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Traditional Nutrition: Preconception & Fertility with Naturopath & Nutritionist Ema Taylor

Traditional Nutrition: Preconception & Fertility with Naturopath & Nutritionist Ema Taylor

Ema wears many hats—naturopath, clinical nutritionist, fertility awareness educator, and loving mother to a 3-year-old daughter, Zippora, with another little one on the way. With a decade of experience in the health and wellness industry, Ema is passionate about preconception care, believing that laying the right foundations before conceiving positively impacts not only conception but also pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and generational health. Join us as we dive deep into the world of naturopathy, nutrition, and fertility with Ema Taylor, a seasoned practitioner and founder of OVIENE.

Ema, you’re a naturopath, nutritionist & fertility educator, tell us a bit about yourself and your practice? 

Hello, I’m Ema! A naturopath, clinical nutritionist, fertility awareness educator and most importantly, a mother to a little 3 year old girl, Zippora. I’m currently also 8 months pregnant with another little love on the way, which we are so excited about.

I am the founder of OVIENE, an online reproductive healthcare platform that supports individuals and couples all around the world to take back control of their hormonal health and fertility through online programs and private consultations. 

I have worked in the health and wellness industry for 10 years and my biggest passion is around preconception care. When you understand that laying the right foundations BEFORE conceiving not only positively impacts conception but the equally important stages that follow including pregnancy, birth, postpartum and generational health, it is hard to not see the power and importance of this support. 

It has been such a gift witnessing the remarkable results I’ve experienced with clients who have been a part of my programs, from significant health and fertility transformations, to couples conceiving against all odds, thanks to individualized preconception care.

I deeply understand the unparalleled joy and love children can bring to your life if you desire them and it is therefore my mission to make this a possibility for as many people as possible through my work. 

As a busy Mumma yourself, what do you do to take care of yourself, your health, and your own needs?

While I do not have as much free time these days, I am very good at prioritizing the time I do have to support me as best as possible. I strongly believe that a nourished and regulated woman is a far better mother than a depleted, strung out one. In simple ways throughout the day I take care of my mind, body and spirit. 

I wake up at least an hour before my daughter and have this time for myself to stretch, do a yoga or pilates class or meditation and journal. This simple practice beneficially impacts my entire day as I get to start it on my terms in a calm way.

I eat very nutrient dense, nourishing meals throughout the day - this is a self care practice in my eyes. When we are energized by our food we are more vital in every way. 

And in the evening I read or if I haven't listened to a meditation I will do so, often with my daughter as I lie next to her and she goes to sleep. I love this little ritual we share together.

My husband is incredibly supportive and is always there to mind Zippora if ever I need some space by myself to go for a walk, book a massage or go out for dinner with girlfriends.

Can you tell us a bit about preconception care, the importance of it, and the role that nutrition plays in fertility and foetal development?

Preconception care refers to the medical, emotional, physical and lifestyle interventions that are provided to individuals or couples before they conceive a child. The goal of preconception care is to optimize the health of both prospective parents before conception to improve the chances of conceiving, having a healthy pregnancy, postpartum phase and a healthy baby. 

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, women have the highest demands for nutrients compared to any other phase of life. And research shows that the standard Western diet falls appallingly short in key minerals, high quality fats and protein compared to traditional diets. Key nutritional foundations that are required for creating and growing life.

A balanced diet rich in essential nutrients and minerals supports reproductive health, improves egg and sperm quality, enhances the environment for conception and early embryo development. Adequate nutrition is crucial for the growth and development of a baby and to reduce the risk of birth defects throughout pregnancy - as nutrients and minerals are literally the building blocks of the body. 

There seems to be a movement back to true, traditional nutrition (which we’re all about); whole-food, seasonal & ideally spray-free produce, and high-quality animal products. Do you resonate with this as a practitioner? And how does this relate to preconception and pregnancy care?

These are key nutritional principles I teach to my clients and follow myself. There are so many fad diets and diet trends that have come and gone. None stand the test of time like traditional foods have. 

Many traditional cultures understood and embraced the importance of nutrition in the lead up to conceiving, not only for their own well-being but also for the health of their future child.

Various cultures followed special diets before marriage for both men and women. Then once pregnant, women received special nutrition throughout pregnancy and while breastfeeding.

This innate wisdom to ensure mothers are not depleted, is backed up by modern science. We know the importance of high quality nutrient dense foods for benefiting fertility, conception and pregnancy and many traditional foods have unparalleled nutrition profiles.

What’s your perspective on bone broth, animal products, and organ meats for preconception care, pregnancy, post-partum, and for little ones?

I always advocate for these foods to be included in my clients diets in the preconception, pregnancy and postpartum seasons of life - really all seasons of life, including children. These foods are a staple in my home for myself, my husband and my daughter. 

Particular minerals that are obtained from animal products, broths and organ meats are either not able to be obtained through vegetarian sources of food or are in dramatically lower doses.During periods of life when growth is particularly demanding, such as pregnancy, postpartum, and childhood, maintaining a diet rich in vitamins and minerals is paramount.

Organ meats are known as nature's multi vitamin for a reason - in a small serving you can obtain b vitamins, vitamin A, copper, b12, iron plus more. 

Often the onus is on women when it comes to fertility and conception, but let’s be honest, there’s no denying men are 50% of the fertility equation. Can you tell us a bit about the benefits in both partners participating in preconception care? What are some common threads in optimising male fertility?

Whilst nutrition is a big piece of the puzzle, a comprehensive holistic approach considers lifestyle, mindset, movement, and environment.

Males ARE 50% of the equation - which is exactly why it is so important for them to focus on preconception care equally as much as women. Sadly male fertility has dramatically decreased over the last 50 years and is on the decline still. I am seeing this first hand in my clinic and it is why I now support COUPLES on their fertility journey - rather than just the woman. It is so rewarding to see the results when you focus holistically on both partners.

My approach to supporting both male and female fertility involves 7 key pillars of health - mindset, nervous system, nutrition, biochemistry, environmental toxin exposure, movement and body literacy, which I teach in my preconception program EXPAND.

What role does stress and the nervous system play in hormone health and fertility?

The sympathetic nervous system, which is also known as the fight-or-flight response, is activated in the face of a real or perceived threat. The problem is in our modern lives, most people experience a constant state of "perceived danger" rather than actual danger. 

When the SNS is activated stress hormones including cortisol and adrenaline are pumped out. In small amounts this is not impactful on our health, and in some situations can actually be beneficial. But in the modern world when people are stressed every day, and find it hard to regulate back to a baseline state, these stress hormones can negatively affect ones hormones and fertility leading to:

  • Imbalance hormones
  • Lowered sperm production 
  • Delayed ovulation and menstruation
  • compromised embryo implantation and development
  • Increase inflammation, oxidative stress and constrict blood vessels, which reduces blood flow to the very important reproductive organs.

What are some important shifts in mindset, lifestyle, and environment to support hormone health and fertility?

Mindset: Firstly just understanding the role your mindset plays in your health and fertility journey. The mind is a powerful force. Become clear on the thoughts that are looping day in and day out. Question whether these are supportive of your goals or not? In my preconception program, EXPAND, ‘Mindset for Fertility’ is the first module. I have consciously started with this because I know first hand, clinical experience and research how the health of your mind impacts not only the health of your body but your ability to achieve your goals in life.

Lifestyle: Move your body in a loving way. Don’t thrash it and push it to its extremes everyday. Follow the ebb and flow of your menstrual cycle and sync your movement with where your hormones are at. This is an act of self care and something I dive into deeply in EXPAND also. Too often women are thought that if they’re not sweating and exhausted by the end of a workout that it wasn’t effective. This is so far from the truth. 

Environment: Start swapping out the toxic products you use daily such as makeup, toiletries and cleaning products to non toxic versions. This can make a significant impact on your hormonal health and fertility. 

If you had a room full of couples, wanting to consciously conceive in the year ahead, what 3-5 things would you suggest they focus on or consider today?

Body literacy - begin to understand your menstrual cycle and your body's fertility makers through learning the fertility awareness method. This can halve the time it takes to conceive and give you clear insight into any potential red flags that may impact your fertility journey. I have a free masterclass that you can begin with if you’re interested in learning the foundations of this.

Start taking notice of what is in your diet and optimise this as much as possible. Food is medicine, this should always come before supplements.

As mentioned above, start cleaning out the toxins and chemicals in your environment.

Where can our readers connect with you?


My pre conception programme that dives into many key topics I spoke about in this article is called EXPAND, you can find out more here.

You can access my FREE masterclass here


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