Do you remember the day your “monthly visitor” waltzed into your life for the very first time? If you were anywhere other than at home when it happened — like sitting at your desk in school or in the middle of gym class, for instance — your first time probably wasn’t a picture-perfect moment. In fact, it was probably pretty embarrassing.
For a lot of girls, dealing with menstruation at school is mortifying — and this is especially true for early bloomers who may not realize what’s happening to their bodies just yet. That’s why Kristin Heavner, a middle school teacher in Southgate, Michigan, came up with cute little “menstruation care packs” — small kits full of supplies that she discreetly hands out to help calm down panicky first-timers.
“I use my old ipsy makeup bags and make ‘menstruation care packs’ for my students who start their periods unexpectedly,” Heavner wrote in a Facebook post. “In middle school, this happens a lot.”
Heavner’s bags include a few sanitary pads, a couple of tampons, and panty liners, as well as a small pouch of pre-wrapped disposable wipes — which is much less embarrassing than having to grab a giant pad from your teacher or from a vending machine in the bathroom. Heavner also noted that she makes it a point to ask girls if they need more supplies to take home.
“I just did it because I teach middle school, and a lot of times students get their first period here, and they don’t have supplies because they weren’t expecting it, or their cycles aren’t regular at all, so they are unprepared,” Heavner told Refinery 29.
More than a thousand parents and teachers around the nation have already commented on Heavner’s post and praised her for the thoughtful idea. Some users even offered to donate supplies for her kits.
“I have some ipsy bags I can donate if you feel there’s a need for the squad,” one Facebook user wrote. “Sounds like a nice, discreet way to handle those little emergencies.”
“You should post this on the ipsy page and see if people will make them and donate them to their local school,” another commenter added. “I never thought about it, and I have all the bags lying around (there are only so many uses) I will be making a batch up and dropping them off at the local middle school!!! Thanks for sharing!!”
How nice would it be if schools everywhere had a similar support system in place to help young women feel comfortable during these awkward moments? We hope Heavner’s idea catches on!