#42 Preconception Care - Healthy Preparation for Your Next Baby

The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast


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"If you take a moment to think about it, inside your body you're going to be making little fingers and a brain and eyes and a heart and lungs and skin. And it's beautiful. It's magnificent. So for an optimal outcome and to ensure both your health and the health of your baby during pregnancy, you really want to look at preparing your body LONG before you want to get pregnant."

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In Episode 42 of The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast, Natalie Douglas and Kate Callaghan discuss why preconception care is important and when preconception care should begin for aspiring parents.

  • Why preconception care is so important
  • When to start preconception preparation
  • Dietary considerations
  • Lifestyle considerations
  • Supplement recommendations
  • Great resources for preconception care – Nourishing Traditions, Chris Kresser, Christa Orechhio, consultations with us! Continuum concept, Deep Nutrition …..detox

Intro 0:00
Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast where you’ll find the inspiration and answers to how you can become the healthiest, happiest version of you using whole food nutrition, smart supplementation, movement, and lifestyle hacks. Your host, Natalie Bourke and Kate Callaghan, a degree-qualified Dietitians and Nutritionists, certified fitness instructors, speakers, and authors with extensive knowledge and clinical experience in the wellness industry. So sit back and enjoy the show.

Natalie K. Douglas 0:39
Welcome back to the podcast, guys. Kate, what’s happening this morning?

Kate Callaghan 0:44
Not much. Just hanging out being a mom.

Natalie K. Douglas
Nice. I like it. How was like going for you this morning?

Kate Callaghan 0:58
Oh, it’s going well. It’s going well. Then would you go for this morning for the most part.

Natalie K. Douglas 0:59

Kate Callaghan
How are you doing?

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, good. I was just saying before we hopped on the call that I have a bit of a cold. So I apologize if I sound a bit funny but yeah, it was really random. And then but I was lucky enough to be able to sleep in this morning. So I’m literally recording this podcast in my pajamas with no bra on and just woke up about half an hour ago. So hopefully this goes really well for everyone.

Kate Callaghan
Just rubbing it in I think like for three hours?

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, it’s it’s rare that I actually sleep in past about 5:30 because I usually just wake up then but I was lucky enough to just be able to not set an alarm and know that I’d wake up so that was nice.

Kate Callaghan 1:45
I wish I was one of those people who have been happy to wake up before six but if it’s before six because it’s not not no, it’s not often.

Natalie K. Douglas 1:48
Yeah, I’ve always been a morning person, though, like always been that really annoying morning person who’s really chipped off in the morning but then like try and speak to me after like at 8:30 at night. I’m like, man, I don’t know. Just turn like, I turn into like a seven-year-old and I just find function so I definitely do not operate well at night time. Anyway, I actually wanted to take an opportunity to say thank you to a lot of people who commented on my post on Instagram or Facebook regarding my new logo design. So for those of you who didn’t see. I’m actually rebranding to a personal brand so I’m going from Health by Whole Foods and I will be becoming Natalie K Douglas, thyroid healer.

Kate Callaghan
She’s getting married.

Natalie K. Douglas
I know, I’m getting married. So, hopefully we don’t get divorced because that could get real awkward real soon but that’s not in the cards. So, yeah, Natalie K Douglas, thyroid healer. So I put up a whole bunch of logos and everyone was kind enough to give me their opinion because there was so many like, I think I put up six, but I actually had like 50 to choose from. And I was like, whoa, man, this is a lot. So thank you for that. And I will keep everyone updated as to when that transition actually happens and share a bit more information about that transition shortly as well. But for now, I just wanted to say a thank you for doing that.

Kate Callaghan 3:21
Sorry, I was meant to help and I didn’t.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:24
That’s all right. I did tag you know, where is. Just kidding. It’s not too late to cast your vote Kate.

Kate Callaghan 3:32
I’m one of those people who looks and then yes, yes. Okay, I’ll reply to that, and then forget.

Natalie K. Douglas 3:36
Yes, don’t worry. I tagged enough people so that I’d get like, some kind of vote but everyone yeah, it was it was good everyone jumped in. But then I got sent more logos after I posted those ones that are really good, too. So now I’m just doing likes back to square one again but first world problems I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

Kate Callaghan
Posted on like-minded bitches drinking wine.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
You don’t remember of that?

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
It’s a Facebook page, so for all of the women out there who are on business, check out like-minded bitches drinking wine.

Natalie K. Douglas 4:06
Yeah, right. All right.

Kate Callaghan
Well, maybe, I’ll do that. Have that one down. Anyway, we should probably get started because we always tend to do this. But what we’re actually talking on the podcast, sorry, I just clicked something really, really weird. So today, we’re going to be talking all about preconception care, basically, from a dietary lifestyle supplements, all that just point of view. Because I think it’s something that we have a lot of people in our audience that are either in that boat or approaching that kind of time. Kate, I know you have a lot of people who are following you who struggle with fertility but these can be really important information for them as well. And even if you’re not trying to get pregnant, it’s still really good information, because it’s really about getting you the healthiest you can be because our fertility is really a sign that we are in a really healthy place. So hopefully, it will provide you guys with some good tips and tricks. So I thought we would start off Kate, with just a question of, why preconception care is so important, what, what’s your opinion on how important it is, and why?

Kate Callaghan 5:30
It’s one of the most important things that you can really think about and because you are going to be creating a human. So if you take a moment to think about that, inside your body, you are going to be making little fingers and brains and eyes and heart and lungs and skin and it’s beautiful, and it’s magnificent, and it is such a miracle, but it is very energy-intensive on your body in terms of calories and also nutrient intensive thoughts is going to require a lot of vitamins and minerals, and all of the things carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, it’s going to require your body to be in the most optimal position optimal state. So if you’re not in a great state, then you’re going to become more and more depleted once but it’s gonna be hard to conceive if you are very nutrient depleted but once you can see if you’re already in a a nutrient-depleted state, then your baby is going to suffer as well. So you really have your health and for the health of the baby and their optimal outcomes, you really want to look at preparing your body before you want to get pregnant.

Natalie K. Douglas 6:46
And on that note how, how long before do you recommend that people start to look into preconception preparation?

Kate Callaghan 7:00
As soon as possible. I would say at least six months out.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah. I’d agree.

Kate Callaghan
But if yeah, but if you can start a year out, then even better. Most people don’t even start to think about it until they get pregnant. And you know, it may potentially already in a nutrient-depleted state and your baby really needs those nutrients, right from the get-go the key nutrients that we’re going to talk about that they need in those first few weeks. And some people don’t even know that they’re actually pregnant for the first, you know, two to four weeks, or longer if they’re not in touch with their menstrual cycle or if they have irregular menstrual cycles. So it’s really, really important to, you know, treat yourself in case you’re pregnant before you’re actually pregnant.

Natalie K. Douglas 7:40
Yeah, I definitely agree with that. I think as soon as it’s kind of on your radar, you should start taking steps towards that, because it’s also a lot less stressful if you’ve been doing, you know, if at least you’ve been on the path of starting to work towards an optimal state to fall pregnant. If you’re at least on that path, it’s not as stressful if you perhaps fall pregnant earlier than you expected. And you know, you you know, you’ve already started on that journey. So you know, you’ve already started to replenish a lot of your nutrient stores and started to work on that side of things. So I agree. And I think, you know, anyone that comes to me, as soon as someone in an appointment mentioned, oh, yeah, like, I’m looking at getting pregnant in the next year or two. Like, straight away, I start thinking, okay, how can I start helping this person prepare for that, even if they’re not quite there yet because it is so important. And the good news is that a lot of the recommendations that Kate and I give all of the time on the podcast, you know, across the board, like a range of topics we talked about are still still hold true to preconception care and I think a big part of that would be the dietary considerations, which we’ll move into next because I think that it’s really important to use food as medicine, no matter where you’re at, in terms of life stage, but particularly leading into pregnancy or just preparing to start to try and conceive and I guess my my thoughts on this are just that, in its most simplest form a diet rich in unprocessed and nutritious foods is best for preconception and during pregnancy. And I think there’s a bit of a thing out there about just like, particularly when you do get pregnant, eating whatever you want, because you’re eating for two quote-unquote and while I wholeheartedly support eating more because there is an increase need for that, I think that it’s also really important to remember that your nutrient needs actually increased to an even more so than your calorie need. And I’m getting a bit off track here, because that is when you fall pregnant but I just think really focusing on nutrient density is super important, because that’s the way you’re going to restore your nutrient levels in your body the fastest if you’re choosing the foods that have the most nutrition, so you’re getting the most bang for your buck. And in terms of what that looks like from from my perspective is really nothing different from what we always kind of harp on about really. So looking for really high quality, animal protein. So grass-fed meet, preferably using some gelatinous cups of meat, free-range eggs and chicken, nuts and seeds, healthy fats like avocado, and butter, and coconut oil, lots and lots of veggies. And you know, incorporating fruit into your diet as well. And you know, you can also use properly prepared grains, if you tolerate them well, and you enjoy those as a really good source of slow-digesting carbohydrates, or gentle carbs. So that’s really probably my umbrella recommendations but Kate, they’re obviously, is certain foods or nutrients that we should or can focus on to further optimize preconception care. Do you have any like kind of go-tos or nutrient-dense powerhouses that you recommend someone to focus on preconception or even when they fall pregnant?

Kate Callaghan 11:21
You know when I wanted to say any.

Natalie K. Douglas 11:29
Yeah, I do.

Kate Callaghan 11:30
The leading question Nat, a very leading question.

Natalie K. Douglas
I’m getting good at this.

Kate Callaghan
So, some organic chicken liver would be optimal in that preconception phase because it is so high in all of your vitamins and minerals, but especially in folate which your baby needs in those first 14 weeks of gestation to prevent your tube defects, and all of your other B vitamins as well, it’s a really good source of choline as are egg yolks, and again, choline is the nutrient that we can’t really get in a lot of places, it’s also not in a lot of prenatal supplements and that’s really important for baby’s brain. I would recommend getting some fermented foods daily to nourish your gut bacteria because your gut bacteria is going to influence your vaginal bacteria which is going to it’s also going to influence your placental bacteria, which is going to influence baby’s bacteria in your door. So we used to think that baby’s gut wasn’t affected while in the womb, but it totally is. So you really want to make sure that your gut is in the most optimal state, not just in terms of the bacteria, but also and in terms of making sure that you’re absorbing all of this good food that you’re having. So, as Nat said, those gelatinous cuts of meat, having your bone broth on a regular basis. So you are looking after your gut health and avoiding more of those less unhealthy foods. So sugar, we know that sugar depletes nutrients, please, please, please one-hundred percent stay away from vegetable oils, or canola, safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean, all of those quote-unquote, heart-healthy oils, they are not heart-healthy, they are highly inflammatory. And it’s are not going to be good for your fertility or for your pregnancy health or baby’s health. Soy, I would professedly I would definitely keep out 100%. Things like miso, and tempeh, and tamari I would just keep to you know, don’t go overboard with it. Yeah, don’t go crazy but, but yeah, as Nat said, eating all of the things you really want to convince your brain that you’re in this wonderful state of abundance that speaks around it then your brain perceives that it’s not optimal time to conceive, it doesn’t perceive any sort of burning or lack of energy. It kind of goes, okay, there’s so much food around here. There’s so much wonderful nutrition, I can totally make a baby.

Natalie K. Douglas 13:52
Yeah, definitely. And one thing I’d add on that gut health side of things that comes up a lot for me in practice is that if you know you have gut issues, I would really encourage you to address those before you start trying to conceive. And the reason I say that is because what I mean by gut issue, so a lot of the time gut issues, in my experience, and I guess it’s a bit biased because people come to me for this reason, but a lot of people have SIBO so, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or parasites. And in order to treat those effectively, you actually need to use pretty strong antimicrobials which are contrary indicated or not recommended or not safe, if you are pregnant. And so if you if you are aware that you have gut issues, I would investigate those and get those sorted before you start trying to conceive because it will make getting rid of those, quote-unquote, bad bacteria or parasites much much easier and more effective. So that would be something I’d really strongly tell you to consider. And the other thing that I would like to mention is that I think we’ll do a separate podcast about this but I actually believe that everyone thinking of conceiving or starting preconception care should be getting their thyroid tested, regardless of whether you have a history of thyroid issues or not because often, you know, you can have thyroid antibodies, 8 to 10 years before your TSH, which is another marker of your thyroid stops to go off. And thyroid health in pregnancy and leading into pregnancy is extremely important and I won’t go into complete detail in this podcast, I really do think that it’s worth the podcast of its own. So perhaps we can do that you know, in the next coming weeks, we can talk about that and address it specifically but that’s just something I would flag and just on the food side of things I’d probably add to all of Kate’s awesome recommendations is to incorporate some sea vegetables so that you’ve got some source of iodine because we know that that’s super important for thyroid health, the neurological development of the baby, and all that good stuff. So that’s another thing that you could add into the mix. If you do have existing thyroid autoimmunity like Hashimoto’s or graves, then that needs to be considered as to how much of those foods you eat, because sometimes it can worsen the issue. So I would work with your practitioner on that. But just something I wanted to mention as well. Kate, moving on from dietary recommendations. What about lifestyle considerations, so what, like, is there something additional that we should be considering if we are wanting to fall pregnant?

Kate Callaghan 16:55
Yeah, there’s probably a few things. So number one would probably be stress management. So we have spoken about this before, you know, as your stress hormones, cortisol, adrenaline, noradrenaline increase, they’re going to steal the precursor for your sex hormones or when you have called the pregnenolone steal. So as your sex hormones go up, oh, sorry, the stress hormones go up, your sex hormones are going to go down. So estrogen, progesterone, testosterone and as you can see you really want to have large in sex hormones and so you’re ovulating, you have that healthy menstrual cycle, and that nice, you know, two-week luteal phase, which is that phase between ovulation and menstruation, and that needs to be around two weeks to maintain a healthy pregnancy in that first phase, so definitely definitely stress management, whatever that looks like to you. I have been getting more into meditation now. I love the 1 Giant Mind app, I find it really easy to use. Gratitude is my attitude always.

Natalie K. Douglas 17:56
Yeah, it is, do you want a T-shirt?

Kate Callaghan 18:00
Yeah. No, I’m really trying to make this huge difference and it’s so so simple and it’s free. Every single night, I write down three things that I’m grateful for. With my fertility clients, if they asked probably in my fertility, I also like them to use affirmations. So the one that I like to use is, I’m strong, healthy, and fertile. And another is, I easily fall pregnant, I easily can say sorry, I can realize that we’ve got people in other countries and the term falling pregnant is a bit weird.

Natalie K. Douglas
That is a bit funny.

Kate Callaghan
I just fell in it.

Natalie K. Douglas
Oh, that’s good.

Kate Callaghan
I easily.

Natalie K. Douglas
That’s weird people.

Kate Callaghan
I easily get pregnant with a strong and healthy child. Yeah, so a couple of affirmations that you can use daily, and some of those are you know I don’t, but that’s not me I’m not fertile at the moment and I don’t believe it. And it’s not about deleting it right away. Affirmation is more about consistently repeating them to yourself to rewire your brain and your belief patterns. It’s a bit weird but it works. And when it doesn’t work there’s nothing, nothing lost. Also, the lifestyle you want to think about cleaning up your environment. So there’s a lot of research around how much the quantity of chemicals that are found in the cold-blooded babies when they are born. And it’s really, really quite concerning the chemical load that is on these little people as soon as they come into the world. And that’s because it’s passed on through you during pregnancy. Now, there’s a certain amount that you can’t control. So the pollution in the air, you can’t, might not be able to avoid it unless you kind of move in wonderful with me, there’s no pollution here really. It’s pretty interesting. Yeah, but there are things that you can control in your life. So cleaning up the cleaning products that you use, so you’re not buying your mainstream toxic chemicals. My fertility clients, I get them to eliminate all the synthetic fragrances, clean up their skincare, clean up their makeup, or encourage do not to wear makeup. Pretty much everything that you can think of that has a chemical that you’re putting on or around your body, you need to think about ditching. And if you have been using a lot of them then you want to ditch in a long time in advance, and then you maybe consider more of an intensive detoxification. Same goes if you’ve been on the pill, then you want to think about a pretty good detoxification program, 6 to 12 months before, 6 to 12 months out before trying to conceive.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
It depletes your body and it messes with your gut bacteria and you want to get all the synthetic hormones out. So you want to restore the nutrients, get the synthetic hormones out, fix your gut, and have yourself in that best possible position and then from then on you can support your liver gently through pregnancy, but you don’t really want to be going hardcore detoxing during the pregnancy because when we go through that detoxification process, we mobilize those toxins out of our body out of the fat stores and into the bloodstream. Once they’re in the bloodstream, they going to cross to the placenta and go to baby. So it’s almost worse to do a detox in pregnancy than to not if that makes sense. Like if you have if you haven’t done a detox before pregnancy, I wouldn’t do a detox because it’s just going to put too much chemical load on the baby. It’s either before or not.

Natalie K. Douglas 21:34
Yeah, I agree. I think that’s really a really important point to make. And we have done a podcast on the pill. And I believe we also gave some recommendations around coming off the pill. So if you’re in that situation, then please jump over to the podcast page on my website or on iTunes and search for that. And I think they’re really good, good points, Kate, and something that everyone in my opinion should be working towards anyway, is reducing toxic load. Another, you know, thing that I would add on that is if we also know that environmental toxins, you know, what we’re putting on our skin, all that kind of thing heavily impacts the thyroid as well. And as I was mentioning before, thyroid health is absolutely critical to falling pregnant and also maintaining that pregnancy. And also post-pregnancy is, you know, I guess I think it was one of the thyroid associations actually calls the pregnancy, the ultimate stress test on the thyroid. So it’s really important to be supporting that. And I think that a really good way to start decreasing your toxic load is to incorporate essential oils into your life. And we’ve done lots of you know, well I think we even may have mentioned, you know, using essential oils to clean your house, as personal care, all that kind of thing. And Kate and I are regularly post about that side of things. So if you are interested in knowing more about that, then definitely reach out. But that’s that’s one strategy that can be really helpful. Because often, we we kind of we know we have to remove something, but we don’t know what to replace it with. And that can be the overwhelming thing. Whereas if people are given a, you know, just switch this for that, then it’s a much easier transition. So definitely essential oils have made a huge impact on decreasing my toxic load. And Kate, I know that that’s the same for you. So definitely look into that. And you know, even beyond what you’re putting on your body and skin and clean your house with I’d also mentioned what you’re storing your food in and heating your food in. So making sure that you are if you’re here eating up your food, making sure that it is in glass and not plastic. And the same with drink bottles, making sure you’re drinking out of glass instead of plastic because we know that those chemicals contained in the plastic leach into our foods and have a negative impact on both our liver health, our detoxification systems and also, more importantly, our hormone. So really important to make sure that that’s addressed as well. Next up was supplements. So this is always a big topic, because as soon as someone falls pregnant, you know, the blanket recommendation is to go on a multivitamin. But I also and I do support the use of a really good quality prenatal, but there are certain other nutrients or even certain nutrients within that multivitamin that you really want to be looking out for. And for good reason, Kate, you mentioned it before, but folate would be one that I would flag first stop because we know that it’s necessary for the production of new DNA. So you need that in order to create new cells which are making up your little human’s body. And it also prevents, as you mentioned before, you know spinal cord and brain defects and increases birth way. It can also be helpful in the prevention of deformities of the mouth, of the heart, of the face, spontaneous abortion, all these different things. My recommendation is usually either within a prenatal or separate to a prenatal depending on what you’re doing is aiming for around 400 to 600 milligrams a day, depending on the nutrient density of your diet. So depending on if you are eating liver if you are eating lots of leafy greens, but that range generally works well for my people who are eating quite a nutrient-dense diet. Kate to you differ from that a little bit, do you recommend higher or lower or do you have?

Kate Callaghan 26:04
I actually recommend around at 6 to 800 as a safety Nat.

Natalie K. Douglas
Yeah, of course.

Kate Callaghan
But if you have a diet rich in folate, have lots of leafy greens, if you’re getting some legumes, if you’re eating some liver then yeah probably that 4 to 600 is is totally fine if you’re getting that regular food in as well.

Natalie K. Douglas 26:23
But if you’re not, as Kate said, then err on the side of caution and go a little bit higher because it’s really such an important nutrient. The other one that I will mention, and then Kate, I’ll pass it over to you is iodine. So as I mentioned before, it’s really important not just for neurological function, or brain function, but also for thyroid function of both mom and baby. So really important that you have adequate iron going into pregnancy because there’s such a high demand for it. So I’m a big fan of measuring urinary iodine before you start to try and conceive because it’s really important to get those levels right up to your optimal range before you fall pregnant. But then also maintaining them throughout pregnancy. And the recommendation on amount is going to differ a little bit depending on whether you have an autoimmune condition or you don’t and what your levels are. The RDI for for iodine is 150 micrograms a day, but I think that that’s too low, and I believe it might actually be a little bit higher in pregnancy. Do you know if it’s, do you know what it is in pregnancy by any chance?

Kate Callaghan
No, it’s one, 150.

Natalie K. Douglas
Okay, cool. Yeah. So again, it like that could change depending on what’s going on for you. But it’s just something that I would flag as needs to be in your prenatal or needs to be taken on top of. Kate, what other nutrients do you particularly either recommend supplementing with or recommend looking out for if you are taking a prenatal?

Kate Callaghan 28:02
With the prenatal, I think it’s important to again look for quality and food-based ones. I think with the folate you need to make sure that it’s folate, not folic acid, the synthetic form. So you want to look for a folinic acid, or 5-MTHF or Methylfolate.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
You’re going say this whole thing and like, no.

Natalie K. Douglas
Probably not necessary.

Kate Callaghan
And the other important nutrient as I mentioned earlier, choline is really important for brain health, and eye health. And something that’s probably not in a lot of prenatal, it’s in some prenatals but not a lot. And the best sources of choline are going to be your egg yolks and your liver and then another nutrients, essential fatty acids, so your omega-3 fatty acids, especially your DHA or Docosahex…

Natalie K. Douglas
Well done. Respect. She can’t even start to say it.

Kate Callaghan
Docosahexaenoic Acid. There we go.

Natalie K. Douglas
Stop it. Someone give you a reward, that was good.

Kate Callaghan
Oh, dear, you want to have these omega-3 fatty acids for your brain health and for baby’s brain health and eye health and also for immunity. So you can get omega-3 through some good quality oily fish. So sardines, wild-caught salmon, mackerel, herring but you might also want to consider taking a supplement as well and going a little bit higher dose. You might also find that it decreases the likelihood that you will get failing brain if you take enough of the omega-3 fatty acids supplements but please make sure that you get a good quality omega-3 or a good quality fish oil supplement, because a lot of them are not good quality and rancid. And that’s going to be might be bad for you to taking vegetable oil in a capsule. So you want to make sure that it’s high quality, it’s not oxidized, it’s going to actually be beneficial for you and not detrimental for you.

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
And the other nutrient I will look out for but you need to test first is iron. So our blood volume will double in pregnancy. So all of the times your iron stores will go down. So keep an eye on those.

Natalie K. Douglas
Keep an eye on those?

Kate Callaghan
I am winning today. Again if the supplements can be tricky, a lot of them can be constipating and it’s already in pregnancy with your hormones going around can have a tendency towards constipation. So again, you probably want to look to just having a bit of liver on a regular basis, not necessarily every day but regularly.

Natalie K. Douglas 30:59
Yeah, and if you are going to supplement the forms of iron, the form of iron that’s the least constipating is a bisglycinate form. So I’m bisglycinate, the forms that tend to be the more constipated constipating are the ferrous sulfate, which is usually the one that is recommended by the doctors and it’s also not as bioavailable. So looking more for the bisglycinate form if you can’t get enough through food as in you can’t get it. If you’ve tried doing the liver or increasing red meat intake and it’s still not budging and you do need to take an iron supplement then looking for that form because it does have a tendency to be less constipating. And making sure just on that you triggered my my thought around water consumption. So making sure that you’re actually increasing your water intake because as Kate mentioned, your blood volume increases significantly. And so it’s really important to increase water intake. And also because there is a tendency as Kate just mentioned there to have constipation or just altered bowel habits. Water can help with preventing constipation as well. It sounds really simple but I think it’s something that we forget. And you can, you don’t have to necessarily drink plain water, you can have you know, herbal teas, you could have you know some lemon in your water. As long as it’s, you know, water liquid in some form, it will help.

Kate Callaghan 32:30
That’s a good point. Preconception wise with liquids, you just triggered my thought and we want to decrease the alcohol, obviously, in men and women. So, I know we’ve been speaking mostly about the women here but men also need to be mindful of looking after their sperm and everything that we’ve said about. Every every tip we’d suggested here, goes for the men as well.

Natalie K. Douglas 32:57

Kate Callaghan
So, decrease the alcohol, get sugary sweetened drinks out of your life.

Natalie K. Douglas 33:03
Coffee thoughts?

Kate Callaghan
I don’t want to talk.

Natalie K. Douglas
We’re actually for the like the first time in like three weeks we didn’t mention at the beginning of the podcast, so I had to come in at the end.

Kate Callaghan 33:18
If you, yes, ideally yes, you want to decrease your caffeine consumption if you are struggling with fertility then absolutely forget caffeine out 100%.

Natalie K. Douglas 33:22
Yeah. Awesome. Well, I think that’s, well, I’m just like virtually patting you on the back. I think that was hopefully we covered off a fair bit of thing, a fair few things that are relevant and practical for you to implement already. Kate, was there any additional things you wanted to add on any of those points, or just on the topic as a whole?

Kate Callaghan 33:48
Um, I think we’re just going to point out a few really good resources that we love for preconception here. One that I didn’t talk down, it’s actually anything by Francesca Naish. She’s an Australian, and she has a lot of books on fertility and preconception care. I love her work. So, Francesca Naish, have a look into her. Chris Kresser has I believe he still has a healthy baby code. So there’s some online online program, it’s fabulous. Anything by Chris Kresser is fabulous. Christa Orecchio has, is it, does she have a healthy, no, she start conceiving after 30’s, is it?

Natalie K. Douglas 34:26
I think so, I haven’t looked at that one recently. So I get a bit confused with all of them but the name’s right, so we could all find it. And we can pop it in the notes.

Kate Callaghan
Nourishing traditions so anything by the Weston A Price Foundation, it’s fabulous. I love Deep Nutrition by Cate Shanahan. And also the Continuum Concept, it’s the book. I don’t know who’s written that. That’s a really good book. And to thinking about ideally, and I, you know, well you didn’t do this.

Natalie K. Douglas
Your inner voice sounds like Barney, like that’s blue, no, big purple dinosaur.

Kate Callaghan 35:08
Inner voice, like, yes. I am Barney. So thinking about child’s phasing for ideally three years apart between babies so you can replenish the nutrient stores between babies. Yeah, we only had two years between us, but we didn’t actually think we would complete as quickly as we did given my fertility struggles before I can see with Olivia. So I don’t expect to conceive with Ed in my third cycle back.

Natalie K. Douglas 35:37
Yeah, yeah, now, there you go. So please just for people listening who are confused. So three years to start trying again, or three years to actually fall pregnant, or three years between when you give birth to one to when you give birth to the other.

Kate Callaghan
Yeah, oh, God.

Natalie K. Douglas
Details Kate, details. People need to know when to start having unprotected sex.

Kate Callaghan
The longer the better.

Natalie K. Douglas
Okay. My mom did well, there’s about 4 to, 3 to 4 years between my brother and I.

Kate Callaghan
Well, that’s good.

Natalie K. Douglas
I don’t think she planned that but well done, Rhonda, her name’s Rhonda.

Kate Callaghan 36:14
So, three years between me and my brother actually.

Natalie K. Douglas 36:20
There you go, your mom did well too.

Kate Callaghan 36:23
So I was inspired by my children.

Natalie K. Douglas 36:24
No, you didn’t. They’re both adorable and healthy.

Kate Callaghan 36:28
Do you know what though?

Natalie K. Douglas

Kate Callaghan
It’s going to sound very prudent. Do you look at Ed’s teeth then I noticed big it is.

Natalie K. Douglas
So you’ve got a ruler out? Ed.

Kate Callaghan
No, audience, honestly, if anyone’s wondering about there’s everything in a Western A Price Foundation. It talks about how your overall health is reflected in your general health. And what’s his name, Weston A Price, the guy he’s a Nutrition and Physical Degeneration. It’s all about oral health. So I do think apart of it, might be getting a little bit nutrient-depleted when I went to my second pregnancy and may be reflected in Ed’s not a straight teeth with Olivia.

Natalie K. Douglas 37:09
There you go. It’s all very interesting. And I’d agree like just I know, we’re trying to wrap up here. But I’d also forgot to mention dental health, I would absolutely address any dental health issues that you have going on, before trying to conceive. There’s if you’re in Sydney, there’s a great holistic Dental Center called Sydney Holistic Dental, we’re actually going to try and get Lewis, who is one of the dentists there on the podcast at some stage, because they’re doing some really interesting stuff in holistic dentistry. And we know that, you know, that dental disease or dental issues are often very silent. And they’re often way like they’re really progressed before you start to feel symptomatic. And it’s the math can be a really big source of inflammation, which has an impact on your whole system. So if you like, if you haven’t seen the dentist in a really long time, I’d advise going to see a holistic dentist, and just getting a checkup making sure everything’s all good. If you’ve got any mercury fillings or amalgam fillings, then also looking at getting those safely removed, and be supported through that process, but as I said, we will get an expert on to chat with us and chat with you about that side of things because I think it’s really, really interesting. And really something that’s overlooked quite often.

Kate Callaghan 38:34

Natalie K. Douglas 38:35
Whoo. All right. Sorry. So we will pop oh, wait, hold on, one more resource. You I believe you have a blog, blog post or two on your website. Is that correct?

Kate Callaghan 38:46
Yes. I’ve got more posts.

Natalie K. Douglas 38:48
Okay, so we will link to some of those as well, because they are, I actually have referred people to them before and they are very helpful and easy to read and very practical. So that’s really important. And if you guys have any follow up questions to this podcast, let us know. But as I said, we’ve got a few ideas around, specifically talking about thyroid and dentist and teeth, tooth, mouth, health in the in the future as well if this topic or this area does interest you. So keep an eye out for those. Kate, anything you wanted to close off with?

Kate Callaghan

Natalie K. Douglas
Awesome. Well, everybody. Thanks for joining us, and we will speak to you soon. Bye. Kate.

Kate Callaghan 39:34
Nat, bye.

Outro 39:36
Thanks for tuning in to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. Remember, we love to make the show relevant to you. So, if you have any questions or topics you’d like discussed on the show, simply submit them to [email protected] or [email protected] and we’ll get them answered for you. Also, don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast on iTunes and share it with your friends and family too. Need more personalized nutrition advice? Why not invest in a consultation to accelerate your journey to your optimal health. You can find Nat over at HealthByWholefoods.com.au and Kate at TheHolisticNutritionist.com. See you next time guys.


The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast - with Natalie K. Douglas and Kate Callaghan

Welcome to The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast!

If a professional, polished, well-edited podcast is what you’re after…then we’re not for you!

But if you love unfiltered banter, unedited bloopers and authentic heart sharing then we are your ladies.

We also have the most practical tips on holistic and alternative health care too 😉

Have a question that you want answered on the podcast or want to be interviewed? Get in touch!


Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas | Thyroid Healer

Natalie K. Douglas ("Nat") is a Holistic Dietitian and Nutritionist dedicated to Thyroid, gut and hormone healing.

Nat shows stressed, burnt out, overwhelmed women how to value their worth again, change their mindset habits, prioritize healing, and reclaim their vitality. Guaranteed.

Her clients say she’s the right girl to see if you’ve tried the conventional approach and nothing has worked.

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan | The Holistic Nutritionist

Kate Callaghan is a Holistic Nutritionist, Personal Trainer and Lifestyle Coach who specializes in women's hormone healing.

She recognizes that there is no “one size fits all” diet or “magic bullet” which is going to cure all illnesses.

She focuses on having a thorough understanding of your personal goals, needs, likes/dislikes, support networks and lifestyle in order to create a food and lifestyle approach that suits YOU.


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