How you can help your teen deal with PMS
So, you’ve talked your daughter through the different types of pads, you’ve spoken to her about leaks, you’ve prepped her for the inevitable day that she comes on at school, but have you tackled PMS yet?
It’s pretty likely she’ll experience PMS (premenstrual syndrome) at some point. As many as 75% of women suffer in some way, however the symptoms vary from woman to woman. When it comes to pain, some will barely feel a twinge while others experience a crippling wrestling match inside their wombs – and that’s just the physical side. If you’ve ever experienced ALL THE EMOTIONS in the week leading up to your period, well, you know the deal.
But don’t worry, it’s super-easy to make sure she’s prepared to deal with PMS and all its side effects. Remember, knowledge is power!
So what are the symptoms?
PMS may affect your daughter both emotionally and physically but it’s good to reassure her that the symptoms are likely to improve when her period starts, then disappear a few days afterwards.
Emotionally, she could be anxious, tired, teary and the smallest trigger might set her off into the biggest of frenzies. Physically, she might feel bloated, experience headaches, have sore breasts and to top it all off, she could get bad acne. Just what she wants when she already feels lousy.
Although no one really knows why it happens (not even the scientists have worked it out yet) PMS is thought to be linked to the changing hormone levels in the body during the cycle. With a few small tweaks to your daughter’s habits during her period, she can help herself feel a little better. (And it’ll probably make your life A LOT easier too.)
Keep her diet in check
We’re not saying she can’t indulge in her chocolate cravings (we’re not evil, y’know) but we would say encourage her to eat a balanced diet with lots of fruit and vegetables. Sure, it’s the last thing she fancies but all those nutritiously rich foods will help her body battle PMS more effectively.
Also, we know it’s autumn and double portions are one of the perks but it might also help if she eats smaller meals more frequently as this can help to reduce bloating. Salty foods can cause bloating and fluid retention too, so maybe skip the crisps on this month’s food shop.
If she suffers a lot from bad headaches, make sure she’s drinking plenty of water throughout the day as being dehydrated can make them worse.
Make sure she’s exercising
Now it doesn’t matter what this is – dancing, running, football or even just taking the dog for a walk – but if you get her moving her body rather than hibernating in a duvet she will actually feel much better. It’s recommended that women should do at least 20 minutes of exercise a day. This exercise will not only help the symptoms of PMS, but it can also alleviate depression and tiredness.
Calm her stresses
Your daughter may not have the same stresses as you, but she will be going through plenty of her own. Remember being a teen? There are a gazillion different things to be anxious about: school work, spots, friend dramas, first crushes. Not only can this cause her distress but it can actually makes her PMS worse. Why not combat it by getting her to try out yoga or pilates? It counts as exercise (tick) and is an instant stress-reliever. Heck, you can even go together for some extra bonding time.
Be aware of her health
If your daughter’s feeling crappy and you feel comfortable doing so, it’s fine to give her a couple of paracetamol from your medicine cabinet. This can take the edge off severe stomach cramps, headaches or muscular and joint pains. Generally, PMS symptoms are more annoying rather than serious, but if your daughter is finding herself in severe pain, experiencing chronic skin problems or feeling really depressed it might be worth taking her to your GP as they might be able to prescribe something stronger to help.
Remember, it doesn’t last forever
PMS can be horrid, but it’s always great to remind your daughter that although it feels bad now, it’ll all be over soon! And the chocolate will be waiting for her when it does.