You can't always predict when Aunt Flo will come to town, especially if it's the first time. (And I say Aunt Flo to be cute, not to be subtle. Allow me to clarify, in case there was any doubt: Aunt Flo is when blood streams out of one's vagina nonstop for several days, often causing a slew of side effects.)
So to make things a bit easier on students who get their periods at school, a middle school teacher thought of a creative, discreet, and fun hack for anyone who suddenly finds themselves in need of some period supplies.
Kristin Heavner, who teaches middle school in Michigan, recently shared a Facebook post describing the "menstruation care packs" that she puts together and keeps at school for students.
I have been doing this for a little bit now. I use my old ipsy make up bags and make "menstruation care packs" for my students who start their periods unexpectedly. In middle school this happens A LOT. I put a few pads in the bag and a couple tampons and panty liners, and I also add a few prewrapped disposable wipes. The students know that they can come ask, and they get a really pretty bag with their needed supplies inside. It's discreet and more fun than being handed a giant pad. I make sure to tell them to take as much as they may need for the whole day. I make a point to ask if they need more to take home.
Basically, she provides students who weren't prepared to get their periods with everything they might need in a thoughtful, cute, and subtle way. (And if you're unfamiliar with ipsy, it's a monthly service where you get free beauty samples mailed to you in a new makeup bag every month.)
Heavner also explained why her trick may make students more comfortable than going to the nurse's office and getting a loose pad.
These bags came in super handy even in the week that we've been in school so far. Sure, the office has pads for students, but once you've already figured out that there is an issue, the last thing you want to do is head to the office wait in line, ask for what you need, walk back to the bathroom, etc. I am right across from the bathroom and that makes it much more convenient than having to go all the way to the office.
Menstruating is still linked to shamefulness in many cultures, and people have been fighting the stigma in many ways, especially in recent years. Periods are natural, and approximately half the world's population experiences them, therefore no one should have to feel ashamed by their period or feel the need to hide their period supplies in a bag. That being said, it is also totally OK to want to be discreet about your period–most people choose to be–so Heavner's menstruation care packs are certainly helping make menstruating easier on her students.
In fact, Heavner touched on that idea in the beginning of her post, where she asserted that no one should be uncomfortable with the idea of people menstruating.
Upper elementary and higher teachers (if you are a person uncomfortable with the idea of folks menstruating, you should prob not read ahead, but then really ask yourself why you are uncomfortable with it because seriously, about half the population of the world menstruates...)
Dang, can all teachers please be a little more like Ms. Heavner?