Orca Mothers and Menopause

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Dr. Henry Marks, a psychologist, upon hearing I write about menopause, sent me an article from the science section of the  New York Times.

It seems that humans, orca whales, and pilot whales are the only species to “have a prolonged period of menopause — a time of life when they cannot reproduce.”  (Read the article here.)

The article goes on to say that orca mothers spend the rest of their lives, their menopausal years, watching over their grown sons.

Wow.

You’d think they’d get to just relax and enjoy life in the beautiful sea, without the burdens of motherhood.

Isn’t that what menopause is supposed to be? A time to splash free?

Most of my friends are pretty happy with empty nest. I guess an orca mother doesn’t get to enjoy empty ocean.

The World Wildlife Fund offers whale adoptions. Maybe I could adopt a menopausal orca. I’d encourage her son to go his own way, so his mom could have a break.

But Hillsborough doesn’t offer much aquatic life.

A new thought: Maybe she’s happy splashing around with Junior. Trips to the beach and cruises with grownup kids can be major fun.

Own your menopause, Lady Orcas! You girls rock!

Any Lady Pilot Whales whales out there?  A boatload of squid for your menopausal thoughts.

Photo of the orca is from the site of the World Wildlife Fund. Here’s the link to whale adoptions: http://gifts.worldwildlife.org/gift-center/gifts/Species-Adoptions/Orca-Whale.aspx

Photo of the pilot whale is from wiki. ( I actually don’t know if these are girl whales, but they sure are lovely. How pleasant, I bet, to be a menopausal whale. Their skin glows, they probably don’t worry about their weight, and I bet hot flashes are a non-issue, as the ocean always feels cold to me.)

8 responses »

  1. Having just gone through menopause and recently becoming an empty nester myself I am finding your blog to be such a delight! I guess we have it pretty good here on land!

  2. Too bad Orcas can’t text–it helps postmenopausal me keep in touch with our 3 grown sons. But then again, they get to do a lot of overseas travel, visiting the “son” in Hawaii, the other one in the Pacific Northwest, maybe another one at Cape Cod–might not be so bad to be a post menopausal Orca.

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