This month we talk to Breeda Bermingham. A coach and menopause researcher since 2017 who also previously worked as midwife and public health nurse.
2017 was the year hot flushes and many other perimenopausal symptoms, fluid retention, weight gain, body odour, rage and anger arrived on my radar. Having worked as a midwife and public health nurse for years, it was perplexing to see the lack of information available to women about this time in life. The overwhelming negative narrative was also something that did not resonate with me. I read a degree in psychology in 2018 followed by a Masters in 2020. My thesis was titled “Silence Taboo, and Midlife Women” (2020).
As a result of this research, the www.Midlifewomenrockproject.com was established to enable women become informed about this time in life. With support from www.socialentrepreneurs.ie, the Midlife Women Rock cafes opened up in 2019. These are platforms that are informing and empowering women to positively and proactively manage this phase of their lives. I navigated my menopause journey naturally having become what I call a menopause detective! Sifting through layers of information which was accessible being a researcher. I used and loved the Promensil Cooling Spray for my hot flushes and keep it in my bathroom cupboard only occasionally needing it as my flushes have practically diminished in the past 6 months. Diet, supplement and lifestyle changes along with spending a lot more time out in nature or by the sea enabled me to take control and navigate two years of symptoms.
Along with physical symptoms it is important to be aware of the emotional rollercoaster and psychological shifts occurring during our menopause years. I work with many women who are unaware of these changes, which is leading to high levels of anxiety or depression. Working with groups of women at the cafes, I witness the relief when they discover that this shift is a normal part of menopause. Realising that they are not the only ones feeling this way is life changing. So many women feel guilty, often blaming themselves for not being able to cope like they did in their 30’s or early 40’s. Depersonalising menopausal symptoms, helping women realise this is the menopause, not you, you are not crazy, you are not developing dementia is transformative. I also meet many women who get on top of the physical symptoms but feel “lost” during these years often searching for new meaning in life, many empty nesters. Again, something that is very common during our middle years and which working with a coach can provide great benefits and insights.
I am on a mission to disrupt the way menopause has been framed for decades and spotlight the opportunities, second chances, courage and confidence that are available to women at midlife. Reaching out for support changes everything. Having information readily available for women such as the Promensil website and others will change the way we navigate our menopause enabling and empowering midlife women to thrive into the second chapter in their lives.
For more information on one to one coaching, courses and cafes, visit www.midlifewomenrockproject.com.