Article by Susan Byrne
Women undergo so many changes in themselves throughout life; we are cyclic creatures and so amazing!
These changes can be daunting and frightening at times. I’ve spoken with women who had no idea that at some stage in their teens, they would reach menarche or the onset of menstruation and were terrified when they discovered they were bleeding from “down there”.
With menarche comes our first encounter with breast tenderness and swelling breast tissue—feelings of mood swings such as sadness, anger, tearfulness and tiredness. In addition, fluid retention from breasts to our bellies may occur and be quite disturbing when we are young. These new events in a young girl’s life can be overwhelming.
As we mature, the time may arise in some women’s lives when they long for motherhood. This is very normal, and our primal urges may kick in, making it difficult to ignore the desires.
Pregnancy can be the next big step in a woman’s life cycle. Our bodies go through immediate changes the minute an egg is fertilised. This is because so many hormonal changes rapidly take place, bringing with them (often) exceptional tiredness, nausea and even vomiting. These symptoms may be short-term, up to 12 weeks, or, for some poor mummas, last for the duration of the pregnancy.
The breasts enlarge, and the belly POPS! Towards the end of the pregnancy, you may suffer from urinary frequency, indigestion, and a new round of excessive tiredness as your body becomes weary under the weight of this little human you are growing.
As our children grow and we move from our reproduction years into the middle of our lives, many women come into their own with newfound strength and courage. We may have carried and birthed babies, fed and nurtured them throughout their young lives, or reached a new life stage with those we care for, and now it is time to allow ourselves some time to recognise and navigate this next phase in our womanhood.
This is a time leading into peri-menopause or pre-menopause. So our hormones are hopping, skipping and jumping all over the place! Our moods may change remarkably during this phase, and we may experience decreased sexual desire.
This is very normal. Our bodies may even begin (again) to change shape, and this is where we need to re-evaluate our nutritional intake and exercise routine.
Then menopause. This happens when we have not had a period for over 12 months. This chapter is a time once again to re-evaluate our emotional, spiritual and physical needs so we can cruise through this period easily.
Hot flushes, changes in sleep patterns, and sometimes dryness of skin, eyes and vagina can all be a natural part of this phase in a woman’s life. This time in our lives should be embraced. There are so many negative thoughts out there around menopause that some women are terrified of the thought of it. IT IS NOT A DISEASE and should never be treated as one. It is simply a change. It is again a time to nurture oneself and get good advice from a professional Naturopath/Nutritionist on how best to manage your symptoms. A life of wellness and feeling good is waiting for you to be discovered.
Please reach out if you want more insight or knowledge on how to feel good and scaffold your beautiful self through these chapters of your journey!
Susan Byrne is a passionate health professional with a focus on the wellbeing of others. Susan has spent over 22 years specializing in women and children’s health, and holds an in-depth qualification in Nutritional Health, Herbal Medicine, Supplementation and Flower essences including a Bachelor of Health Science, Dip. Herbal Medicine as well as being a member of the NHAA. Susan is also a well-known public speaker on Naturopathic subjects, and is an advocate for women’s welfare.
Susan loves to empower people and help them lift themselves to better health. She believes that when people are healthy and happy, they can achieve anything they set their minds to!
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