Over The Bloody Moon shares tales and tips to boost your menopause experience from The Change Makers, inspiring women helping you to make the most of your 'change'.
In our second series, we chat to a range of clinicians, psychologists and authors who share their tools of the trade to enhance menopause wellbeing. In our first series, we chat to resilient women, sharing their different experiences of menopause that collide with other life events. Whilst menopause is a spectrum of shades, there are lessons learned in each episode. We hope you enjoy listening to their stories and tips.
Episode 1: "Sleep and Menopause".
Kathryn Pinkham is founder of The Insomnia Clinic and Insomnia Advisor for Over The Bloody Moon. For the past 15 years, she has focussed on just one thing, helping people to sleep well, so they can live their life to the fullest.
In this episode we learn how we can retrain the brain and reform habits to increase our sleep drive, reset our body clock, and introduce cues to help improve sleep association. You'll learn more about the impact that sleep can have on mental health and how it can be leveraged as a Power Tool for menopause. You'll get some practical, proven tips and techniques to take away and put into practice from Kathryn's online course, Sleep Well, Live Better with Menopause.
Episode 2: "Pelvic Health and Menopause.
In this episode, we chat to Jane Simpson, Over The Bloody Moon's Continence Advisor and specialist at The London Rooms, as well as author of international best seller, "The Pelvic Health Bible".
We learn what good pelvic health is and why this region matters, not just through our menopause transition, but beyond. We chat about what support options there are for anyone experiencing a pelvic organ prolapse, urinary tract infections and incontinence. Did you know that 1 in 3 women over 18, experience bladder leaks and postmenopause, this increases to 60%. And yet, it's a topic rarely spoken about and most don't seek help until it's too late. This episode removes the mystery and stigma and provides you with self-care rituals, products, bio feedback gadgets and apps, as well as medical support available.
Episode 3: "Intimate Health in Menopause".
In this episode, we chat to Dr Angela Sharma (menopause specialist and GP, running her own NHS menopause clinic) and Dr Angela Wright, sexologist. Both are co-founders of Spiced Pear Health Clinic.
We learn more about common issues, impacting on our intimate self-care, both during and beyond the menopause transition. If you've noticed your libido change, are experiencing any discomfort or itchiness in your vulva-vaginal area, or penetrative sex has become painful, you are not alone! Find out what support options are available - medical treatment and specialists, lubes, vibrators and vaginal rings, as well as lifestyle and mind-related tools.
Episode 4: "Deepening Connections in Menopause".
Following the previous week's episode on Intimate Self-Care, we thought it a great follow-on to chat with Susan Quilliam, an experienced relationship coach. She's also author of seven books, including best sellers, 'Joy of Sex' and 'Stop Arguing, Start Talking', so she has plenty to say on how to navigate relationships in times of turbulent change.
Shifts in sex desire, incontinence and vaginal atrophy may all have an impact on intimacy. Susan provokes us to reframe intimacy and provides some golden nuggets in opening up communication and deepening connections with loved ones around us. You'll come away learning about the four C's and how to apply them to your life.
Episode 5: "Demystifying Menopause".
In this episode, we join Maisie Hill, hormone health specialist and author of the best selling books, 'Period Power' and 'Perimenopause Power'.
Maisie is a walking, talking encyclopedia when it comes to hormones, and we loved chatting to her, exploring the variances of the menopause spectrum, in all its shades. you'll learn about surgical and induced menopause, and how that may be experienced differently to natural menopause. You'll also discover how different hormones start to shift through the stages of menopause, and the impact this may have physically, psychologically, and cognitively.
We continue our theme of menopause diversity, looking at menopause with endometriosis, thyroid imbalance, and insulin resistance, as well as the impact menopause can have with a history of pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) Along the way, Maisie gives lots of tips and Power Tools from her book and years of experience. A fascinating conversation and you'll walk away feeling more empowered about how to manage your menopause.
Episode 6: "Fear, The Loudest Guest".
In this episode, we travel to Melbourne, Australia to meet Dr Amy Silver, psychologist talking about her book, 'The Loudest Guest' which explores how to change and control our relationship with fear. We hear from many women in our community about how the menopause transition can cause fear to dominate thoughts and situations.
Dr Silver is so engaging as she explains her model of working through fear. The first part of the podcast focuses on understanding and acknowledging fear whilst the second part looks at how to live a full life with fear in it.
If you are someone struggling with change, or has a fear lurking in the shadows, this episode if for you. And even if you don't, it's a witty and interesting listen.
Episode 7: "Nutrition, Mental Health & Menopause".
In this episode, we catch up with Emma Bardwell, Over The Bloody Moon's Nutrition Advisor, menopause nutritionist and co-author of The Perimenopause Solution, focusing on mental health to mark Mental Health Awareness week.
Sleep, stress and mood can take a nose dive due to hormonal changes, but we can take back some control by being more strategic about the way we eat, and what we can put into our bodies. We learn how the mind and body are interconnected, and how we can keep both healthy in menopause through our diet. Pick up tools of the trade from Emma Bardwell, including the importance of 'rest and digest'.
Episode 8: "On Board with Perimenopause".
In this episode we chat to Sam Simister, a Board Executive at Innocent Drinks and co-founder of Gen-M, an amazing platform that signposts people impacted by menopause to the best available resources and specialists in the UK for individuals and organisations (we're on there!).
In her honest account, Sam shares her experience of perimenopause in the workplace, as a senior leader, and how she cultivated those important conversations to her team and CEO. Lots of great tips for anyone transitioning through menopause at work.
Episode 9: "Brain Health & Menopause".
For our final episode, we chat to neuroscientist, Dr Sara McKay, based in Sydney, author of 'A Woman's Brain' and hear how menopause, along with other transitions, impacts on those assigned female at birth, in terms of their cognitive state and health.
Sara explains the role of hormones on temperature regulation, sleep, stress and mood, during menopause, as well of course, 'brain fog'. This is a fascinating listen and you'll also get some Power Tools to take away with you, to boost your brain function.
Episode 0: "Over The Bloody Moon with Dr Lydia Brown".
We've all learnt a thing or two about ourselves and how we deal with unexpected and prolonged change during the pandemic. Add perimenopause into the mix and no surprise, many of us feel like we are peddling fast to stay afloat. Ahead of The Change Makers launch, we wanted to give you a bonus teaser episode. Meet Dr Lydia Brown, clinical psychologist and expert in pro-ageing and resilience. She is a research fellow at La Trobe University, Healthscope Hospitals & The University of Melbourne and let's not forget her postdoctoral fellowship on positive health from Harvard Medical School.
In this episode, Dr Lydia Brown shares 3 psychological power tools (self-compassion, resilience & positive psychology) to help women thrive rather than survive uninvited change - be that perimenopause, the pandemic, professional or personal. Come join us for the flight!
Episode 1: "The Purposeful Life".
Kate shares her personal story of her life's transitions - some unexpected and some she took into her own hands. In her 20's she was diagnosed with chronic fatigue, forcing her to leave a career in banking that resulted in new opportunities in health & wellness. Later in her 30's, she found her strength to say goodbye to a toxic relationship, packing her suitcase and walking out with their 3 month old daughter. Life was going swimmingly some years later when she hit another curveball - perimenopause. She was completely unprepared for this and it took several years before her doctors accepted and treated Kate's low mood as oestrogen depletion. Kate is truly inspiring and shares so many wonderful quotes and lessons learned on how to thrive through change.
Episode 2: "Living Authentically".
In this frank and honest conversation, we chat with Tova Leigh - blogger, comedian and author of F*!ked at 40 - about her journey of living authentically, as she neared the big 4-0. We hear about Tova's trials and tribulations that accompanied her process of shedding, shaping and eventually shining with a more authentic self. This is a brilliant account that will resonate with many women as we hit a major transition that may collide with other shifts. As women we often are almost apologetic about needing to transform or discard previous ways of living that no longer serve us. Others describe it as a midlife crisis. We describe it as midlife clarity. Women are born to change - both physically and emotionally. The more we hear tales about transitions, the more we realise that this is a normal aspect of being a woman, leading a non-linear life.
Episode 3: "These are The Heydays".
In this heartfelt conversation, we hear from Diane Kenwood, ex-editor of Women's Weekly and founder of These are The Hey Days, share how she dealt with the sudden passing of her husband who at the time, she was living separately from. We discuss bereavement and the process of healing, alongside her menopause transition, and the tools that helped Diane soar from a dark place to one of light. Diane runs a thriving community, aimed at those 50+, sharing ideas on how to live life to the full in this second chapter of life. We hear about the lessons she's picked up from other inspiring people and authors on longevity and pro-ageing.
Episode 4: "When Hormones Collide".
In this brilliantly informative episode, we chat to Elaine Halligan, parenting coach and owner of The Parent Practice. Elaine shares her own difficulties of parenting a son who was called The Alphabet Kid and how professionals and society wrote him off as a lost cause by the time he was 7. She sought help with a parenting coach who later became her business partner and there began a deep learning around the role of a parent - how to connect with your child, facilitate their growth and independence, and build their self-esteem. She shares the mistakes many of us make, parenting myths and provides simple tools such as the Power of Words and the Power of Listening to build deep connections. Even if you don't have children, there are insightful lessons around how to improve communication with loved ones and how to improve emotional regulation with raging menopausal hormones.
Episode 5: "Slam Bam Surgical Menopause".
In this episode, we listen to Nicole, founder of The Surmeno Connection share her tale of discovering ovarian cancer in her 20's, coming to terms with the possibility of not having children and being thrown into surgical menopause, all within a few months. The lack of education and support led Nicole to partner up with Stacey with her own unique experience to co-found a community and website, sharing practical resources and emotional support for those recently having had an oophorectomy or hysterectomy or induced into early menopause due to treatment or medication. We hear how Nicole coped with surgical menopause and the tools with hindsight she is able to share. Do listen to how Nicole soared from a dark place to one of light and share your thoughts on the episode by following and reviewing us.
Helen Kemp also has just released a book, Surgical Menopause: Not Your Typical Menopause. An account of 12 women's experiences around their surgical menopause with helpful tips for preparing before and after the op, alongside a life with no oestrogen. It's a fabulous read.
Episode 6: "Disability- The invisible Menopause".
In this episode, we hear Alison Lapper’s account of menopause, living with phocomelia, a disability that means she has no arm limbs and shortened leg limbs. Alison has had her fair share of knocks and bumps in life. Rejected at birth by her mother, she grew up in various institutions before moving to London and learning about life. She discovered her gift of art and is a hand and foot artist and has been awarded an MBE. Mark Quinn's sculpture of Alison naked and pregnant was displayed on the fourth plinth of Trafalgar Square for some time.
Life continues to be a challenge for Alison with hot flushes, night sweats and other aspects of menopause, alongside dealing with the grief of losing her son, Parys, 18 months to an accidental drug overdose. Alison shares her story with humour and warmth, alongside her tools and super powers that have kept her going.
Episode 7: "Riding The Waves".
In this episode, we listen to Rebecca Hill, our Executive Coach Advisor, experienced exec coach, founder of Wise Sherpa and soon-to-be author, share her insights on thriving through transitions in the workplace, with tips on how to surf the waves, rather than be knocked by them.
Rebecca reveals her own perimenopause story, as a senior leader at EY with strategies on how to communicate vulnerability and support needs to colleagues. Making menopause visible in the workplace is an important step to ensuring those transitioning, get the support they need.
Episode 8: "Self-Love=Happiness".
In this episode, we talk to the inspiring Katie Phillips, founder of The School of Self Love. Katie shares honestly her ups and downs of life. We hear about the tragic loss of her mother to suicide and the impact that had on her learned behaviour, her courageous decision to leave a toxic relationship with a toddler in tow and then the consequence of jumping straight into another relationship that wasn't right.
In Katie's darkest hour, she had a 'wake up' call that led to a realisation for a need for radical change. This began a journey of self-love where she learnt and practiced a brand new way of doing life which transformed her relationship with herself, men, money and even menopause!
Katie defines transformational living as moving through the 7 pillars of self love: Awareness / Emotional Expression / Forgiveness / Intention / Self Acknowledgment / Gratitude / Asking
Tune into this episode to pick up tools on how to practice self love.