This is Dr Naomi Potter who founded the private menopause clinic Menopause Care. It is a service which offers an empathic, bespoke, holistic approach to treating women in perimenopause, menopause and POI within the UK.
During lockdown, Naomi started doing weekly instagram lives with Lisa Snowdon, where they chat openly and honestly about all things menopause.
They have rapidly built a huge following of women, just like me, looking for answers and validation about this crazy time in our lives. Thanks in no small part to these phenomenal chats, Naomi has quickly become one of the go to experts in this field and has certainly helped me make sense of what's been happening to me over the last few years. I really can't thank her enough.
It is of course no surprise that Naomi was one of the first women I thought about when planning the 40 OVER 40 project and I'm absolutely over the mood that she has agreed to take part.
The photo above was the vision I had for her session, I wanted to capture a really relaxed, happy image and I couldn't have been more delighted with how it came out. This was one of many beautiful images of Naomi as you'll see from the selection below.
Naomi has been kind enough to offer up a few words of wisdom about getting older and of course the menopause.
How do you feel about getting older?
Getting older is a privilege. I feel better, more confident and more settled in my own skin in my 40s than I ever did in my 20s or 30s. Life experience gives you wisdom, insight and grounding and I really appreciate that.
What advise would you give 20 year old you?
Live in the moment. Appreciate every second of every day, time DOES move on but you don't realise it when you're 20 and take youth for granted. The Robbie Williams quote 'youth is wasted on the young' is a very apt saying.
What are the biggest menopause myths you've heard?
There are thousands of them but the HRT ones (such as it being a cause of breast cancer) are the most destructive because they prevent women from accessing very easy, safe treatment to relieve their menopausal symptoms.
Some women I've met have implied that taking HRT is somehow cheating, that we should be able to get through this time without it, what would you say to that?
It's nonsense. I would never think that any medical care is cheating whether you're providing hormone replacement therapy, antibiotics, blood transfusions or chemo therapy. We are privileged that we have access to modern medicine and if you can take something that makes you feel well again, it could never be cheating in my eyes.
What can we do to make the menopause less of a taboo?
Talk about it! Which is what we're starting to do and you can feel the change! Ten years ago there was no way women would be standing up talking about their symptoms and experiences in the way that they are now. It's going to snowball from now on and I'm really excited about that.
What advice do you have for women approaching their menopausal years?
I think it's having a menopause radar and seeing that the symptoms are real, even if they come and go, and if you want to take action then empowering them to make those decisions based on what they feel is right for them.
Thank you Namoi for taking part in the the 40 OVER 40 project.
Don't forget to check out my podcast Dear Hormones if you fancy a bit of a laugh about all the things our hormones do to us. 'Blame it on the hormones' has become my new mantra!