Menopause books are the buses of 2021 – we waited years and then a whole troop of them appear. Most are by celebrities or medics or campaigners with huge teams behind them, but the latest comes from a single mum known as Clipboard Claire.
Following the success of her own blog and Facebook group, Clipboard Claire – aka Claire Hattrick from Hampshire – has written Menopause Help: Before, During and After, a self-published book aimed at informing without overloading.
It features short chapters covering the main symptoms of menopause to help women before they get there. Claire’s hope is that it will reach people in their 30s, the majority of whom won’t hit menopause for another decade and so can start making steps to future-proof themselves.
Self-published, of course, means no big team or marketing around her, so that makes the fact Clipboard Claire was mentioned in the parliament debate on menopause even more impressive.
I met Claire when she was hosting rooms on Clubhouse and while some speakers on the app had me rolling my eyes, I always came away admiring how she involved everyone in the chat, respected people and would politely correct where necessary. A rare quality in today’s social media world. Catching up on Zoom showed she was just as down-to-earth and easy to chat to as I’d hoped.
Clipboard Claire herself is actually a former beauty therapist who brought up her twin daughters Abby and Beth, now 23, herself. She swapped her former career at the Thames Valley Auto Trader for the world of beauty to have more time with her children when they were younger. And from what I can see of their help with Clipboard Claire, she’s done a grand job.
I caught up with Claire to find out more…
Tell me about Clipboard Claire…
During lockdown 2020, I couldn’t work as a beauty therapist due to the pandemic. My girls sat me down one day and explained that now was the perfect time to do what I always wanted – to start a blog up and help people! My joints were hell and I was really struggling with my beauty work.
Abby and Beth helped to set everything up! Abby set up the Clipboardclaire.com website after finishing her final-year university exams and Beth, who is a paramedic, set up all of the social media pages in between her shift work!
Clipboard Claire is a blogging website with three sections that are free to read: The Menopause Lounge; The Kids’ Conservatory and The Life Advice Attic!
The Menopause Lounge sparked the greatest interest by far! And one year later, I have just released my first book all about the menopause!
Why did you write Menopause Help: Before, During and After?
I woke up one night and thought I had slept on my fingers and dislocated them because they hurt so badly. After this, random, unrelated symptoms kept appearing – sore knees, sore elbows, more sore fingers!
I was sent, over the next couple of years, for countless X-rays and blood tests and to see different specialists for my joint pain. I tried everything I was recommend but to no avail.
Three or four years into this, a physiotherapist I was seeing mentioned that most of his patients were menopausal women and he was adamant that was what my symptoms were.
Researching further into this, I found menopause symptoms weren’t just hot flushes; there was joint pain, anxiety, brain fog… I could relate to so many of them but because I didn’t have the stereotypical symptoms, this was never mentioned to me and I was none the wiser.
From that moment, I made a vow to myself that I was going to spread the word and help inform other women about this time in their life so they didn’t have to suffer like me.
Menopause Help: Before, During and After is aimed at saving the NHS millions. Our mission is to get this book out to all women in their 30s so they are educated on the main menopause symptoms before they reach this stage in life.
Often menopause symptoms are mistaken for other illnesses, but with this early menopause information, many unnecessary hospital appointments could be avoided and dealt with at GP level. It’s full of short chapters and is easy to read!
We would love to get this out to all women, men, employees and employers to help educate them on the menopause, so they can really help women to get through this time, at home and in the workplace!
To follow Clipboard Claire, check out @ClipboardClaire on Instagram and Facebook, @clipboardclair3 on Twitter and, of course, Clipboardclaire.com
Do you need help understanding your menopause? I’m available for a personal chat or to host a group session. Find out more here. And don‘t forget to download your free 20-page guide to a happy, healthier menopause and midlife.