Surprise! It’s A Supersize Menopause Meltdown!
If there’s one thing I’ve learned after
having both my kids in my 40’s—and as founder of AChildAfter40.com—motherhood after 40 is anything but a supersize
helping of endocrinal bliss. In fact, just when your cheeks are fat-full
of the chicken-fried-steak-style diet of childrearing—and you’re all set to
choke on the next bite—Mother Nature pops up and says “Would you like fries
And what’s that supposed to mean?
It means that, about the time your 4-year-old
throws himself down on the floor of Macy’s in a full-throttle Bam-Bam
meltdown—his vocal chords ripping out a Led Zepplin guitar solo—your
perimenopausal adrenals begin exploding on top of your kidneys like fireworks
on Independence Day.
Then you begin to feel like hell.
Means Adrenals Work Harder
Why? Because during perimenopause, your
adrenal glands start picking up some of the slack for producing progesterone,
and supporting estrogen, as your ovaries begin winding down. With encroaching hormonal shifts, your
internal tolerance of other people (including children), noise, and other
irritating external stimulants is hitting an all-time low. Add the external stress of the unrelenting
demands of toddlers and young children and your adrenals end up getting whacked
from the inside and out.
Yet, countless mothers over 40 still demur
and say: “But I’m not menopausal! I’m in my mid-40’s or early 50’s and I still
have my period!”
And I say: “But you are,
darling. You are!”
The cessation of menses is only the
destination—for most, the journey of perimenopause and menopause is a process
that takes about 5 to 10 years, where “the change” occurs in gradations. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days
when I want to get down on the floor and join my kid in the Joy of Meltdown.
Out of Midlife Motherhood Madness
But, within every midlife motherhood moment
of madness, lies the seed of a cure. That’s how I ended up writing Midlife Momotov Cocktail–a series of remedies for menopause and motherhood
I also went to the Over-40 Mom Squad—AChildAfter40.com’s expert moms who’ve walked the talk by having kids
after 40—for some advice on handling hellacious hormones (or lack of them).
According to naturopath, Dr. Priscilla Natanson: “The irregular hours and constant work of having a
baby or toddler can be stressful on your adrenal glands”. Coupled with the changes wrought by
perimenopause, motherhood over 40 can really strain the adrenals. However, says Dr. Natanson, “poorly
functioning adrenals can be supported with a variety of natural substances,
which will not only ease your way through menopause, but will also help you
cope with the stress of children more easily.” She recommends having your adrenal function
tested by your naturopathic doctor with a saliva test.
Can You Control Hormone Fluctuations?
“Keeping your blood sugar balanced will help
you deal with stress and will make your menopausal transition more
comfortable,” she adds. “High sugar foods will increase the symptoms
of menopause and will also cause your blood sugar to crash after the high,
dramatically increasing your stress and decreasing your tolerance for noise and
kids.” Dr. Natanson suggests eating small, frequent
meals with healthy protein, good fats and complex carbs, supplemented with good
quality fish oils.
Most importantly, she says, “Taking time for
yourself is critical—you can’t be expected to care for everyone else if you
don’t have some self care too.”
Notes for this blog:
Angel La Liberte is the founder of www.AChildAfter40.com,
a leading support website for all women on the journey of motherhood over 40,
from fertility to parenting. AChildAfter40.com offers free online forums,
expert videos and F.A.Q.’s, and has been featured in media nationwide including
CNN and PBS TV.
Find AChildAfter40.com at:
share this free “Over-40 Mother’s Day Tribute Album” E-Card! http://achildafter40.com/tribute-album/mothers-day-2013.html