First Menstruation

Celebrating the Cycle
Guiding Your Daughter into Womanhood
by Marie Zenack

with illustrations by Christina Wadsworth
Celebrating the Cycle is a parenting book in three sections. The first section, Understanding the Cycle, is for mother and daughter to read together as the adolescent daughter approaches her first menstrual cycle. It contains comprehensive information on women’s health, explaining the menstrual cycle, how to keep a menstrual calendar, how to feel our best during our menstrual period, and how to care for ourselves and our clothing during our menstrual period. Topics related to the menstrual cycle, such as nutrition, sleep, health and beauty, are also covered. In addition to providing accurate sex education, this section builds the adolescent girl’s self esteem as she begins her menstrual periods, and eases this delicate time in the mother/daughter relationship.

The second section, Creating the Celebration, helps mothers honor their adolescent daughters with a celebration when the daughter begins her menstrual cycle. It contains uplifting stories from women’s mythology, poetry, and a variety of sample celebrations from different cultures. This section puts joy into parenting a daughter.

The last section, Sexuality and Birth, is for mother and adolescent daughter to read together when the daughter has become accustomed to her menstrual cycle and is ready for more detailed sex education. It contains in depth information about the menstrual cycle and menstrual calendar. It explains the male anatomy and physiology and gives a clear description of sexual relations, pregnancy, labor and childbirth, and breastfeeding. This is sex education and parenting in a traditional family context.

Celebrating the Cycle has 145 pages, 8 1/2 by 11 format, with large, easy to read, type and clear, playful illustrations. A user friendly guide to parenting a daughter.

Praise for Celebrating the Cycle

“In her approachable, honest voice, Marie offers direction to mothers and daughters on the most important journey of their lives:  the quest for the miraculous mystery of womanhood.”
– Kathy Deol, RN, BSN, DEM

“Celebrating the Cycle is an exquisite offering of wisdom to mothers and their daughters to help understand, acknowledge and treasure a girl’s rite of passage into womanhood.  Written with sensitivity and caring, this book is an expression of Marie Zenack’s deep appreciation for the cycles of life and her ability to support others in harmonizing with these cycles for greater happiness and well being.”
– Jennifer Read Hawthorne, Coauthor Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul; Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul; Diamonds, Pearls & Stones: Jewels of Wisdom for Young Women from Extraordinary Women of the World

“I love your book. What a wonderful gift to young women!”
– Brooke Medicine Eagle

“With a small number of words and explicit drawings, Marie Zenack and her daughter Christina transmit an impressive amount of well-selected and well-digested knowledge.”
– Dr. Michel Odent, author, The Scientification of Love

“The concise information and lovely, playful illustrations in Celebrating the Cycle, are gifts for the healing of ourselves as we honor the young women of our communities and prepare them for a transformational entrance into womanhood.”
– Diana Fern, Traditional Birth Attendant, Mother of four daughters

“Marie has helped my daughters shape their self-esteem and the choices they will make concerning love, sexuality, marriage, and childbearing. This knowledge will guide and protect them as they navigate the waters of their teen years.”
– Robin Lim, author of After the Baby’s Birth, A Complete Guide for Postpartum Care

“I feel so lucky to have this book to help as I enjoy this process with my daughter! This book is a wonderful tool to help answer our developing daughters questions in a way that honors women and helps us all feel that this cycle is not a “curse” but a blessing.”
-Andrea Nicodemus, San Diego, CA

“This book is a lovely introduction to womanhood that is both understandable and descriptive to young women and their mothers. It offers mothers tools and guidance to help their daughters celebrate becoming a woman. This book helped me remember that what my daughter is experiencing is something wonderful, and that I need to be patient and loving. Thank you! ”
-nico nico

“‘Celebrating the Cycle’ by Marie Zenack is just that – a celebration. It is one of the most informative books available dealing with the menstrual cycle. But it is more than a group of facts put together. It’s very essence is joy. Joy at becoming a woman; and the joy of being a woman. It truly elevates you from the cramps and the headaches and the sheer inconveniences that some of us have come to associate our monthly cycles with and brings you to terms with the sheer ‘rightness’ and uniqueness of this cycle in nature. My daughter just started her monthly cycle and this book has been a boon to me as a parent; as a woman it is helping me to redefine myself as a part of the feminine half in the universe. The illustrations are wonderful and very realistic , more so in our ‘Barbie’ culture. It is important for young girls, especially, to view their own bodies as unique and acceptable, though they may be very different from their ideas of ‘ideal’ body types… The rituals and the stories Marie shares from around the world make me feel, as a woman, a link in a vast chain… Thank you, Marie, for speaking so naturally about a time of life in women’s lives that is so natural, but somehow not very comfortable for most of us to talk about or to deal with. And to all you women out there…welcome to the family…of others like you…. ”
-Monica Kar

“This book is essential for a father to understand and appreciate his daughter(s). It’s also great help for a man to understand and appreciate a girlfriend or wife. All that feminine stuff is clearly, simply and accurately explained but with a beauty and spirituality that make it a joyful read.”
– Stephen Kelley (Fairfield, Iowa USA)

“Celebrating the Cycle very simply and naturally describes what a young girl can expect as she goes thru puberty and after. There are many changes that occur at this time and it can be embarrassing for girls at this age. This book discusses each change in such a natural and easy way that you never feel uneasy about any of the topics. I think that all girls and “older” girls would benefit from reading this book. ”
– Thin Lizzy

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