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My name is Maureen Anderson, and I am the founder of MAMM (Melanin And Menopause Moments) I am melanin-rich and in my mid-50s. I am a Parenting Consultant supporting families and individuals in conflict and assisting with positive communication and re-building relationships. I have also devised a safe space to discuss grief and loss in situations where people have experienced multiple loss. This space is called The Kitchen Table. So like many women …’I am more than the menopause’.

However that said, a few years ago I was completely unaware of the stages of change within my body and had extraordinarily little contact with women who could inform me of 'the change' of life. I recall a colleague who shaved her hair off in a fit of distress one evening, she returned to work the next day to many gasps and concerns ‘is she losing it?’ A short time afterwards she resigned – she was actually several years younger than myself. The only other person who exhibited any signs of one of the commonly spoken of symptoms was in her mid-60s, she spoke of hot flushes and that one solution she found was keeping busy to keep the flushes to a minimum. She had retired 15 years prior to our connection and unsurprisingly had been busier as a retiree than she was when in education. MAMM was my private WhatsApp group created for friends to share and hear experiences and of course for me to gain as much prior knowledge as possible. It grew very quickly by the familiar age-old method of … 'friend tell a friend to tell a friend' and within two months we had 70 internationally based members. This all happened during the summer of 2020 when my life changed forever!

It was clear from the comments made within the Whatsapp group that there was confusion and concern in the workplace and at home, particularly on how to navigate the tensions created when 'brain fog', 'hot flushes' or 'sleep deprivation' impacted productivity and connectivity.

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