The journey of womanhood is marked by many milestones, and one of the most significant is the arrival of the first period. Reflecting on her own experiences, in this series Moumita recalls the mixture of uncertainty, curiosity, and simplicity that surrounded this important moment. Now a proud mother of a wonderful daughter, she looks back at the memories of her first period.
A Playful Pause and a PE Exam
Her first period marked the beginning of a journey filled with both uncertainty and growth. Amidst the initial flurry of emotions, two vivid memories stand out.
“My mother, with concern etched on her face, advised me not to play too vigorously. It was as if I had entered a new realm where everything I did was somehow governed by a set of pre-written rules. Then, my second day coincided with a physical education final exam. Despite the circumstances, I managed to approach the situation with surprising calm, facing the challenge head-on.”
A Mother’s Guidance
Back then, open conversations about periods were quite limited. There were no detailed explanations or discussions surrounding the topic during her teenage years.
“Instead, I received simple guidance from my mother: ‘You have to face this every month.’ In those days, menstruation wasn’t a subject that was easily discussed; it was merely a natural phenomenon that women experienced.”
The Evolution of Hygiene
Managing periods came with its own set of methods. Moumita began using sanitary napkins, that were available then. These products became steadfast companions, providing comfort and security during her periods.
Silenced Conversations and Modern Openness
During her teenage years, discussions about periods were noticeably less. It wasn’t a subject that would be talked about and there was little scope for sharing knowledge about periods.
“However, times have changed, and conversations about periods have evolved into more natural, open dialogues. Young girls today have access to information, resources, and a supportive environment that fosters understanding and acceptance.”
A Continuity of Perspective
Although her perspective on periods has remained largely consistent, the knowledge surrounding the scientific basis of the menstrual cycle has expanded in her understanding.
“I now understand the physiological reasons behind this monthly occurrence, which has deepened my appreciation for the intricate workings of the female body.”
Guiding the Next Generation
When it comes to speaking with her own daughter about menstruation, Moumita aims to create an atmosphere of normalcy and understanding. She stresses that menstruation is a natural bodily function that every woman experiences.
“I want her to know that while there might be some discomfort or tiredness, it’s a part of life that can be managed with care and the right products. I encourage her not to fear it, as it’s a temporary phase that is part of her overall journey. My daughter’s first period arrived during a vacation in Darjeeling, and she embraced it with the same adventurous spirit that marked our trip.”
Across generational shifts, changes in societal attitudes have led to transformations in the experiences and conversations related to menstruation. Moumita’s journey from girlhood to motherhood has granted her a firsthand view of this evolution. From past conversations to today’s open dialogues, the recollection of her first period underscores the significance of embracing change, cultivating understanding, and providing support to the young girls destined to shape the future.