Help! She’s becoming a teen

Pointing out that the teenage years can be fraught is like telling a new mum she's going to have to change a nappy or two. As puberty starts to take hold, hormones begin to make teens more irritable, which combined with the changes to her body could mean you’re in for a bumpy ride.

Some girls see all of this as a really positive sign that they’re becoming a woman. Although, many girls wonder if they’re normal, especially if they’re the first or last in their class to see signs of puberty appearing.

One of the most important pieces of advice we can give you is to just keep on reassuring your daughter that everyone is unique so she may experience the changes at different times or in a different order to her friends.

For most girls, puberty starts around the ages of 11 and 12, but it can start as early as 8. The first signs tend to involve breast development and hair growing under the arms and between the legs. It’s then usually a couple of years later that the first period arrives. Again they could start as early as 8 though, or in some cases not until she's 18.

How will I know if she is about to start her period?

  • Breasts have started to develop
  • Discharge in underwear
  • The body has started to change shape and size
  • Pubic and under arm hair has started to grow
  • Body odour may be more noticeable
  • Hair often becomes greasy
  • Mood swings begin to be noticed
  • Spots may start to appear on the face, chest and back
  • Stomach, lower back and groin cramps can be experienced

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