff? They need that from both parents.

Before her first period

Of course, we already had lots of pads under the sink in the bathroom. This was hardly unexpected. We had been waiting for it for a good while - all the signs were there. I had also bought her a small case that she could use to take a few pads to school, just in case it started there. I'd spoken to her teachers to make sure she would be allowed to leave class if she needed to.

But I wanted to do more. I wanted to mark the occasion as a rite of passage, offer her reassurance and comfort, and make sure she had everything she needed. I wanted to acknowledge, in some way, that she was growing up, that what she wants or needs might change - and let her know, quietly, I'm here to support that. But I also wanted to be very careful to make sure this wasn't embarrassing for her.

The Soothe Box

When she told me she had got her first period, I gave her a soothe box. Here is what I put in it:

More sanitary pads - I included a couple of different brands of sanitary pads, some night time ones and day time ones.

Period underwear - the ones I got were suitable for when the period is light, or which can used with another product to help guard against any leaking. But there is a fair bit of choice when it comes to period underwear now.

Chocolate - This isn't just a stereotype. Blood sugar does drop, and this does lead to sugar cravings and irritability. I included a huge bar.

Painkillers - Nothing fancy, just some paracetemol.

A heat pad - to help with any stomach cramps or back pain.

Books - I included a couple of books about periods and puberty.

Toiletries - Raging hormones bring plenty of challenges, some related to personal hygiene. They can make a body sweatier, smellier, greasier and pimplier. Good quality wash things that smell nice - not just the communal bottle of six-in-one family soap in the bathroom - can be a huge help. I got a few face masks for her to try as well. Slow down a little. Take care of yourself.

A gift - I bought her some jewelry (earrings).

Some new clothes, dark coloured - These didn't fit in the basket, but they were very useful. Jeans, pyjamas and most importantly - more undies. Trust me, she can't have too many. Not just clothes either - I got some new dark coloured towels and a cosy bathrobe.


There are other gifts we give girls and young women at this time which are just as important, if not more so. They are small, and yet they don't fit in a basket.

Patience - when she's driving us up the bleeding wall. It's obvious, but it can't be overstated. She might never know the toothmarks in your tongue, but they are some of the most precious things you can give her.

Lie-ins - she might feel drained. This is a time of intense growth and change. If she wants to stay in bed 'til after lunchtime on a Saturday, that's OK. If you've got nowhere else to be, just let her rest.

Privacy and dignity - Other people don't need to know about something so personal to her, so watch what you say to who. It's easy to cause a lot of embarrassment with a slight slip of the tongue. Make sure there's a covered bin in the bathroom, and help her keep it empty. Make sure she feels confident about dealing with her periods when she goes to school. Which brings me to...

Preparedness - What stain removal products do you have on hand? Do you know how to get rid of blood? Make sure she has a discreet way to take her pads to school (we have something like this 👇) - there's not much worse than your classmates making a big deal out of it when some pads fall out of your bag. Make sure she knows who to speak to if she is caught short, but also, don't let her get caught short.

Respect - Don't be dismissive of her when she is angry or upset, saying, oh it's just her period. Even if true (and I argue it's most probably not) it's wildly unhelpful.


Thank you for reading! Please comment to make it easy for me to reciprocate.

I was encouraged to write this by Mariann Carroll after a conversation we had recently.

Usual programming will resume tomorrow!

listhow tohealthfamily

About the Creator

L.C. Schäfer

Flexing the writing muscle.

Never so naked as I am on a page. Subscribe for "nudes".

I'm also Twitter if you'd like to connect elsewhere.

I value feedback, and reciprocate reads and comments.

Also writing under the name S.E. Holz

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Comments (20)

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  • Syed Hussnain ALi Shah9 days ago

    Respect is the most important thing

  • Cathy holmes28 days ago

    This is a great article with such wonderful advice. Needless to say, no one that I knew took that much care in preparing their daughters for maturity back in my time. Congrats on the well deserved TS.

  • Raymond G. Taylorabout a month ago

    Great article and very helpful suggestions. I have two daughters, both having had to deal with growing up issues. And classmates! Shocking to find there are still taboos (and worse) around this issue. TS well deserved. More period pieces please!!!

  • The Dani Writerabout a month ago

    My oh MY! What a considerate, thoughtful, and compassionate write! I liked the detail in the gifted touches and that you didn't let the guys off the hook here.

  • Babs Iversonabout a month ago

    Well though out and written!!! A wealth of informational how to and advice!!!💕❤️❤️

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Going to an all girls school helped save me a lot of embarrassment because I would always have an accident. My flow was super heavy in my teenage years. I'm so glad you came up with the Soothe Box for your daughter!

  • Brin J.about a month ago

    "Usual programming will resume tomorrow"- I snorted at that. Love this! I really think everyone deserves a better education in human anatomy. Even women, because I'm 30 and still learning things about the female body I had no idea were a thing... Eh hem, anyways, I'm glad you wrote this. It was basic, and light, yet hit all the important stuff.

  • Laura Lannabout a month ago

    Such an important thing to discuss and I love to see it hitting top story! Well written as always. I wish I had this compassion and help with my first period. My experience was the opposite of all of this, with no warning of what to expect, no support, and no product options. Despite almost all the women in my family having severe cramps and heavy bleeding. I had so many embarrassing moments. It could have all been avoided. And parents, if your child is throwing up and crying from the pain every time, take them to a doctor. Please

  • Thavien Yliasterabout a month ago

    I agree with the majority of this. Only thing is the covered bin. In my family it was just something that occurred naturally. I got a mom, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, siblings, etc. Only thing that I would need to tell them from time to time was to make sure to double check that they flushed the toilet completely and that there weren't any marks left over on the toilet set or underneath of it. If I got to wipe it up, so do they. And that's how it works. Ain't no need to be ashamed of natural biological functions that we don't have control over. We never had a covered bin. Just a simple little ol' trash bin that would get changed out when it got too full. Only other thing I would say that I think should be added on this list is red meat, spinach, and/or iron supplements. Losing a lot of blood, losing a lot of iron makes one extremely tired. When my mom would hit hers sometimes we'd go and by thin steak strips for her. Both parents need to be comfortable talking about. That's for certain. Both of my parents were. Heck, when I moved away for work and into my first apartment one of my siblings helped me put together a little basket in my bathroom stock full of pads, tampons, and sanitary wipes. Oh yeah, You can't ever go wrong with flushable baby wipes. Unless they're some weird scented stuff that might cause further irritation.

  • Kayleigh Fraser ✨about a month ago

    Congrats on top story 🎉 well deserved 🙏✨❤️

  • Andrew Zukabout a month ago

    Good work ♥️💚💙💜

  • Rachel Deemingabout a month ago

    A fantastic piece. Great advice and pointers. And your telltale humour throughout - She might never know the toothmarks in your tongue, but they are some of the most precious things you can give her. I loved this line.

  • Lilly Cooperabout a month ago

    Very helpful information! There is so much going on for women, even very young or adolescent women, when they get their period. A little understanding goes a long way.

  • Mackenzie Davisabout a month ago

    Definitely worth the read! I'll remember this when the time comes for me to pass on knowledge and little gifts, as you describe. What a great idea for a Viva post! I think all men need to know about our cycles especially when it comes to their girlfriends and wives; ignoring it because of birth control that's a huge problem...and conversation, lol. Daughters...well, that should be a no-brainer, but of course it isn't. Western culture shies away from it, to be sure, although I have heard of this thing called "period parties" these days...Hope that can spread far and wide!

  • Kayleigh Fraser ✨about a month ago

    This is extremely well written… weird parallel???? This past week I have been thinking of writing a post about periods specifically for the men’s community…. Breaking taboo etc. I think you have done a truly excellent job with this piece. Would you consider doing an adapted version specifically talking to men in the community? Men should absolutely understand why a woman goes through EVERY SINGLE MONTH!!!! This hiding from it, and shunning, is what creates the shame teenage girls feel. Here in Sri Lanka they have what they call a big girl ceremony… ALL the family come and give gifts and celebrate her moving into womanhood. No shame at all.. it’s the opposite. How do we so miss this in our culture?? (Sorry for the long comment!) 🙈 You have highlighted such a necessary and important topic. I had known so many males who are disgusted by periods… literally running from the conversation … or situation! This absolutely needs to be normalised and men connected back to the very essence of where they originate - the womb! ❤️✨🙏

  • Leslie Writesabout a month ago

    Brilliant! I think you covered everything. These are great ideas and I’m stealing them 🤩

  • Alex H Mittelman about a month ago

    Very informative!

  • Brenton Fabout a month ago

    Respect and dignity! I hope all our male readers take a look at this, a very well written article that pulls no punches

  • River Joyabout a month ago

    I like this a lot and I hope men don't skip it, it's important advice.

  • Gen-Z Writes.about a month ago

    Good work ♥️

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