What is Menarche and why is it important?
Did you know that a girl’s first period is called menarche – mi-NAR-kee.
Men derived from Latin mensis (month), which in turn relates to the Greek mene (moon).
Arche derives from Greek arkhē (beginning).
Our ancestors knew just how much we worked with the moons cycles.
If you don’t have a period, either have not yet started or don’t have it for other reasons, you can always use the moons cycles to help guide you in your own cycle.
Menarche, or a girls first period, is a very special time and one that is cause for celebration.
Menarche, however, also marks a transition in the risk of depression and anxiety for a girl. Research has found that during the 12 months following menarche there is an increased incidence of mother/daughter conflict, and the dominant predictor for adolescent depression and anxiety for girls was the experience they had around their first period. Feelings of humiliation, shame and loss of body control contributed to the strongest feelings.
It’s important to provide the correct information, openly and willingly, as well as be there for them when they have questions.
Reading books together on the topic can be a way to break the ice. I enjoyed reading books on the topic at bedtime with my girls. Any kind of ongoing and supportive communication is helpful to ease the anxiety.
Have you found other methods that have worked for you to start the conversation?