First Period stories from Women Everywhere.

First Period stories from Women Everywhere.

My Little Red Book by: Rachel Kauder NalebuffTween girls can be a little dramatic about their first periods.  Each girl might think she is the only one that has ever experienced this life changing event.  However, we all know, it happens to every girl every where and no book helps understand this more than My Little Red Book by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff.

My Little Red Book is a collection of first period stories gathered from women of all ages the world over.  Some of the women are famous, like Cecily von Ziegesar, the author of The It Girl and Gossip Girls book series, and Erica Jong, author of the best-selling novel Fear of Flying. However, many of the stories are from women just like you and me who had an experience that they vividly remember.

My favorite story is by Aliza Shvarts, a Yale graduate and conceptual artist.  Her first period started while she was in seventh grade and she remembers the class watching a movie about the Ming Period in Chinese history.  She had pain in her lower abdomen and decided it was either appendicitis or her period.  Aliza talks about how she handled her period and the talk she had with her mother when she got home.

Many of the stories are from women who grew up in other countries and it is interesting to read about how menstruation is treated by different cultures.  Once again we realize though that no matter what, each girl has the same first experience of seeing something in her underwear.  Many who contributed stories to the book knew what that stain meant and many did not.

This would be a great book for you and your daughter to read together.  I think it would be fun to take turns reading the stories out loud to each other and then discussing each one.  And then take some time to explore the website.  Rachel provides information on contributing to organizations that provide feminine hygiene supplies to girls in poor countries.  This is one of many reasons that keeps girls home from school as they don’t have supplies each month for their period and therefore don’t leave the house.

Your daughter will definitely gain a greater appreciation for the common female experience of first periods when she is done reading this book.


17 thoughts on “First Period stories from Women Everywhere.

  1. Kimberly

    I love the idea of this book my oldest daughter is 12 and at the age for this kind of stuff.

  2. Beverly @ The Buzz

    Would love to win this for my oldest granddaughter!

    My first period came just before my 12th birthday. My mother was of the era where certain things weren’t discussed–ever. So I knew absolutely nothing! I started on a Monday and on Thursday my mother did laundry. She found my underwear and came to me and said “I see you’ve started”. My response was to ask “started what?”. Yep, I went to school for 4 days without wearing a pad or anything. I can’t imagine what I may have smelled like. And I guess I was really lucky that nothing ever leaked through my clothes!

    1. kathy Post author

      Hi Beverly, I had that same experience, my mother did not discuss periods with me. I can’t imagine you going four days without pads though, an experience you obviously haven’t forgotten!

  3. ToCo

    Every girl should have a book that discusses this, I remember mine called, Have you started yet? My Aunt gave it to me as my Mom had passed when I was only 11 and this helped soooo much! I’m sure this wasn’t is so much more up to date! 😀

    1. kathy Post author

      Hi ToCo, I am going to have to look for that book – Have you started yet? I don’t think I’ve seen it before. Thanks for the tip.

    1. kathy Post author

      Yolanda, thank you for your entry. I agree, this book would help your daughter be ready for her period.

  4. Monika

    What a lovely book. My daughter, at 9 1/2 is developing at a faster pace than her peers, and I keep thinking that I’m running out of time and one of these days it will happen and my basket of goods will not be ready for her. There is not as much as I had hoped to support her on this journey – but this is one of those things that would go into the basket.

    1. kathy Post author

      Monika – what a great idea – a basket of goods. I hope other mothers see this post and do the same for their daughter.

  5. Heather

    My oldest daughter just turned 10 & has just noticed some body changes that thankfully she came to me to talk about! I would really love to share this book with her as I’m very disappointed in how our school system doesn’t acknowledge the fact that our children are maturing faster these days but yet they haven’t changed the grade of when they start to have those talks about their bodies, it’s not until the fifth grade here. I can’t even count on one hand the number of girls that are wearing bras because they need to! Luckily I’ve been open with ask my kids on their bodies.

    1. kathy Post author

      Heather – I also think schools might be a little behind the times. Perhaps they too are overwhelmed with the way puberty seems to creep up on younger and younger children.

    1. Kathy Post author

      Hi Anna, thank you for your comment. This book would be great for 12 year olds, it is really written at their level.

  6. Erin

    This is such a great idea! Kinda makes me wanna start one myself with my family for my 9 year old. (10 this year) She’s growing faster then I expected and more knowledgeable then I’m prepared. Would love her to hear how other girls have gone through what she’s starting go through.

    1. Kathy Post author

      Hi Erin, thanks for your comment. Gathering stories from your own female relatives is a great way to prepare your daughter for her first period. And makes a wonderful family connection.

    2. Kathy Post author

      Congratulations Erin – You are the winner! I will contact you by email for your mailing address.

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