As the body grows, we must make adjustments in wardrobe to accommodate this change — notably, new clothes, new underwear, and bras. It may feel daunting to address this change at first. Shopping for bras is a new and slightly uncomfortable experience, but a necessary one. One can start with trainer bras, which are like tight, cropped, vests, before moving on to the more complex ones. The bras your child wears will change depending on their growth. Once trainer bras stop providing the right support, your child should feel comfortable moving on to hooked bras — these also come in different types, there are wired and non-wired, padded and non-padded, so on and so forth. It is usually trial and error that helps your child find which style they’re most comfortable in. In addition, there are different bras for different occasions. A hooked bra will not be suitable for sports — once again, with trial and error, your child should find a sports bra that provides the right fit and support for them to exercise comfortably.
The next: menstrual products. The most common are pads; they are comfortable, convenient, and easy to use. However, they generate a considerable amount of waste. Pads come in different sizes, and depending on your child’s flow, you can choose the right one. Remember to remind your child that everyone’s flow is different, thus everyone’s needs will be different. It is nothing to be ashamed or feel insecure about.
Other products include tampons and menstrual cups. A tampon also works on an absorption basis, like pads — it is inserted into the vagina and needs to be changed every four to six hours. It is small, around the size of your pinky finger, and also straightforward to use. A menstrual cup is, by far, the most environmentally friendly option. However, your child might find it difficult to use — it is a wide cup that needs to be inserted into the vagina, where it holds the expelled blood, until it is changed and emptied. The menstrual cup lasts longer, around eight hours between every change, and is easily cleaned with water. Though pads may be the most common products, some may feel more comfortable using different apparatus. It is up to your child to see what is fit for them.
Another physical aspect of puberty is body hair. Though it is completely natural, some may feel uncomfortable with the growth of hair on certain parts of their body. The most common hair removal techniques are waxing, shaving, or using hair removal cream. This is, like earlier, trial and error until your child finds what method best works for them. Be sure to explore all these options with your child and provide all your support when they feel conscious or afraid. It is much easier to tackle the insecurity that comes with changing bodies when there is someone to guide you through it. With the right apparatus, this can be an easy bridge to cross in the journey through puberty.
Until next week,
Samara from the REDefine Team
Featured artwork by Sanvee Jatia