Girls Going Through Puberty
Girls going through puberty are emotional, a challenge to parent sometimes and are stretching their sense of autonomy as they try to find their way in the world finding out who they are. This is a time to hold them closer so to speak and help guide them so they want to be around us as parents to assist in this sometimes difficult time instead of seeking out comfort in peers, where emotional needs are not really met the way they need them to be.
While puberty brings so many changes to your life and your body, you should know you’re not alone on this often long and delicate journey. Every women — including your mom, female teachers and aunts — have gone through puberty. They can serve great resources for you as you form questions along the way. As you prepare to grow and become a beautiful, confident woman it can be exciting, but also very scary. But try not to worry! It’s totally normal, and we’ll be here for you. Keep reading below to find out more about puberty in girls and the unique changes that await you and other girls like you.
1. BODY GROWTH
One major change you will notice is growing faster than you did during earlier childhood. This is called a growth spurt. First, you will notice your feet and hands getting larger. Next, your arm and leg bones grow, making you taller. You might gain some weight to keep up with the increase in your bone size. This may be an awkward time until the rest of you catches up, but once you do, you will be more proportional. During this phase of things, you will be taller than many boys in your class then later on they will pass you up most of the time.
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2. BREAST DEVELOPMENT
At first you’ll notice what feel like little buds, or swellings, under your nipples. Then you will gradually get bigger and fuller and may become a little sore. Wearing a comfortable bra will be important so you can have proper support for your breasts. Also, it’s good to remember that every girl is different. How large or small your breasts become depends on physical genetic traits in your family. Complete breast development typically takes 2-3years. Along with way one breast may be a little bigger than the other one then later on they will appear more even in size.
3. BODY HAIR
Soon you will find new hair growing in new places. Curly hair will start appearing in the pubic area (the area that extends from the lower stomach to between your legs). In some girls, pubic hair may grow before breast development. In the beginning this hair is soft, and there’s not much of it. Later, the hair grows longer and a little curly. Although it starts growing between the legs, it eventually will cover the entire pubic area and may include the upper, inner thighs. This may take 2-3 years. A few months after pubic hair is seen, hair will grow under your arms.
4. BODY SWEAT
Your sweat glands will get larger and more active, causing you to sweat more and have more body odor. A good aluminum free organic deodorant will help. Aluminum containing antiperspirants have been linked to breast cancer over years of use. Check out toxin free personal care products on line whenever possible.
5. SKIN AND HAIR CHANGES
During puberty, the pores in your skin do produce more oil, especially on your face. This can cause acne. You may have to wash your hair and face more often now that you’re going through puberty. You will find that it’s a good idea to create a daily skin care routine to meet the needs of your changing skin.
6. GENITALS DEVELOP
Your genitals, or private areas, also grow and change during puberty. Your outside parts (the vulva or labia) are enclosed by two sets of “lips.” The larger lips have hair. The inner, smaller lips don’t. These increase in size a little. Inside your body, the vagina will get longer and the uterus will get bigger.
7. DISCHARGE BEGINS
Discharge is clear or cloudy fluid made by your body to moisten and cleanse the vagina. Before you start your period/bleeding every month, you’ll probably notice yellow or white stains on your underwear. This is natural moisture from the vagina. It’s normal, and it’s a sign that menstruation will probably start in six to 18 months. Sometimes, discharge can become white, clumpy, thick or milky. In this case, you might have a yeast infection. Just ask your parents or family doctor for advice if you begin to have vaginal itching or burning in that area due to the discharge.
8. FIRST PERIOD STARTS
All of these changes lead up to your first period. You may be unsure what’s normal, but there’s no need to worry. When you first start menstruation/bleeding, it can be unpredictable/irregular for the first two years. It typically takes 1-2 years for regular cycles to develop, so you may not be regular for a while. Every girl develops a little differently and at her own pace, so don’t get discouraged. These changes usually happen in the order listed above, but this may not be how they happen to you — and that is totally OK! No matter what all these changes happen, just know you’re on your way to becoming a woman — and that is an awesome thing! Take one day at a time and keep yourself attached to your parents and closest family so support can be provided when needed.
Puberty is a time for surging hormones, emotions, figuring out who you are, what you like and dislike and how you want to frame your life . If you have a strong attachment to your parents/family, please take advantage of that close relationship especially during this time in your life. Close friends can help also, just know that trying to get emotional needs met outside of your primary attachment relationships will often lead to disappointment. Good luck and enjoy this wonderful challenging time of growth, change and discovery. You will come out on the other side of it with new perspectives on life with new autonomy and possibilities for expanding into the unique you.
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