Michelle Obama is opening up and getting personal on her podcast, The Michelle Obama Podcast. The former first lady is being vulnerable and normalizing conversations about health, female bodies, and transitions that happen throughout women’s lives. In fact, Obama even shared her own personal experience with menopause and hot flashes.
‘We Were Taught To Be Ashamed Of It’
In an episode on her podcast aptly titled “What Your Mother Never Told You About Health with Dr. Sharon Malone,” Obama shared her own personal experience with puberty and menopause. She reflected on how although she was prepared for puberty thanks to conversations with her mom, not all women are able to have those talks. Plus, discussing puberty and hormonal changes in women has been a taboo topic.
Obama is changing that. She’s being honest about transitions that occur within her body. Also, the former first lady has made it her personal mission to help women feel comfortable with their bodies. From puberty to menopause, Obama discussed how women’s bodies are always changing.
“When you think of all that a woman’s body has to do over the course of her lifetime,” she remarked, “going from being prepared to give birth to actually giving birth, and then having that whole reproductive system shut down in menopause, right? The changes, the highs and lows, and the hormonal shifts, there is power in that. But we were taught to be ashamed of it and to not even seek to understand it or explore it for our own edification, let alone to help the next generation.”
Michelle Obama is normalizing conversations about the menopause transition. In fact, the former first lady shared that she began experiencing perimenopause even in her 30s. “I have a very healthy baseline, and also, well, I was experiencing hormone shifts because of infertility, having to take shots and all that,” admitted Obama. “I experienced the night sweats, even in my 30s, and when you think of the other symptoms that come along, just hot flashes, I mean, I had a few before I started taking hormones.”
She even recalled having hot flashes aboard Marine One. “I remember having one on Marine One,” continued Obama. “I’m dressed, I need to get out, walk into an event, and, literally, it was like somebody put a furnace in my core and turned it on high, and then everything started melting. And I thought, ‘Well, this is crazy. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do this.’”
Hot flashes don’t stop just because you’re the first lady. However, Obama knows that talking about the menopause transition will help other women. She is dedicated to helping women feel more comfortable with their bodies. By talking about menopause, Obama is doing just that.