I’m a woman on a mission to challenge the old taboos surrounding menopause.
Hi, my name is Breeda Bermingham. I am a social entrepreneur, the founder of the Midlife Women Rock Project and Cafes (2019), a psychology and sociology graduate, and a mum of four. I am on a mission to disrupt the way menopause has been framed for decades and spotlight the opportunities, second chances, access to deep creativity, personal growth, self-actualisation, courage and confidence that are all available to us women at midlife.
Menopause has received “bad press” for decades
From reviewing the global research on menopause for the past three years, I believe that the crisis, loss, deficiency disease model has overshadowed the positives of this life stage for too long. Menopause has received “bad press” for decades. Silence, Fear, Shame, and Denial were reoccurring narratives in my own research this year. Moving forward I feel the world deserves to hear a new story.
A few years back, as my children started moving on to university and work. I found the courage to return to full time education and completed a psychology degree in 2018. My research interest was midlife women, the most unresearched and “invisible” in academia. This led to a place on the Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Academy (SEI) in 2019. The invaluable support from this organisation was instrumental in the establishment of the Midlife Women Rock Cafes (2019) in Waterford. The cafes are symbolic of women’s empowerment as women become informed and empowered to manage their menopause journey positively and proactively.
Information, support and understanding is transformational
I love seeing the transformation that information and support can bring women as they navigate perimenopause and menopause. It is truly rewarding to witness women take back control of their lives and reframe the second chapter of life. I have worked with women for many years, in particular mothers, who I personally feel are awesome, having trained in my 20’s as a midwife and public health nurse.
Silence is the real enemy
The massive lack of information and misunderstanding around menopause has catapulted me into this space as I see an injustice here that needs to be uncovered. I have discovered from my own research that it is the silence around menopause that is the real enemy. Many women are negotiating this silence by attending talks alone, returning repeatedly to their G.P., going online or gathering information from magazines.
Women deserve to have the knowledge available to them
As a post-menopausal woman today, I would like to have had ready access to information some years ago when I started my own journey. Women deserve to have this knowledge available in the public sphere. Using mindset shifts, neuroscience, the power of story, and life experience from working with women as a nurse and midwife, I am on a mission to change the old negative disempowering cultural story in order to assist women thrive and become the best version of themselves in their middle years.
As Dr Wayne Dyer said “When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change”. Women are so much more than their hormones.