Worried that your little daughter is hitting early puberty?
A few months ago, several mums sent me Instagram Direct Messages expressing fear and concerns that their 7/8 year olds were already growing breasts, pubic hair and already menstruating.
I choose not to be worried because I’m arming myself with all the RIGHT information at this stage in my parenting journey. You should do the same as a mum.
On that note, here are six lifestyle changes to make if your daughter is experiencing early puberty.
1. Healthier Diet
As much as possible, take regular diary out of her diet. Start introducing healthier options like coconut, and almond milk.
If possible, avoid soy milk as well. The reason is that soy contains isoflavones converted to phytoestrogens in the body, which are similar to the hormone estrogen.
So, Soy consumed from natural food sources is likely safe and will not cause abnormal hormone levels.
Still, when consumed in large amounts, such as with soy supplements or in more processed foods, there have been links to chronic medical problems due to elevated estrogen levels.
2. Take Out Junk And Fast Food As Much As Possible
The goal here is to continue giving her fresh foods and avoiding processed packaged foods.
It’s an unspoken rule for overall general nutrition as well. So, reduce microwaving her meals as much as possible and give her three servings of vegetables daily.
And find ways to creatively infuse it into her meals, so she’s encouraged to have them without much fuss.
Keep in mind that she’s a child, so no drastic intervention. Instead, focus on slowly incorporating these dietary changes without making her feel different.
It’s advised that the entire family makes these, too, so she doesn’t notice.
3. Turn An Interim Nutritionist Or Engage The Services Of One
Early puberty is closely linked to poor nutrition, though not confused with malnutrition. More often than not, it results from too much sugar and processed food.
It could also lead to early menopause with its attendant issues. But quickly adopting the proper measures could slow it down drastically.
Most mums just conclude it is the everyday thing, but it is only so because of the poorer modern diet.
Swap the processed juices and white flour meals for whole fruits and whole meals like sweet potatoes, oats, unripe plantain, beans, etc.
4. Get Her Active
Find ways to get her active at least once weekly. It can be Saturday swimming, family aerobics, dancing, or swimming. Her metabolism is critical.
This can be any sport of her choice, such as dance or football. Have her try different types of sports until she finds one that she loves.
5. Buy Her Deodorant
If your little girl has already started seeing her period, she probably needs to start wearing deodorant as she’ll likely have an underarm odour.
Have you read: Natural Ways To Prevent Saggy Breasts
Get her an antiperspirant deodorant spray or roll-on and reapply throughout the day, especially after sports class, to ensure she smells nice.
The last thing she needs to be dealing with at this stage is being taunted for having an uncomfortable smell.
6. See A Doctor
If your daughter starts showing early puberty signs, I think it’s ideal to see a pediatrician, specifically a pediatric endocrinologist, to rule out any issues.
If the cause is at a hormonal/endocrine level, dietary changes alone will not address it.
So, get a proper checkup once the signs hit, if not anything, to eliminate any underlying/potential problem.
Sometimes, the early onset of puberty is unknown and could be hereditary or a problem with sex glands ovaries.
The Thyroid and adrenal glands need to be checked to ensure there’s no tumor in the brain or injury.
It is not just about the periods and problems explaining what is happening and the emotional and social or embarrassment in the child’s life.
It is best to seek medical intervention.
Find more resources on parenting here.