Period Fact #7 – What to do about cramps?
Our Friday period fact series continues with information about cramps. Not every girl will suffer from cramps, but for those that do, it can be a bothersome nuisance and interfere with everyday activities.
Cramps are another period symptom. During menstruation the uterus contracts or tightens to slough off the endometrium, the mucous membrane that lines the uterus. For some girls this can feel uncomfortable, even painful.
As much as possible, your daughter should stick to her regular activities and healthy habits during her period which can help her avoid cramps.
Most advice for general well being such as eating sensibly, exercising and getting the right amount of sleep also applies during menstruation. Now is the time to encourage your daughter to establish a special routine during her period that can relieve discomfort and improve her overall attitude about menstruation.
Stretching is a great way to keep muscles limber and relaxed. Sit on the floor with a straight back then bend your knees so that the souls of your feet touch, now gently pull your feet inward. Or, while standing with legs shoulder width apart, gently lunge from side to side. Both of these stretches will help to limber up the pelvic region. Add some deep breathing to increase the amount of oxygen reaching the muscles.
Start a monthly ritual of sitting down for a shared pot of tea. Earl Grey tea and Chamomile are known for their relaxing and mood lifting properties. Offer an empathetic ear if your daughter needs to gripe about her period.
Re-heatable rice bags, hot water bottles and heating pads can work wonders to ease cramps. Apply a few drops of essential oil of lavender to the rice bag for added pain relieving benefits.
If your daughter’s cramps are so bad that she has to miss school or regular activities, it would be time to take her to a doctor. He/she can help determine what may be causing the cramps and prescribe remedies.