If you don't want to be caught unawares by your first period it's best to have a few things on hand – just in case! You don't have to tell anyone if you don't feel it's right, but chatting with mum might be a cool first move; explain to her you think you might be getting your period soon, and that you want to be ready when it comes. She might have tampons and pads around the house, or she may add it to the grocery list for you.
If you're the kind of chick who likes to take things into her own hands then bypass the mum discussion and head down to your local pharmacy or supermarket. Big stores like Woolies, Franklins or Coles will have a wide range of sanitary products you can buy, but you can also get them from convenience stores, petrol stations and chemists. When you're at the supermarket it's a good idea to grab a few different options. We recommend the U by Kotex® Ultrathin Pads (an easy option) or try tampons – starting with the smaller ones is usually easier as they tend to be less difficult to insert.
Before getting your first period it's a good idea to practice with your new products. Use a mini tampon and see if you can insert it into the right spot, try wearing it around the house for a few hours (you know – like breaking in a new pair of shoes!). Normally when we use tampons during our period the blood makes it super easy for the tampon to slip in, however if you're trying it out before your period then you might find it gets a bit stuck. You may want to use some Vaseline to help it ease in and remember if it is hurting or not feeling right then stop, there are plenty of pads that will do just as good a job! Sometimes the pads can feel a bit bulky and unusual in your undies, you might wanna try one out as a trial run (like getting your hair done a few weeks before your formal to make sure you are happy with it!) that way you can get used to the feeling of the pads before your first period.
Your period might also bring with it cramps and headaches, sometimes it's best to take it easy on yourself at that time of the month. Getting to bed a bit earlier than usual and eating well is recommended. If you have to get out and about and your cramps are really bothering you grab an over the counter painkiller that is designed to treat period pain. Keeping a stash of tampons and pads at school, plus an extra pair of undies is a great idea – just in case your period comes while you're not at home. If you find you get your period at school and don't have anything with you, go straight to your fav teacher or the school nurse, they should be able to help you out.
Getting your first period doesn't need to be a big drama – so get organised, not worried! Remember that you're not the first or the last woman to go through rite of passage, even though it may feel like a big change!