Thyme 4 Tea with Mikita

Ep 63 What Is Menstrual Cycle Awareness and Why Should You Care About It with Amanda Brown

February 07, 2023 Season 2 Episode 63
Thyme 4 Tea with Mikita
Ep 63 What Is Menstrual Cycle Awareness and Why Should You Care About It with Amanda Brown
Show Notes Transcript

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Get empowered about your menstrual health and fertility with Amanda Brown. She's a certified fertility specialist and woman menstrual cycle awareness coach, so she knows all about how to take care of your health. Plus, she'll help you recognize the magic of your mentor cycle so you can make better decisions on your health.

This episode is a must-listen for anyone looking to learn more about :

  • The different ways you can practice self-care
  • The importance of menstrual cycle awareness
  • The different phases of the menstrual cycle
  • The importance of informed consent
  • The importance of tracking your menstrual cycle

@ 00:13:23 -This really stuck out to me because it's so true! Birth is a natural thing that our bodies are designed to do, and yet in our society, it's something that is often seen as a medical procedure that needs to be done in a hospital. I think it's so important that we remember that birth is a natural process and that we should work with our bodies, not against them.
@ 00:17:05 - "In Western medicine really is about, okay, here's a solution for this problem that you're presenting with. And so let's put a Band-Aid on it more than let's get to the root cause of it."
@ 00:18:06 -  "Just because something is natural doesn't mean it's safe."

Key Points
@ [0:22:44] Informed consent is essential when it comes to understanding what medications or treatments are doing to your body. Without it, you may not be aware of the potential side effects or long-term consequences of a given course of treatment.
@ [0:25:11] The menstrual cycle is a gift, and it's a vital sign.

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Mikita S., 00:00:07 Time for Tea with Mikita is a podcast about redefining self-care. It's about looking at every aspect of our life, from music, career, family, relationships, and everything in between. It's about spilling tea on those conversations that are sometimes hard to have. Well, we're not afraid to have those conversations right here. Join me as we spill tea on every conversation you ever thought about, dreamed about, or whispered about.

Mikita S.   00:00:37  Hey, all.

Mikita S.   00:00:37  Uh, it's definitely time for some tea.

Mikita S.   00:00:42  Okay, I just want to welcome everyone. It is definitely time for some tea. I want to thank you for sharing your time, your space, and your energy with us today. So we all know I am all about taking care of your health and really putting yourself first. And that's, uh, why I'm super excited today. We will be talking about menstrual health awareness and fertility and how you can make better decisions when it comes to your health. So I have with me an amazing person, Amanda Brown. She is a certified fertility specialist. She's also certified as a woman's menstrual cycle awareness coach. And she is helping women recognize the magic of their mentor cycle and be more aware, so you can make better decisions on your health. So, Amanda, welcome, and thank you so much for sharing your space and time with us.

Speaker 3  00:01:38  Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here.

Mikita S.   00:01:42  I'm, um, really excited. This is such an amazing topic. But before we dive into all the tea on that, tell us how you would describe who you are in five words.

Amanda Brown Speaker 3  00:01:56  Five words. Okay. Mama, wife, and compassionate soul. I get two more.

Mikita S.   00:02:07  Sure.

Amanda Brown  00:02:09  Menstrual cycle obsessed. Car and giver.

Mikita S.   00:02:15  I love that. So we talked a little bit before we did the recording, and you had such an amazing upbringing to talk a little bit about natural births and what that was like. So can you tell us a little bit about your back journey into wellness and the naturalness of women's health?

Amanda Brown  00:02:38  Yeah, absolutely. So just the way I grew up, things like birth were normal. It wasn't something that we went to the hospital for. My mom had four of her children, four of her six children at home, and I was there for four of those births. And I think that that had a really big impact on me. And also, growing up, we always brought, uh, like, alternative care. We always had naturopathic doctors. I don't remember ever even going to an actual traditional western medicine doctor until I was an adult. Really. We kind of just grew up with this alternative holistic, kind of always homeopathic before anything else. And, yeah, being able to be involved in my mom's birth was amazing. The midwives she had were just part of our family. It felt like because my mom had so many children, they were there quite frequently every couple of years. So really, getting to know them and they just taught me, they were like, this is what this is for. And I was able to assist in delivering both my baby brother and my baby sister.

Mikita S.   00:03:51  What was that experience like to be there and witness and help out?

Amanda Brown  00:03:56  It was absolutely amazing. Especially as a young girl, that was what I thought I was going to do. I'm going to be a midwife, like, this is what I'm going to do. And then, when I got older and realized the heavy responsibility, I thought I wanted to do something a little different. , but being a part of that was life-changing, really. And it just gave me this sense of being part of something bigger and also just like the sense of new life and almost like an early understanding of cycles and coming into the world and just how natural and beautiful that was.

Mikita S.   00:04:40  Do you remember how old you were when you first assisted in that?

Amanda Brown  00:04:44  M, so my brother, I was ten, and with my baby sister, I was twelve. Yeah.

Mikita S.   00:04:53  That is amazing. I know what you said. I wanted to work with kids, I'm a nurse, and I actually was a part of a delivery, and I was uh, like, well, I want to work with the baby. But seeing the delivery was so amazing. But I think you've been great in it. So you pivoted a little bit from wanting to be a midwife to wanting to share knowledge on the importance of celebrating the menstrual cycle and being more aware. At what point did you like it, I like this, but I love this.

Amanda Brown  00:05:27  It was just like really enlightening to me. So I did that for years and years for birth control before discovering psychical awareness. And as soon as I started doing that, I was like, I want, I want to do like the first time I heard about it, I heard about it on a podcast, and I was like, I want to do that. That's what I want to do. I didn't even know it was a job before that, but I was like, that is what I want to do.

Mikita S.   00:05:59  Yes. Now you were talking about making that pivot and that change into that awareness prior to deciding, okay, I want to do the hormone. I don't want to do the hormone; I want to be more natural. Did you ever speak to a doctor or go and talk to someone?

Amanda Brown  00:06:22  First thing, I was prescribed birth control pills, and I took that for all of a month and a half, and I was like, I'm a completely different person on um, this, this is not working for me, and I don't want.

Mikita S.   00:06:35  To try a few more to see.

Amanda Brown  00:06:38  I don't want to extend this any longer. And I had also grown up. My mom had always talked about birth control interrupting our normal processes, but I didn't completely understand how it worked. I just knew that it wasn't, like, serving our natural bodily function. That's, like, the most knowledge I had about it then. So I did. I tried birth control, but I couldn't hear. I was like, no, this is a no go for me. So it was, like, very quickly after that. And I was like, It's an all-natural option for me.

Mikita S.   00:07:13  Yeah. What was one of the biggest things you noticed about yourself? Um, that was really different. I know a lot of people talk about late gains sometimes, um, mood changes.

Amanda Brown  00:07:22  It was definitely a mood change. I didn't feel like myself at all. And I felt kind of like, what is happening in my brain? This doesn't feel right. It was scary, almost. And my husband at the time was, like, all for me going he was like, you are a different person.

Mikita S.   00:07:41  Like, yes.

Amanda Brown  00:07:42  Let's find something else. So then I know it's not just in my head. It's not just maybe I'm experiencing it differently than everybody else. That was noticeable.

Mikita S.   00:07:51  It's amazing that you say that because when my youngest daughter, who's 18 now, we decided to look into birth control, and she went to see the gynecologist. They sat down, and luckily, I heard she had a really good one who took the time to sit down, explained to her, and helped her find a more natural thing. After educating myself, because you have to educate yourself, I was like, you are really wonderful for really fighting for what you wanted for your health.

Amanda Brown 00:08:21  Yes.

Mikita S.   00:08:22  That was the thing.

 Amanda Brown 00:08:24  Yeah. I feel like where we're at now. It's heartwarming to see younger women being like, no, I'm not going to put up with this, which was more of a foreign concept, I feel, when I was a bit younger. But I feel it was a fortunate occurrence because when I decided I didn't want to do hormonal birth control and was looking into alternative options, um, the nurse at, uh, Planned Parenthood, of all places, was like, you should read this book. And she turned me on to taking charge of your fertility. And that was just a life-changing moment. And I was so grateful to her for pointing that out to me and sending me in that direction.

Mikita S.   00:09:07  That's amazing. I wrote that book down, but I have to look at it. All right, so after that, you got into deciding; I want to know more about menstrual cycle awareness to help other women become more aware. Because I feel like we know we get a menstrual cycle, but then there's, like, so much we don't know. What is the one thing you want most women to know about their bodies when it comes to their menstrual cycle? So.

Amanda Brown 00:09:42  Broad statement about it would be that it's a gift. I feel like in our society, in our culture. It's, uh, my period again. It's just like the worst part about being a woman. I enjoy a period. Meme, don't get me wrong, but so many of them are just about how terrible this thing is that we have to put up with every month. And yes, there are very difficult things about having a period. But the menstrual cycle as a whole is not just a period; it's a whole circadian rhythm. It's a whole monthly cycle. And so there are distinct phases, and everything about us is changing week to week according to this cycle, what's going on in it. So it impacts every aspect of our life, but we're acting like it doesn't. And so that's what I want people to really be aware of, is that you're not crazy if you're feeling like a different person than you were last week because you literally are. Your brain is different, your hormones are different, and your motions are different this week based on where you're at in your cycle.

Mikita S.   00:10:48  I feel like I am more creative two weeks before. I can tap into my most creative self and have all these fantastic ideas. And then I feel like, oh, now you need to rest a few days before it's like you've been working really hard, that creative minds get going, but now your body needs to be hampered and loved on, and you need to love yourself a little bit more. I feel like sometimes people hate their period because they experience so much pain and lack the understanding of how they should treat their bodies in the process.

Amanda Brown  00:11:31  Yes, absolutely. And pain, we can expect some discomfort. Our uterus is expelling the uterine lining. So there might be some cramping, heaviness, or sensation there. But when you're talking about extreme pain, where you're having to pop a bunch of pain pills or throwing up because you're in so much pain, or not able to move, or this extreme pain, that's not normal. So it's usually indicative of a problem imbalance, possibly even a menstrual disorder. That's something that you don't want to ignore if you are experiencing such bad pain. That said, a very common hormonal imbalance is estrogen dominance, which feeds into PMS, painful periods, heavy periods, and so many things that we experience as negatives of the cycle that is really treatable with simple lifestyle tweaks like resting when you're bleeding. We need to rest because our hormones have plummeted, and we're working to release this uterine lining. So, especially for those first couple of days, I noticed a huge difference when I started just resting. Just the first couple of days, even, like, my pain level went down quite a bit.

Mikita S.   00:12:49  And just giving yourself that permission to say, I can rest. I think as women; sometimes we get caught up in not wanting the myth that women can't do this because she has CMS, and this is, like, your celebration of life that really should embrace every part of being a woman and what that means. As you said earlier, your body is doing a lot at once.

Amanda Brown 00:13:18  Yes, I feel like that. I feel I resonate so hard with what you just said about that, about we have this idea that to be equal to men, we have to do everything the same way that they do it, but that's not accurate to me; equality means that we can be different and still equal. And so that we need to rest during that time doesn't make us weaker. It means that we need to rest in that time. Because in a couple of weeks, ovulation, you're going to be blowing everybody out of the water. You're, like, literally superwoman. There's almost nothing you can't do. So we're just on a different cycle. Men are on a 24-hour cycle. We are on a monthly one.

Mikita S.   00:14:00  Okay that makes a lot of sense. What is the biggest thing you see that most of them come to you? That's the biggest concern or thing they really want to work on most or learn about.

Amanda Brown  00:14:15  I would say it's either specific menstrual problems, like pain, or really, like, having trouble with moods, like severe PMS or PMDD, those things for sure. And then besides that, just, like, when we're healthy, feeling good, and working with our bodies, it's a totally different energy. And when things are off, and we know it, that is what I've seen in my practice. I had one client who went to the doctor because she was like, I don't feel good. Like, I have no energy. I'm all these things; they tested her hormones. They're like, yes, you have a hormone imbalance. And that was literally it. They didn't do anything for her. And so that's why she came to me. She was like; I saw something that you posted on Instagram. Can you help me with this? And I totally could. It was like, yes, we can deal with that. Yeah. I would say it's kind of like those two things: feeling off or not feeling quite yourself, disconnected from the world around you, relationships, or even just yourself, and then actual issues and problems going on within the cycle.

Mikita S.   00:15:25  I find that women sometimes get blown off when we go to the doctor to talk about our menstrual health. She's going. They notice there's an issue, and they're just like, unless your hormones should be okay, take a nap, take a day off, and figure it out. But all right, thanks. Give me my full pay. Exactly.

Amanda Brown 00:15:50  Yeah. That is, uh, so frustrating to me, and it definitely happened to me as well. So gas lighting at the doctor's office is, like, just a travesty, really, because there's so much that we can do to support our hormonal health. And I do think that there's somewhat of a shift coming down. Like, the pipeline, as more or less are like, no, I'm not going to put up. I don't have to live like this. Actually, there are better options. So I do see that there's a bit of a shift there. But I also am very in this work and exposed to a lot of it. So, yes, that is what I say. That's why I feel what I'm doing is so needed, because it bridges the gap between this medical setting where, like, yeah, you can get diagnosed with a hormonal imbalance but not really given any support. And I can really support in that, uh, menstrual health goals, implementing them, figuring out what's going on and what we really need to support ourselves throughout the month.

Mikita S.   00:16:53  Definitely. I feel like many of them go ignored regarding their actual health, mystery concerns, and what's going on with their body.

Amanda Brown  00:17:05  Yeah, exactly. Yeah. Well, in Western medicine really is about, okay, here's a solution for the problem you're presenting with. And so let's put a Band-Aid on it more than get to its root cause. Not all doctors are going to be like that. So sometimes it's just a matter of finding the one who's actually going to listen and ask the questions to get to the bottom of it. But taking Ibuprofen to deal with your menstrual cramps is going to help for sure, but it's not going to fix the root cause, which is some hormonal imbalance. Taking hormonal birth control, uh, that one drives me. It'll regulate your period. No, it'll take your period away completely. It's an endocrine disruptor. It's designed to stop your menstrual cycle. And that is like informed consent. That's like that is our right. When you're in a doctor's office, and they're telling you something, you have the right to completely understand what it is that they're saying and what they're offering you. And that is something I'm extremely passionate about because I feel it's just so lacking in our society. It's like actual informed consent. What is this thing doing in my body?

Mikita S.   00:18:25  I feel like they masked over the actual part of what it's going to do. Sure, I may not get pregnant, but like you said, what is it doing to the rest of me? Uh, if it's going to stop my period exactly. What does that mean for the rest of my body? How does that work over a long period of time? If you get the implant, uh, into your arm, like, what is that? What's going under my skin and into my bloodstream? What does that mean? And what should I look out for?

Amanda Brown  00:19:03  Yes. And I'm not saying that hormonal birth control is the devil. There's a time and a place. It's a good thing sometimes, and it might be the best choice for you, but it's just having all the options and understanding everything. All those questions that you just asked. We should understand how the mechanism works that we're going actually to be taking. For example, with Hormonal, um, birth control, it depletes your gut bacteria, which can cause you not to absorb nutrients from your food as well. And so it's really important if you're going to be on hormonal birth control to supplement with the proper nutrients so that you're getting what you need because you're going to be depleted. And if you're not supplementing, then that can really lead to health problems down the road. That's just one small example that I can think of.

Mikita S.   00:19:55  If you're already having issues like that, that's just going to make it work.

Amanda Brown  00:19:58  Exactly.

Mikita S.   00:20:00  So how can women honor themselves doing their menstrual cycle in small, small ways that they can do, like immediately small things?

Amanda Brown  00:20:10  Mhm, yes. So immediately, I would say start keeping track of wherever you are. Even if you don't know where you're at in your cycle, keep track of how you feel daily. So I like to use what's called a four bodies check in. And that's just asking myself, how am I feeling physically? How am I feeling emotionally? How am I feeling mentally? And how am I feeling spiritually? So if I have any major physical symptoms, I keep a little note of that. Where are my emotions, and what is my head placed like? How am I feeling connected to myself and the world around me? Am I feeling disconnected? I keep a note of all those things daily. And then, once you have your next period, that is cycle day one. And so you can start counting from there 1234 and keep track. Keeping track is where you can start to see what's actually going on when you don't write it down. My mentor, Claire Baker, always says we get cycle amnesia. And it's so true he will not remember that phenomenon where you're like, just like, so alone. And then two days later, your period comes, and you're like, oh, yeah, that makes sense. This happens every month. It shouldn't be a surprise. But we forget. Keeping track is really beneficial. And then I would say some of the things that make the biggest impact when it comes to Hormonal health are the simplest. So drinking enough water every day, about nine cups. I just read that there was a study done that women who drank nine cups of water daily had reportedly less menstrual cramps than those who didn't. Just based on that one thing alone, drinking enough water, getting enough fiber and protein in your diet daily, and moving your body, are the big ones. Really.

Mikita S.   00:21:59  I love all of that. And you're right. When I drink more water, uh, I feel great. So you have to tell me about your love, your cycle course. And how you are changing the lives of women through that.

Amanda Brown 00:22:14  Yeah. So that is my free mini course, and that is all over my website and Instagram. So it is just a quick 15-minute course about the menstrual cycle, how we can start to view it as a positive instead of this liability, and how to track it. And it's just like a really good small foundation for starting this work, dipping your toes in, and paying attention to your menstrual health.

Mikita S.   00:22:44  And I feel like once you start paying more attention to your menstrual health, you will also become so much more self-aware of yourself, your own motion, and your body in such a different way.

Amanda Brown  00:22:57  Yes. And, uh, that is honestly what I fell in love with when it comes to this. This is my spiritual practice. This is my way of getting in touch with who I am at the deepest level. And that self-awareness is self-belonging that I don't know. It's just a really good, calm feeling that I take with me throughout my day. Just knowing that, like, I know what's going on with me. I don't know how else to describe it, but it's just like a really beautiful thing, and it helps me be more mindful and just, like, aware of where I'm at, uh, and how that's going to impact not just myself, but the people around me as well. So my husband is actually quite the fan of menstrual cycle awareness.

Mikita S.   00:23:42  I love that your foundation started right at home with your mother, sharing the knowledge she had and then making you a part of all of that to bring you to where you are to help other people.

Amanda Brown  00:23:56  Yeah.

Mikita S.   00:23:58  So, how does she feel about applying that knowledge to your love and passion for life?

Amanda Brown  00:24:07  It's really funny that you're asking me this. She literally just messaged me the other day because I posted a real about something psycho-related, of course. And she was like; I'm so proud of you. I wish I had known some of this stuff when I had a period that just made me so happy. Thanks, mom.

Mikita S.   00:24:28  That's amazing. I love that. Oh, my goodness. But how can people get that many courses? Where can they come to find you, connect with you, and learn more?

Amanda Brown  00:24:44  Yes. On my website, And I'm also on Instagram and TikTok Firemoon coaching.

Mikita S.   00:24:53  Okay, I, um, love that. I will have all of that for you guys in the show notes. Are there any last words about this thing you wanted to share with us?

Amanda Brown  00:25:02  If you're feeling skeptical at all about the menstrual cycle as a gift, please take the free course because it is. I'm just going to come back to that. The menstrual cycle is a gift, and it's a, uh, vital sign. And once you get to know it more intimately and have the pulse on it, it can really make big changes in your life.

Mikita S.   00:25:25  Well, thank you so much for just coming and sharing your knowledge with us, sharing your love and passion for what you do, and making us more aware of how we can show up and honor ourselves and our insurance cycle.

Amanda Brown  00:25:38  Thank you so much.

Mikita S  00:25:41  Now, m that you have all this new knowledge, here are some things to consider so that you can start applying what you've learned. First, make sure you communicate your concerns and your needs to your healthcare professional. They can help if they don't know what's going on. Second, educate your cell phone on all the birth control options available to you, both hormonal and non-hormonal options and natural family planning methods. And third, start honoring your menstrual cycle by tracking it, recording your symptoms, and listening to your body. It is such an incredible gift. So take advantage of the free mini course by clicking the link in the show notes. And be sure to follow me on Instagram at Miktasmith_. I'll be back next Tuesday for some more delicious hot tea on self-care. But don't forget to share this post with a friend who might need it and leave me a review. I would so appreciate your feedback.

Mikita S.   00:26:40  Be back.

Miktia S  00:26:41  Until next time, my friends. Namaste.