Lady Day FAQ's

The information below is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
I am a parent, not a doctor. I am sharing my personal experiences to encourage parents and help them become better informed about their daughter’s changing body. 

What if I don’t have a good relationship with my daughter?

Don’t worry or feel badly if you’re having a hard time connecting with your daughter, but don’t give up either. The enemy of our souls wants to keep families divided and I find that mother-daughter relationships are often the target. Keep trying—new things to do together, new places to go, new things to talk about, and new ways to show her love, even when she’s unlovely. 

What if I’m not the girl's parent?

Personally, I believe that in most situations it is the parent’s responsibility to share such delicate information. However, sometimes there are exceptions when a girl is being cared for by someone other than her parent. At one point, our family had temporary custody of a homeless girl whose mother had been absent for a number of years. Since I was not her parent, I asked and received permission from her dad to take her on “Lady Day.” This was an exception because we had custody and had asked her father’s permission. I DO NOT recommend having “Lady Day” with a girl that is not your daughter. If you recognize a girl who would benefit from “Lady Day,” I recommend that you suggest Lady Day to the parent so he or she can make the choice. 

For those who may be interested, we also have a Spanish version that has been used in several orphanages in Central America. The book explains the same information without using “Dear Daughter” or any references to parents. For more information or to special order, contact joy@Daughters4God.com

When should I tell my daughter about her changing body?

While there is no right or wrong time to talk to your daughter, I believe it’s helpful if a girl has information about her period before she has her first one. This allows her to be prepared mentally and logistically. When the day comes, she’ll know what’s going on and she’ll have her supplies ready. Though you never know when a daughter may begin, there are some signs that your daughter is much closer to that day.

How do I know when my daughter will start her period?

There is no way to predict the exact date that your daughter will have her first period (medically called menarche), but there are some signs. My pediatrician told me that a girl will start her period about two years after the appearance of both breast buds and pubic hair. Some daughters are more private than others and this may difficult to determine.

Another great indicator is the age the girl’s mother first menstruated. If Mom started early, then it is likely that her daughter will also start early. However, if a girl is overweight, her first cycle may occur at an earlier age than her mother.

A friend of mine said she always looked for a rapid growth in foot size, but my indicator was always the thighs. Swimsuits and shorts allowed me to see that my girl’s legs were no longer “little girl legs.” Their thighs began to hold fat and their legs looked more like the leg of a woman. Sounds crazy, I know. I never told the girls, but it was my clue that we were only a few months away.

What is the average age that a girl has her first period?

You may hear that girls are starting earlier. Yes and no. From the mid 1800’s to the mid 1900’s, the age of a girl’s first period (menarche) jumped from 17 years to 13 years, probably due to better nutrition. However, over the past 50 years the average age of menarche has remained relatively unchanged.

While there are several scientific reports available from reliable institutions, most of the studies were conducted in the early 2000’s. The most recent report I was able to locate was conducted in 2009 and states:  

“White girls in the U.S. now menstruate at an average age of 12.6 years; African American girls at 12.1 years; and Latinas at 12.2 years.” (3) I have been unable to locate information about Asian American girls.

What is the average age that a girl begins to show signs of puberty?

The average age of a girl’s first period has changed very little, but it seems that the first signs of puberty are appearing earlier. A growth spurt, body odor, body hair, and breast buds are some of the first signs of puberty. (5) The average age of the onset of puberty for girls is 10.5 years (5) ; however, puberty for girls can begin anywhere between 8 and 13 years and still be considered normal.(3) Unbelievably, the average age for breast buds in African-American girls is 9 years old with some beginning to develop before age 8. (3) The whole process should last 3-4 years. (5)

There are numerous factors that could contribute to the early onset of puberty, including environmental factors such as exposure to chemicals and stress from family disfunction, genetic factors such as family history and race (African-Americans and Hispanics tend to develop earlier. (5),  and physical factors such as obesity and inactivity. See source 5 for more detailed information about early puberty.

Do hormones in food cause girls to get their first period at a younger age? 

There are several articles on the web about inferred, POSSIBLE links, but I was unable to locate any scientific studies. Some experts say that if hormones added to food can make livestock fatter, that these hormones must affect us as well. (See source 10.) Other experts say that there are already hormones in dairy and meat products and that adding more is not harmful. (See source 9 and11) Decide what’s best for your family.

When should I consult a physician?

If your daughter is showing signs of puberty before age 7 or 8. (5)
If puberty lasts less than two years from start to finish. (5)
If your daughter has not had any breast development by age 13. (2)
If your daughter has not started her period within 3 years of the beginning of breast growth. (2)
If your daughter has not begun menstruating by age 15. (2)
If your daughter is bleeding for more than 7 days. (2)
If your daughter has periods that are shorter apart than 21 days and longer apart than 35 days. 
If your daughter menstruated regularly and suddenly stopped for 90 days or more.

What if my daughter is older and still doesn’t have her period?

Don’t panic and certainly don’t let on that you are worried. Chances are, your daughter is very aware that she is a late bloomer and it is worrying her. Remember that a girl often starts about the same age that her mom started, so that may be a factor in why she hasn’t started. Also, excessive activity and exercise can delay the onset of a girl’s menstrual cycle.(1) This is often the case for athletes, specifically gymnasts and runners who have very lean bodies. Finally, regardless of the factors mentioned above, it is recommended that your daughter be seen by a physician if she has not begun menstruating by age 15 or if it has been 2-3 years since the beginning of breast growth. (2)

What if my daughter has cramps?

Cramps in teens are most often caused by pronto and not a life-threatening problem. If a heating pad and over-the-counter medications aren’t working, consider seeing a physician. (2)

What if it’s irregular?

It is completely normal for a girl’s cycle to take awhile to regulate. However, it is recommended to consult a physician if girls regularly menstruate less than 21 or more than 35 days apart or if a girl’s period suddenly stops for more than 90 days.(2)

What if you don’t have an answer to my question here?

If you are looking for more in-depth information to present to your daughter regarding this topic, you may want to consider Maidens by His Design from BlessingGodsWay.com. You can also consult the links I’ve posted below and search for answers on your own. There is lots of research out there, but I chose these sites because they included relatively recent data that I believed to be reputable with scientific studies backing up the assertions. In your research, consider the date of the study as well as the source. One source I found supported that hormones in meat caused early puberty, but on the same website they also supported UFO theories. 

 

References:

1.  http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/371583/
2.  http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/menstruation.html
3. https://nwhn.org/early-puberty-girls-new

1.http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/371583/ (06.09.15)
2.http://www.womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/menstruation.html
3. https://nwhn.org/early-puberty-girls-new-“normal”-and-why-we-need-be-concerned
4.http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/589004_3
5.https://www.dukemedicine.org/blog/when-puberty-too-early
6.http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/oct/21/puberty-adolescence-childhood-onset
7.http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3383190/
8.http://www.webmd.com/children/developmental-stages
9. http://www.bestfoodfacts.org/food-for-thought/hormones-milkmeat-earlypuberty
10. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christina-pirello/is-the-early-onset-of-pub_b_677424.html
11.http://www.bestfoodfacts.org/food-for-thought/hormones-in-milk