It isn't easy to see a girl's first period as cause for celebration. If anything, that first menses marks the beginning of a lifetime sentence — the monthly ritual of cramps, bloating, and bleeding is something most women would understandably prefer to live without.

But if you have a daughter, this rite of passage is going to take place eventually, and you need to be prepared. Don't make it an event that you both dread — just relax, go with the flow, and turn the inevitable into the special celebration it deserves to be.

1. Throw a Period Party

Period Parties have actually been around for years, but it's only recently that they have become trendy. Basically, you throw a party and invite friends to celebrate the fact that your daughter has "become a woman." Often, there is a red theme, and you serve things like red velvet cake and red raspberry leaf tea. You can even play games like Pin the Ovaries on the Uterus.

If you can pull all this off without embarrassing your daughter, this may be the celebration you're looking for. (Personally, I'm pretty sure that I could not host one of these with a straight face).

2. Embrace Rituals and Traditions

Many cultures have ancient rituals and traditions surrounding a girl's first period. In the Hindu tradition, for example, young women are separated from the rest of their society when they begin menstruation and return once they have completed a ritual bathing ceremony.

An approach like this isn't realistic for most of us, but there are still lots of ways to create our own rituals and traditions.

  • Host a special dinner, and invite close female friends and relatives to celebrate.
  • Give your daughter a special gift — chocolate, a heating pad, or a fancy pair of pajamas are nice.
  • Plan a special mother-daughter outing to a coffee shop or other quiet place where you can answer her questions (and enjoy each other's company).
  • Teach her to understand her own fertility signals — she'll thank you later.

3. Buy Her a Diva Cup

Many pre-teen girls are terrified of tampons — I was absolutely convinced that I was going to die of Toxic Shock Syndrome the first summer I had to wear one to the local pool. But fortunately, girls today have safer options like The Diva Cup.

Yes, a menstrual cup can be messy and frustrating when you're first learning to use one, but isn't your period always messy and frustrating at first? A Diva Cup may not seem like much of a celebration, but if you teach your daughter to use one now, she won't risk years of exposure to the potentially harmful ingredients in disposable pads and tampons down the road.

And as a parent, protecting your daughter's health — and teaching her to do the same — is one of the greatest gifts you can give her.

I received a complimentary Diva Cup for the purpose of review. I've got to be honest — I am still getting the hang of using it, but because it is so much better for both my body and the environment, I'm determined to make it work. If you want to learn more about the product, and whether it is right for your daughter, you can find The Diva Cup on Facebook, Twitter, or in a store near you.