How we talk about and learn about health has changed a lot over the past couple of decades. The internet has made it a lot easier for women to learn more about their bodies. However, there is importance in learning about some of the crucial elements of our health and having an open dialogue around them with the people close to us in our lives. Mothers and daughters should be able to talk about their health, but if you’re not certain what to talk about, here are a few topics worth broaching.
Talking Women’s Health With Your Daughter
The vital health habits
There are worrying levels of obesity and inactivity amongst the current generations, shaped in large part by changing diets, differences in media consumption, and our working lives. However, you should be the one to start talking to your daughter about the health habits you can use to maintain your good health. You have a lot of influence over her diet, but you can also encourage her to get more active by, for instance, going on bike rides with her or going on walks together. The sooner you instill these good habits, the more likely they are to stick to the long haul.
Having “the talk”
If there’s one aspect of health that we, as a generation, have really delegated to schools and the internet, it’s sexual health. It might be a difficult topic to broach, that’s for sure, but it’s important to make sure that your daughter has a healthy understanding and a healthy attitude towards sex. This means not just the act itself, but also the risk of STDs, the processes of pregnancy, and contraception.
Checking your body
There are some conditions that women are simply more prone to getting than men, and she needs to be aware of those, too. In particular, cancer can affect women in a few different areas much more commonly, especially if there is a family history. Talk to your daughter about the importance of checking for breast cancer by self-inspecting for lumps. When she is old enough to go to the gynecologist more regularly, you should also talk to her about getting pap smears every few years to keep the risks of cervical cancer low.
Keep mental health in mind
Health isn’t all about the physical. In fact, there isn’t as much of a difference between mental and physical health as one might think. What’s more, teenage girls are some of those highest at risk when it comes to developing emotional health issues such as depression, anxiety disorders, and so on. A lot of kids don’t know how to address these issues healthily by themselves, so it’s important to be able to talk about how we’re feeling, as well as the real need for mental health intervention and treatment.
You don’t have to have all of the answers to start talking about health with your daughter. You can look for them together, broadening both of your understanding while making sure she takes some practical advice ahead with her.