What I learnt from my gynecologist that every mother of a daughter should know?

infections

Image: pixabay

A few days ago, my daughter suffered from a vaginal infection. It got cured in a few days, but the whole incident made me realize how my daughter is growing up, and in a few years will hit puberty. So when I visited my gynecologist for a routine check up, I made it a point to ask her a few things for my daughter as well. This is what I learnt from her…

  • Avoid using jet spray on the V-area of your daughter. When the water goes into the vagina, it can lead to vaginal infections. No doubt, vaginal infections have increased in girls today. In our time, a humble mug it was that kept us away from these nasty infections.
  • Do not use a perfumed soap to clean inside her intimate area. It destroys the good bacteria that helps prevent vaginal infections.
  • Keep the area dry; wipe it with a toilet tissue after urination instead of water.
  • After passing stool, clean the anus, and avoid touching the V-area with the same fingers.
  • Make her wear bloomers. With tight panties, the risk of E.coli transferring from her bottom to her vagina increases.
  • Disney print panties look cute, but better invest in a moisture-absorbing cotton panties that lets the area breathe and avoids bacteria or yeast infections.
  • Change her panties at least 2-3 times in a day.
  • School-going girls avoid using the school washrooms and tend to hold on. This can lead to urine infection. Urge her to use the washroom at least once in the school.
  • Girls are hitting puberty at an age as early as 9 years. Poor lifestyle, frequent consumption of junk and lack of physical activity are some of the prominent reasons. Let’s avoid this if possible.
  • Once your daughter hits puberty, do take her for a cervical shot.
  • If your daughter complains of itching around her vagina, wash the area with a diluted solution of potassium permanganate. Take a few crystals of KMNO4 and dilute it with lots of water and pour the water on her vaginal area. Or ask her to sit in a tub of this solution. Alternatively, you can use common salt solution too.
  • Lastly, if you notice mucus in her vagina or if you find your daughter constantly scratching around her vagina or anus, take her to the doctor. It might be due to a pinworm infection.

Hope these tips are useful!

Sex Talks With My Little Curious George

Sex Talks With My Little Curious George

A three-year old is like having a Curious George in your house. They want to see everything, know everything and do everything. Little nosy parkers they are. Every sentence they say starts with a WHY, HOW, WHEN and WHERE. You will get exhausted giving answers, but believe me, their tirade of questions does not end.

I live this every day.  My daughter is at a stage where everything around her fascinates her. I am sure it fascinated her before too. But now she has got a voice (a persistent one too) to express her wonderment. At the moment, she is fascinated with babies. Any child of similar age or younger is a baby for her, while she is a big girl now.

I took it as a cue to explain to her a little about how the world works.

I told her, “Once you were a tiny baby and lived in my tummy.”

I am sure she couldn’t fathom ever doing that. But she asked me, “Then, how did I come out?”

“You loved being in my tummy. And you ate, slept and played there. And then you started growing bigger and bigger. Even mama’s tummy grew bigger and bigger. And then one day, you shouted from inside the tummy “Mama, I am big now. I want to come out.” So I went to the hospital and told the doctor to help you come out. The doctor took you out of my tummy.”

She is fascinated with this story and asks me to repeat it from time to time. Not only this, whenever she sees a woman with a big belly, she points at her and tells me “Mama, there’s a tiny baby inside that aunty’s tummy.”

I look at the woman and her belly. Sometimes, she’s right. There’s a baby inside. And sometimes, well, I just pray that the woman with her big belly didn’t overhear my daughter’s remark.

The story doesn’t end here. After having a heavy meal, she looks at her bloated tummy and points “Mama, look, I have a tiny baby inside my tummy.” And then sometimes, she decides she has two babies. One girl and one boy.

I say nothing, but smile.

“Mama, now you will take me to the hospital and then the doctor will bring the babies out?”

I say nothing, but think “If only it were that simple!”

She hasn’t asked me yet where the babies come from. But that day isn’t too far, I can feel it. But whenever it comes, I will be prepared. She needs to learn the facts, the sooner the better.

Tips on how to deal with sex talks with your small child:

  • Never hesitate. Your child will catch your hesitation and discomfort. It will make her wonder if she asked something wrong.
  • Never lie. Why should you? You did it, right? So what’s the point in hiding it. It’s how the whole world procreates.
  • Tell her in an uncomplicated manner. Your child doesn’t need to know all the details. Anyway, she is too small to understand all of it. Tell her in a simple manner, “Papa and mama love each other, and so we decided to have a baby one day. And that’s how you came to us.”
  • Upgrade that information with her growing understanding and maturity. Nowadays, children are sexually conscious at a very early age (at 6-7 years) and enter into puberty as early as 9 and 10 years. It’s better we teach them these things before they try to learn from unverified and dubious sources.
  • If you are uncomfortable holding sex talks with your child, rope in a friend or a beloved aunt who is close to your child and can talk openly with her.
  • Even schools hold regular sessions on sex education. Find out if your child’s school holds it.

My parents never had any kind of sex talks with me or my siblings. I never expected them to. But times have changed now. What my parents did, I don’t what to repeat with my daughter. I am a parent in my own right and want to raise my daughter as per my understanding, knowledge and beliefs. And sex talks hugely feature in them.

What about you? How do you deal with sex talks with your child?

Sex talks with your preschooler, really?

Recently when I was writing a few articles on ‘creating sex awareness in preschooler’ for one of my clients, it occurred to me that my daughter is a preschooler too. She is at the age where I should provide her sex education. But seriously, sex education at 3? After all, isn’t preaching different from practicing?

sex talks with your preschooler

But then on the other hand, I also know that girls as young as 8 or 9 enter into their puberty. With so much exposure to media today, they know more about sex at 6 or 7 than we ever did at that age. The world’s moving faster, and so are our kids. And we don’t want to be the ones left behind. We need to run with them as well.

Well, according to the advice (on parenting websites), they say that kids at 3 should be taught about their private parts and that how kissing (or sex) is not ‘eww!’ between parents. They even state that parents should introduce sex talks with their children. Isn’t that a tad too much even for the digital age?

I do not know if it’s right or wrong. But I don’t want to be pressurized by the society or the self-professed parenting gurus. How can I talk sex with my daughter who is not even interested in the clothes she wears? However, she does know that exposing her private parts to strangers is forbidden. And that nobody should touch her privates except her mama, teacher at the school or papa (for the moment, and that’s going to end very soon) only while washing. For the rest, I will take it as it comes. If she finds papa kissing her mama is wrong or throws at me questions like ‘From where do babies come?’, I will tell her the truth. Oh yes, believe me, I will not be shy. Awkward yes, may be. After all, my mother never had sex talks with me.

For now, I want to rejoice in her innocence and hold to it for as long as I can.

Have you started imparting sex education to your child?