A child is very sensitive during early period days and in such conditions do not want to step out of the comfort zone. At school too, sitting and standing several times, physical activities, and improper hygiene services are a concern for most of them. To top it all, period cramps often cause a lot of distraction and trouble the little girls with nobody to share the feeling with. Since the body undergoes so many changes, it is natural for a girl to be a little under-confident.
As a parent/guardian, it is necessary for us to train our children to deal with such situations boldly and correctly.
Here are a few techniques that can help in dealing with period cramps at school.
1. Eat calcium rich foods
One often knows the tentative dates of the periods. So, to reduce the problems in those days, start eating calcium rich foods 4-5 days in advance. Make sure you get 2-3 servings of low fat calcium food each day. This will prevent excessive cramps and give the body strength during periods. Foods like spinach, ladies finger, broccoli, almonds, soy milk, yogurt, fortified tofu, milk, green beans, and bok choy are excellent source of calcium that can be consumed to strengthen the body. Their richness in iron also benefits the blood flow and regulates the cycle.
2. Drink water
While in class and the cramps are distracting you, drink a sip or two of water to calm down the body. Drinking water immediately helps relax the muscles and decrease the severity of cramps. In general also, during periods, drink plenty of water so that the toxins are flushed out of the system early and you have a happy time in coming days. Thus, you suffer cramps but for a smaller duration. Drinking water also helps keep vaginal infections caused during periods at bay.
3. Breathing exercises
You sure cannot lie down or take rest in the middle of the classroom, but inhaling and exhaling deeply for 5-7 times help reduce the severity of the situation. At the same time, try to divert attention from the cramps to some other object; this distraction will help the brain focus a little less on the cramps for a while.
Use this simple exercise: Place your hands on the cramping zone and inhale deeply, pressing the region slightly, then exhale and release pressure.
4. Try pressure points
Our body has pressure points that relax the abdominal muscles, which cause pain during periods. Try the following exercises any time anywhere:
- Below the navel, approximately at 4 finger level, use the middle finger and press slightly. Hold for 2-3 minutes then release.
- At the hip bones, on the front side, there are pressure points that can be massaged for a while to relieve cramps.
- Another small trick that can be done without anyone noticing is gentle rubbing of the cramping area or abdominal muscles.
- Massage lower back in small circles as this also brings great relief when cramps are severe.
5. Take short walks
Sitting in one place in one position might induce or worsen cramps. Taking a short walk or climbing a couple of stairs helps reduce the cramps. This is mainly because of the fact that the body produces endorphin hormone when we are active physically. Endorphin hormones act as a natural pain killer. They are also called ‘feel good hormones’ because they are beneficial in treating painful cramps during the sensitive days.
6. Carry a banana
Banana’s richness in potassium makes it an instant solution for menstrual cramps. You can carry bananas anywhere and eat when the body feels that the cramps are causing disturbances in normal activities. For girls, it is easy to have a banana handy from home while at school. There also are times when cramps kill the normal diet and hunger. In such cases, bananas are a healthy option to fill stomach for some time.
7. Essential oils – Inhale and apply
Essential oils like thyme and lavender have a soothing sensation and relax the mind and body. There are two ways of using it at school to have the cramps at bay instantly. Firstly, apply in the pelvic region thoroughly before dressing up for school. Deep penetration of these oils helps relax the muscles and prevent pain. Other option is to have the small bottle handy and inhale the oils when the cramps get severe. This again calms the senses and controls the hormones instantly, leading to reduced pain. Apply it on pulse points at the wrist and inhale through the day to comfort the body during the menstrual phase.
8. Personal heating pads
There are several heating pads that can be attached to the abdominal region and activated with a slight push. They are so sleek that they are not detectable over the clothes. You can attach it to the abdomen or keep it in under pockets to soothe the cramps. Heating the region relaxes the muscles and makes menstrual flow a simpler affair. Ensure that the region does not get over heated as it might burn the skin or cause redness.
9. Over the counter pain relievers
Medications to reduce period pain are commonly available and you can consume before going to school to have a comfortable day. However, take medication after consultation of a medical expert to avoid complications at such tender age. At the same time, it is essential that the body develops immunity and strength for tolerance of pain, so taking pain relievers every single time is not advisable. Pain relievers may also have several side effects like heavy or light flow, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and headaches, and thus should be used cautiously.
10. Take a piece of chocolate
Chocolates are a girl’s best friend and sure save the day in menstrual phase too. When having severe cramps, take a piece of chocolate in the mouth and consume the melting form without actually chewing it. Chocolate calms the senses instantly and the high magnesium content gives strength to deal with pains. Chocolate also causes secretion of endorphins in the body, the hormones that is a natural pain killer.
Try these simple techniques while at work, travelling or in a public place where you cannot treat the trouble in privacy. It is not necessary that a single technique works for all, therefore be a decision maker for yourself, take a step at a time and deal with the problem. Period problems should not restrict you from doing things that you like or are necessary after all.