Okay, so you’ve gone through periods with your daughter or child. You’ve talked to them about puberty, about body hair, about the physical and emotional changes they’ll be going through. You’ve talked about periods, what really happens every month during the bleeding, how to put a tampon in, and more. But some things teens can’t deal with until they’re happening in real life, and cramps are one of them. After all, you’ll never know the severity of your child’s cramps until they’re experiencing them and coming to you about it. Now that they have you can guide them through how to handle period cramps, what to do, and how to help ease them in the future.
Cramps are very much a normal part of having a period. While some people don’t experience much pain during their cycle, others can be hit with severe menstrual cramps that can be extremely painful to deal with. If your daughter or child is coming to you and complaining about period cramps, we’ve got you covered with a number of ways that you can offer help to them, no matter if they’re at school or at home.
Some people don’t want to take pain reliever medication for their cramps, or perhaps you just don’t want your child to rely on it so early in their menstruating journey. In any case, opting for natural alternatives is totally valid and reasonable. We’ve got some suggestions for things you can try to help alleviate your child’s period cramps:
- Heat has been a home remedy for period cramps for many, many years. Find a hot water bottle for your child if they’re at home, or send them to school with a heating pad from the drugstore. Chamomile tea is another traditional remedy known to help with period pains. Make a cup for your child and urge them to relax if the pain is too much.
- Low impact exercise– some yoga positions can help with period cramps. Check out this post for a better, more in-depth look at exercise for period pain.
- Staying hydrated! Make sure your daughter or child is drinking plenty of water during their period– when they’re dehydrated, their symptoms might be more acute.
Did you know that the food your child eats could be affecting their period? Studies have shown that diets high in salt and fat can lead to heavier and painful periods.
Does caffeine help period cramps? There are over 21 million search results on Google for “does caffeine affect period,” so clearly people are wondering. The answer is yes– caffeine is thought to affect reproductive hormones. According to a 2014 study, “drinking coffee during your period is linked to longer, heavier periods and other irregularities.” Suggest that your child slow down on the coffee during period days– no need to give it up all together, but perhaps a short break could be in order.
There are quite a few foods out there that are known to help teens with periods and period cramps. We’ve got a longer list here, but for now, check out this condensed version:
- Dark chocolate is full of magnesium, which can help dull your period cramps. Treat your child to a square as a snack and natural pain remedy.
- We’ve mentioned chamomile tea up there, but why does it work? Well, it has what’s known as “anti-spasmodic” properties which can help with cramps, but it can also work to soothe your child’s spirits– chamomile is known to help regulate dopamine, which can take the edge off a particularly painful period flow day.
- Bananas! A long-hailed favourite for period pain. Cheap, relatively easy to find, and full of potassium. Consider packing one or two for your child’s school lunch or snack on days they have their period– they might thank you later.
- Ginger is another long-hailed remedy for period pain. The best part about it? How versatile it is. You can prepare boiled ginger as a tea to help alleviate your daughter or child’s cramps, purchase ginger hard candies or chews, or add it to their favourite meal.
If your daughter has cramps that are pretty intense and affect their ability to concentrate throughout day, you may want to consider offering them some pain reliever medication for them. Common medicines for period cramps are ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) or naproxen (Aleve).
Spend some time with your daughter or child making a Period Emergency Kit that they can always keep stashed in their backpack or locker. The items you put into this kit will vary, but here are some of our suggestions:
- Some spare pads or tampons
- Maybe ever a spare pair of Leakproof Period Undies? Shop Kt by Knix teen period kits here.
- Possibly even a spare pair of pants in case those dreaded leaks do come through, or in case of a truly sudden period emergency
- Some medication for period cramps. Some people benefit from ibuprofen or Midol.
- Dark chocolate in case a craving or a cramp hits— either one.
Period cramps are normal and often a common part of the menstruating journey for most people. However, extreme cramps that render your child incapacitated or in severe pain, especially when paired with a particularly heavy flow, isn’t common, and could be a sign or a symptom of a bigger health issue, such as endometriosis. If your child is regularly coming to you complaining about their period cramps, even after handing them a heating pad, consider taking them to a doctor for a check up.
To download the guide in Canada, click here.