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Sheela Ramakrishnan
Sheela is an educationalist with over 40 years of experience across teaching, training, consulting and counseling. A trained educator , she is a certified ISO 21001 auditor. She is also trained in Edward de Bonos Thinking tools in the UK, Activity Based methods of teaching at Malaysia and Thailand. She is also trained by Stanford School of Medicine as an e-coach for students with anxiety. She is the co author of 4 series of text books for primary grades published by the Oxford University Press.

Raising siblings of 2 genders calls for a constant balancing act for the parent! It’s like swinging 

from vanilla to tutti frutti. Raising Mars and Venus with open communication is the first step to 
understanding their different worlds. Period Hub has taken a step in this direction with strong 
convictions.  
Parenting about 25 years ago with this conviction was also a conscious decision that I decided 
to face head on when the time crept upon me sooner than I knewUnfortunately spouse was 
working out of the country at that time, so much of the dialogues had to be solo. 
To begin with, they ( my 2 kids , now adults ) grew up knowing that they were Different in many 
ways but not Inferior or Superior. The ever-pestering question – ” who do you love more ” – was 
met with a square look in the eye and a ” I love you both differently but equally importantly! “  
Son being almost 6 yrs older learnt the lessons of his own puberty and that of his sisters too 
earlier on.  He almost led me into it one day by amusing me no end with ” amma , how do you 
be friends with a girl and not get teased ?” He was in grade 5 then !  My little macho was in the 
throes of his first crush! This opened the gates for me to talk about 3 important factors.  
1. Hormones : “ Am I feeling some thing wrong Amma?” led me to explaining how certain 
chemicals called hormones get active at this age. These chemicals are responsible for the way 
we feel and its perfectly normal to be attracted to girls and vice versa as both boys and girls had 
hormones. Just that they worked differently ! That seemed to take away the guilt – but not 
before emphasizing that this lovely feeling should remain a feel good one and not get lost in 
doing things that make one feel uncomfortable. “ You will KNOW When its uncomfortable” is 
what I told him and that he should always listen to his inner voice.  
2. Male PubertyThe next episode was when he asked “ Will I get a moustache faster if I shave 
?! “ Obviously in  a hurry to become Man!  
This led to the next round of talks on physical changes – body and genital hair and nocturnal 
emissions. It helped him immensely to know that having sexual thoughts and releasing semen 
was natural and nothing to feel ashamed of.  
I grabbed this opportunity however give him a dose of what a REAL man was all about – not just 
a moustache! We spoke about accepting and controlling budding sexual feelings, the urge to 
touch girls, ogling, passing sexist comments, taking pictures without permission, wanting to read 
sexual texts and such. Those were pre Facebook Whatsapp and Insta days and porn, so 
parents would today, need to include this in the package  ! The underlying message always 
was – Girls had to be treated with Respect and Consideration and not as someone who just 
made you feel good.  
3. Female Puberty : One day, while sharing the his school day, he said ,  “ Amma , you know , R 
stained her dress today , and I felt bad as I remembered you telling me about periods. Some of 
the other boys made fun of her, but I stopped them.” I was really happy as I had told him that
hormones worked in girls too. had explained how girls grow breasts ( for motherhood ) as they 
entered puberty.Girls also grow body and genital hair and then one day when they were ready, 
they had their first ” period ” called Menstruation.
And this is what I told him – Menstruation was Nature’s way to make a fresh baby bag each 
month. The old bag ( that had blood and dead cells ) was released every month as ” periods “.  
It came out of an opening in the form of thick blood and lasted between 3 to 5 days. This 
opening called vagina was for periods and babies, different from the openings for pee and poo. 
He was quite taken aback to know that girls had 3 openings!   
He learnt that girls had to wear pads ( we didn’t have m-cups in those days ) to catch the blood 
and not stain their clothes and these times could be painful or difficult and girls sometimes felt 
just sad during this time. “ Soamma , you also go through this every month ? Is that why 
sometimes you are just so tried and cranky ? Now I understand ! P ( sister ) will also go through 
this, right  ?’ was enough to know that empathy and understanding had begun! He had no 
hesitation to buy pads for either me or his sister and even knew some details about them ! 🙂
  
Most men understand the pains of periods, mostly after marriage… but why wait that long ?! We 
need men who understand the women in their life very well – mother, sister, wife and daughter, 
not to mention all the other girl friends in between. Our son grew up knowing PMS and mood 
swings of the women around him – and would dismiss our rants as “ Oh I know why! You must 
be having your periods!  
He is the Mars for all the Venus’s – a kind understanding and compassionate man! When I 
asked him now before writing this piece, if he remembered any of those conversations – the 
gaze was blank !  
I took it as a sign of a job well done – it was all part of growing up together! 🙂
 
Sheela Ramakrishnan mother of Mars now 37 and Venus now 31…:) )

Dr Vijaya Krishnan is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), and the Co-Founder and Director of Healthy Mother Sanctum, Natural Birth Centre. She is the leading official Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator (LCCE) in India and teaches the Healthy Mother Lamaze Accredited Childbirth Educator Program.

At her Natural Birth Centre, The Sanctum, she has pioneered a unique Collaborative Model of Care – Women receive Independent Midwife Led Care, through pre-conception, pregnancy, labour, birth and postpartum, with back-up support and emergency infrastructure on site

Dr Nidhi Agarwal is a connoisseur of the Holistic approach to propagate medicine free lifestyle for the last 12 years! She is a Homeopathic physician, Lifestyle & Wellness Coach, Relationship Counsellor, a holistic healer and the Director of Prakash Holistic Health Care Centre (PHCC).

Dr Nidhi, a harbinger of holistically healing any individual body, mind and soul.  Her motto is to successfully guide her patients towards a lifestyle where they can cure their body from within by understanding the requirement of the body and nutrifying it by embracing home remedies and using ingredients from your kitchen, with the minimal or no medicinal intervention.

Period Hub is proud to have Dr Nidhi on the Advisory Board. We share the same value system and advocate the Natural way of living. Period Hub hopes to benefit from her rich experience and utilise her insights to enrich our workshop modules. We also hope we shall be able to extend her expert advise to our customers and bring them out of their Period Woes.

Hema Balakrishnan is a social entrepreneur and founder of The Conscious Storey – A Unit of Color D Earth – A Handmade Collective. Hema is an alumnus of the prestigious 10000 Women program, a Goldman Sachs funded Initiative for Women Entrepreneurs in 2009. In March 2012, she was chosen by the U.S Department of State to attend the coveted International Visitors Leadership Program on Women and Entrepreneurship by the U.S. Department of State.

An ardent believer of conscious living and sustainable lifestyle Hema mentors The Period Hub in its outreach programmes and activities at the grassroots level.

Kanupriya is a seasoned marketing leader with more than 16 years of rich hands-on experience in various facets of marketing. She has spearheaded the creation of multiple brands and digital properties in start-ups like Canvera and Seventymm, as well as managed the brand portfolio of large conglomerates like Godrej and Infosys.