Season 1, Episode 59

The Wellness Pharmacist with Dr. Katie Wood

In this episode of “The Conscious Fertility Podcast,” we’re joined by Dr. Katie Wood, a pharmacist turned integrated fertility coach. Dr. Wood’s journey takes us from her decade of experience in retail pharmacy to her current mission: assisting women over the age of 30 in nourishing their minds, bodies, and spirits to optimize fertility health. She emphasizes a holistic approach, focusing on the powerful interplay of nutrition, lifestyle choices, and the mind-body connection in her coaching practice.

During this engaging conversation, Dr. Wood shares her personal fertility journey, highlighting the pivotal moments that led her to transition from pharmacy to fertility coaching. The episode also delves into the impact of the birth control pill on fertility, providing essential insights into how hormonal contraceptives can affect reproductive systems and discussing strategies to navigate this when planning for conception. Dr. Wood also highlights the often-overlooked importance of gut health in the conception process, especially for women over the age of 30. This episode is a valuable resource for those seeking a deeper understanding of the multifaceted factors that contribute to optimal fertility health.

 

 

Key Notes:

  • Holistic Approach to Fertility
  • Personalized Fertility Support
  • Effects of Birth Control Pills
  • Gut Health and Fertility
  • Katie Wood’s Personal Journey

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Read This Episode Transcript
Lorne Brown:

By listening to the Conscious Fertility Podcast, you agree to not use this podcast as medical advice to treat any medical condition in either yourself or others. Consult your own physician or healthcare provider for any medical issues that you may be having. This entire disclaimer also applies to any guest or contributors to the podcast. Welcome to Conscious Fertility, the show that listens to all of your fertility questions so that you can move from fear and suffering to peace of mind and joy. My name is Lorne Brown. I’m a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine and a clinical hypnotherapist. I’m on a mission to explore all the paths to peak fertility and joyful living. It’s time to learn how to be and receive so that you can create life on purpose.

Welcome to the Conscious Fertility Podcast, and our guest is Dr. Katie Wood and she has a background in pharmacy. She’s a pharmacist and turned integrated fertility coach, and we had a good chance to geek out on her podcast where I was a guest and she’s a wealth of information. So I had her bring her to my podcast and this one is going to be a fertility focus one, but we’re definitely going to be talking about mindset and mind body connections today among other things. So she’s a mother and she’s going to share her journey in the fertility journey because it wasn’t as easy as 1, 2, 3 of getting pregnant. She’s a pharmacist and an integrative coach. She helps women over the age of 30 to nourish their minds, body and spirit for optimal fertility health. So they can consciously, I love that word consciously and confidently conceive with ease. She comes with a decade of experience as a retail pharmacist along with alternative modalities. She’s passionate, as you’ll find in our interview about educating and empowering women on their fertility and pregnancy transition to motherhood using her calm, gentle guidance, and she takes a very holistic approach focusing on nutrition, lifestyle, and the MINDBODY connection. Katie, welcome to my podcast this time.

Katie Wood:

Thank you. I’m super excited to be here.

Lorne Brown:

I think it’d be interesting for our listeners to learn how you switch from retail pharmacy to focusing on fertility coaching, and if you’re willing to share your personal story, I know that it often provides hope and inspiration for others that are currently on their journey to grow their families.

Katie Wood:
Absolutely. So a question that I’ve received a couple of times is how can you be a pharmacist but then be naturally minded, holistic? How can you hold that duality? And I think my personal journey will kind of show you how that came about and how I’m able to do that. So I want to say I was 28 when we decided we would start our family. I was coming off of 13 years of consecutive birth control use. Looking back, it’s like, oh my gosh, that’s a really long time. And I had gone, I was trying to be proactive. I went to my OB at the time and I said, we want to start our family. When should I stop my birth control? And she said, oh, you can stop taking it and start trying in the same month, even as a pharmacist. I was just like, okay.

I took her word for it. I figured that was her area of expertise and lo and behold, it did not happen as instantly as I had very naively thought. We had started trying in November, and in my mind I thought I’d be announcing to my family by Christmas that we were pregnant. So as you can imagine, putting that pressure on, that deadline was really heartbreaking when it didn’t happen because outside of my stepsiblings, I am the baby in my family. So I really wanted to surprise my family. And then as more months went by, negative tests, negative tests, luckily my cycles were very regular. Every 28 days or so coming off of birth control, I went to my OB and I just said, Hey, I’m not getting pregnant. I need some help. I need some support. And really all she told me was, you’re healthy.

You just have to keep trying. That’s pretty much all she said. And really outside of looking at how regular my cycles were, nothing else was looked at. We didn’t talk about nutrition, we didn’t take any labs. We didn’t talk about lifestyle or stress. I was working 12 hour shifts in retail pharmacy, a 45 minute commute, that’s a 14 hour day. That in of itself is so much stress on the body and being kind of like a type A personality. The pharmacy background, I went down a ton of Google rabbit holes, probably definitely to an unhealthy level.

Lorne Brown:

You went to Dr. Google. Oh,

Katie Wood:

I did. I did because I reached out for help and I didn’t receive it. So that’s what I turned to. And looking back, I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but I was very much in my disempowered masculine. I was gripping, I was trying to control and just very insecure in how things were happening. I wanted to force it. I wanted to make it happen. Yesterday. I’m almost treating it like, Hey, I’m in college. I want to ace this test, so I have to get all these things right, but it’s totally not like that. So in some of my research I had come across acupuncture, which I know is your specialty, how I can benefit fertility, and I was just like, oh my gosh, I’m going to do this. Right. It’s funny because I do find that it was so beneficial for me, but at the time for me it was just like, oh, let me go try this new shiny object, right?

This new thing that’s going to help me get pregnant. Luckily, I do think that it was immensely helpful. I found a local acupuncturist. He was amazing. He really didn’t have any personal experience in the fertility space, but I really felt aligned with him. His mentor did help women with fertility, so I think he went to him for some advice and things like that. And we want to say I was around month seven that we started working together on my journey and we were doing it. I know that you like to do twice if not three times weekly, but we were doing weekly sessions with my work schedule. That’s just what I was able to do.

Lorne Brown:

And it has become specific because you were like 28 at the time, right? And fairly healthy. Yeah. So we’re going to hear your story, but with the acupuncture part, I want to share and provide this education. You know how your acupuncture wasn’t so fertility focused, but yet they helped you? That’s because we don’t treat the disease. We don’t treat infertility. We treat the individual. And so with pulse, with tongue, with a full history taken, they’re treating you and putting you in balance and a body that’s balanced, a body full of vitality, it sleeps, it eliminates it urinates. It feels comfortable, not cold or hot. It feels well and it releases the egg on time and it has uterine receptivity. So the fertility expertise just helps because it takes it to another level where there’s things you just, there’s a few extra empirical things you may know, you know how to work with IVF or with the ovulation drug.

So it definitely adds to it. But somebody that doesn’t know a lot about Western fertility but is very knowledgeable in Chinese medicine can help women optimize fertility. And the dosage gene, the research shows twice a week is really where we see the best results. It’s like studying once a week versus twice a week, exercising once a week versus it’s exponential. And if you come in healthy and at 28, I probably may do once a week, but if you came in with severe PMS, menstrual pain, depression, bad constipation or diarrhea or freezing cold or can’t cool off always hot, if we saw imbalances, then that’s where at the beginning, maybe one cycle, maybe two cycles, two to three months where twice a week would be more beneficial. But in your case, if you came in, you’re like, I’m just trying to get pregnant and they can’t find anything and we can’t find anything, then I may just do the once a week where we’re increasing blood flow and eliciting their relaxation response. So I just wanted to share that with the audience so it’s not something we can just generalize and it is an individual basis. So you found acupuncture seven months into this journey? Yeah. I’m curious. I forgot actually, Katie, that you had used acupuncture. I knew we were going to talk about mind, body and nutrition and stuff, and I knew you had because we talked about it, but today going into this, I forgot. So thanks for bringing that up and please continue to share.

Katie Wood:

Yeah, and thank you for that point you made because even though you’re so right that even though his specialty wasn’t fertility, it is just about bringing the body back into balance. And I think that he was amazing at doing that. So we met about once a week, we were doing moxie. I really liked to utilize essential oils. So we were using some oils as well, some Chinese herbs and then some other things too. And we worked together for three to four months. And by the beginning of September, I had my first positive pregnancy test ever. And I’m so fortunate that it was a healthy pregnancy. I carried well over the full term. I was close to 42 weeks when I had her at home. So the experience with the acupuncturist was just really, really incredible. I feel like that’s where the mind body really started tying in for me. I learned a lot about myself. I have a cooler constitution. I had a lot of stagnation in my body. We had to really build back up that blood. I think I had, if I remember correctly, there were some spleen deficiencies and things like that.

Lorne Brown:

And so to share with the audience, these are Chinese diagnostic terms that have English translation. So when she has a spleen G deficiency, that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with her western, her physical spleen or liver cheese stagnation. Nothing wrong with her liver, but we’re talking about poor circulation, poor flow and homeostasis in the body. And when she said she was cooler, yeah, she’s cool as in like, Hey, Fonzie, I don’t know if I’ve aged myself here, Fonzie, but cool. Wow. She’s talking about temperature wise, subjectively cooler and stuff. So that’s again, the metaphors and stuff that they use to come up with the diagnosis is how we use to treat using dietary therapy. Acupuncture, she talked about moxibustion and herbal medicine, so they found some subtle bounces, which is interesting. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to find these diseases in conventional testing because so much of the medicine is preventative, so they’re looking for imbalances before they turn into these serious physical diseases. Because in the west that we grew up with what you’ve trained in what I lived in as well, often absence of disease, normal labs, but absence of disease is healthy. But in Chinese medicine, absence of disease does not mean vitality. You could have insomnia, you could feel really cold, you could have constipation, you could not be getting pregnant. And they’ll say you’re normal. But normal doesn’t mean healthy. Normal means you’re not going to die from that.

Katie Wood:

Yeah, absolutely. So we really focused on it. I was still working in retail. It was during the summer, they had the air conditioning on. I would be freezing. So focus on wearing a camisole underneath shirts, just keeping the womb area warm, wearing socks, things like that. And he did recommend it.

Lorne Brown:

You were a perfect patient of a Chinese medicine doctor. You had the socks keeping your body warm. I love this. I’m learning so much about you. You were like the ideal patient that listens to these other suggestions, what a lot of people would dismiss, which we find are important.

Katie Wood:

Yeah, and it’s funny he did say that because one of the things he had me do was black sesame seeds and I would milk them, and I actually did it. And he was like, you are probably the only patient I’ve had that’s taking all of my recommendations. Yes, I’m a good client, I’m a good student. And yeah, I really limited myself to colder foods, raw foods. We focused on foods that will help build up the blood. So red raspberries was one of them. I would kind of gently heat them with coconut oil, pasture raised meats, things like that. I had even planted a raspberry bush in my backyard because I was buying so many. And now I get to go pick those raspberries with my daughter, and it’s just a really beautiful memory. And they’re actually, it’s still bearing fruit right now. It’s kind of crazy. But it was a really beautiful experience. And I think outside of all the modalities that we use, just having his support, someone to listen to me, someone to offer recommendations, that really anchored in a lot of safety and grounding for myself. So I think that that was also beneficial.

Lorne Brown:

Do you want, as we kind of transition into that MINDBODY connection, how important is it to be heard, not to feel like it’s transactional, that you’re in an assembly line? How important is it to feel? Did you use, I think you felt heard, and was it safe to use or confident? Yeah. And have you found then, through your research and your coaching and your background as a pharmacist, is there biological impact when you feel heard, when you can relax because you feel safe and confident?

Katie Wood:

Yeah, you talk of that. I definitely think that there is. I think our cortisol levels can be more regulated. Our nervous system can be more regulated when we feel like we’re being in a safe held space, we’re going to activate that parasympathetic nervous system, the rest and digest, versus maybe going to a doctor’s appointment, saying something, asking a question, and then just having it be dismissed. Or maybe they make a comment that’s really triggering to you and then that’s just going to trigger your sympathetic nervous system and kind of send you down into a tailspin. I’ve had clients tell me that they left their doctor’s office crying and just mortified and hopeless and just so many things. So I think having that support system is so valuable. So you can just feel like you have someone to turn to that’s actually going to listen to your concerns

Lorne Brown:

Being heard. My experience is, it’s so important. And you talked about that parasympathetic, that rest and digest, and then the sympathetic fight or flight. When we’re that sympathetic over time and time again, the blood flow we even know gets diverted from reproduction and digestion and those stress hormones aren’t conducive when their inner bodies so often daily create that inflammation, it impacts our time to conceive. The research can show that as well. Have you heard of this with the parasympathetic? That’s the rest and digest. That’s where we really get to heal. I use it often. I heard somebody call it the breed and feed the nervous system too. So it’s the rest and digest, breed and feed. And so with our topic emphasis on breed that we want to go into parasympathetic many times a day, which we can do purposely. Do you bring that into your coaching?

What do you do to help people with that mind-body connection and to help regulate an often dysregulated nervous system? Like you said, you’re working 14 hours a day, you were quiet, and it sounded like your personality, just the best student that can create stress when you have to do it well, and you have to be pregnant now. And so many people that come to you, I imagine they’ve been trying years, not just a month or two. And so that stress can build up. So what’s your approach for that and how much emphasis do you put on the MINDBODY connection?
Katie Wood:
Oh, it’s huge. So it’s kind of funny. I opened my business in August of 2021, so just over two years. And just to give a little backstory, coming out of strictly Pharmacy when I first started coaching, I feel like the things I really focused on were more strategic things. So supplements, nutrition, lifestyle, those are a lot of the things that I was educated on in school that I could obviously learn more about specific to fertility. But then I have done a lot of my own personal inner work in healing with a mentor. And this is when I’ve started learning more about our subconscious work, inner child healing, kind of reprogramming our mind and working on cult regulating our nervous system and experiencing that in myself. So this has been for more than a greater year. This is now when I’m really starting to implement this in my work with my patients.
And I think, and I’m feeling very called to it too, let’s still work on the nutrition cycle tracking lifestyle. Let’s work on that, but we’ll get that down pat, the foundational things. But then let’s really work on the inner healing work. And I think all things, it’s not super, it can’t be generalized. I think it needs to be personalized to the client. I think each client thrives on different modalities that they can use. So some of the things that I really, really love are meditations, or even just mindful breathing. And I tell them, I like to say that small changes will build upon themselves and they’re more sustainable. So instead of saying, I’m going to meditate for 30 minutes a day, let’s maybe start with, I’m going to do it for two to five minutes a day. And then you can build from there. Once you start really noticing the benefits of it. So mindfulness meditation, I love visualizations as well. Emotional freedom technique. There is, I don’t know, have you ever heard of Eden Energy Medicine?

Lorne Brown:

Yeah, sure. There’s an energy psychology group that I belong to and they have conferences. Yeah, so I’m familiar with their work.

Katie Wood:

So she has a daily energy, I might be saying it wrong, a daily energy routine. It’s about 10 minutes doing something like that to really help get you into balance. She has certain very quick positions, head positions that you can hold and that can help bring you back into the parasympathetic. Yeah, there’s really a lot of different things. Journaling, gratitude, journaling I think is really, really

Lorne Brown:

Huge Gratitude. There’s some nice research coming out on gratitude as well, how it changes the brain, these tools or techniques that you’re talking about, EFT, emotional freedom technique, some of the eating techniques, that posture that you, for the podcast listeners, Katie positioned her hands on her forehead and her back of head. There’s a way to do that as well. This is my opinion. I use the MINDBODY so much in my practice. I call it conscious work or belief change work. And they’re just, to me, techniques, tools and techniques to get you into presence. And when you’re present, some research shows this looking at some of the energy psychology modalities. But what I believe is happening, not, I haven’t studied this yet, but I’m witnessing any of my clients, and I got lots of stories to share with you of what I would even call almost miracle babies.

Because on paper it doesn’t look like it can happen. When you get into presence, when you use these techniques, you go into alpha brain waves. That’s what present moment you go into. So rather than high beta, you’re into alpha brain waves rather than sympathetic and alarm, you go into parasympathetic rest and safety. And so all these things for me, they’re not a dogma for me. The tools, you have multiple tools. I have multiple tools, and you said they’re individual. If this tool can help bring the individual into presence, then you’re going to see healing happen because that’s where your body’s at rest. And so your energy, your resources are not being mobilized for survival. You are freeing up your resources for healing, creativity, and reproduction. You talked earlier about inner child work. Everybody in my practice comes in by the third when I do the energy psychology work in my practice with the acupuncture.

By the third visit, they are not working on trying to get pregnant. Yes, they’re coming in, they want to get pregnant, but now they’re working on childhood trauma and issues. They’re finding the source of the stagnation, the block that’s eating up their resources. I love the quote, your issues are in your tissues. And so these body-based therapies seem to help. So again, I’m learning something about you. I wasn’t aware that you use EFT as well, and I think what you’ve come across in a short period of time is how impactful and important that mind-body connection is. Because I’ve been doing this since 2000, and if you ask me what’s the most important thing, I love my low level laser therapies. I really do. I’m fascinated by them, passionate about acupuncture and herbal medicine, and we do the supplements and the IV therapy in the clinic.

For me, it’s the MINDBODY connection. It’s conscious work, hence the Conscious Fertility podcast. And just yesterday I got a quote from somebody that I worked with virtually that’s overseas 44 wasn’t cycling. We did a consult and taught her how to use a home laser system. So we did that and she was struggling along this process and then wasn’t meant to be, it was just meant to be a consult, but she was in her wounds, she was having a tough day, and I just went into the conscious work. It just happened to slide in so nicely. She had a release and a breakthrough, and she’s thinking she’s never going to get pregnant at this point at 44. And she’s been trying for a while, and then she sends an email saying, I’m pregnant. And she’s like, it must be the laser. It must be this or that.

What do I think? I think that she had that massive breakthrough. The release, you could just see the presence. How do I know this? She was in profound peace. She felt so much relief at that moment. And so that’s how you’re in the presence. It feels good when you’re in the present moment, right? You don’t suffer. I interrupted, but I get excited when I hear about the mind-body stuff. It gets me excited and doesn’t make it a dogma, is what I’m saying to my audience. These are tools and techniques to get you into the present moment. And that’s where I think miracles and incredible healing have potential to happen.

Katie Wood:

Yeah, exactly. And I think that’s where personalization comes into play. Which one of these tools feels best to you? It’s not, let’s do all of them every single day. I think that that could be pretty exhausting, just like cycle tracking can be, it’s just let’s pick maybe one or two, or maybe I’ll say meditate for a couple minutes before you get out of bed and then maybe do a couple minutes of gratitude journaling before you go to bed. Something like that. Or if you get your period or a fear comes up or you see a pregnancy announcement, do EFT at that moment. It doesn’t have to be an every single day type thing for everything per se. And I’d love to share a little story with you too, please. So last week I ran a seven day mindfulness challenge in my Confident Conception membership.

And really all I wanted them to do was spend five minutes a day meditating. They could listen to one of my meditations, they could just be in silence, connect with themselves, mindful breathing, and then just check in with the group that they did it for the day. And then I offered a prize for everyone afterwards if they did it. But I have a client in the timing, I wish I could say I did this timing on purpose, but this is just how it happened. We started on Monday. Her husband was set to leave for deployment on Friday. So she had been about five days into this challenge. And she and I just had a session together and she said to me, I imagine that I would be a much bigger wreck than I am. She’s like, I’m a very highly emotional person. I feel like my emotions are all over the place sometimes, but I feel so regulated right now. I’m just in a very balanced state. And I’m like, yes. And that is just from five minutes a day for seven days. And she noticed such a remarkable difference.

Lorne Brown:
Yeah, I’m glad that you shared that because when you do this work and you do the mind body work and the conscious work, like you said, this woman said she was usually really emotionally emotional, so kind of like a dysregulated nervous system. And now she has emotional resilience. And that’s what we all want. We want to be able to go through life and as things are happening outside of us, that we’re not at the full effect of it, that we’re not traumatized and being triggered and activated where we’re feeling afraid or angry or hopeless. And so you can feel disappointed if your cycle did not work that month, but it’s not all encompassing and you have the resilience to go forward and your present. So you’re still receptive and in flow. So you still get inspired though they give you other ideas to help you on your journey. And so yes, in five days, everybody with Katie’s work, this person already felt their nervous system going from this feeling of dysregulation to what I would call emotional resilience, which is someone who doesn’t want to feel good.

Katie Wood:

And another thing that she really started within that challenge was journaling again. And she said, oh, when I was younger, I had all these diaries. I would journal all the time. And she just lit up when she talked about it. So she was also really starting with this creative outlet that she used to have when she was a child, but she lost it along the way. And I think that that’s really another important piece to fertility is kind of accessing that creativity, that inner child play. And I’m like, I was just so happy for her. I’m like, this is amazing. Your spirit babies are just like, oh my gosh, look at her. She’s having so much fun. She’s really diving into her creative flow and just taking care of herself really.

Lorne Brown:

Sounds like the work you’re doing is transformative, which is great for the people that get to work with you. I wanted to jump back to something you said early on in our talk today about the birth control pill because of your background as a retail pharmacist, what are your takes then on the birth control pill? And I think a lot of our PCOS women, local endocrinologists here often would say that that’s not the best way to treat, for example, PCOS, it’s masking the issue and it can actually aggravate, it aggravates. I think it can affect maybe the blood sugar issues. So can you talk a little bit about what your take is on the birth control pill? And again, it’s individualized. Some people need to take it for a period of time. And I’m saying this because I don’t want this to be a generalization, but I wanted, since I’m talking to you, Katie, who has that pharmacy background, I see on Dr. Google pros and cons about the birth control pill. And I was just curious what you can bring to this to our audience to know a little bit about or things they should be asking about or thinking about.
Katie Wood:

Well, one thing is there are actually a lot of different types of birth control. There’s the injections, the IUDs, but I think one of the most common ones are the pill, the hormonal birth control pill. And even then there’s so much variation in what is even in the pill. Is it just a progesterone or is it a combo? But I would say for the most part, it really is just like a bandaid for PCOS for irregular cycles. It’s not going to help regulate your hormones. It’s really kind of tricking your body into having a regular quote cycle when you are having a breakthrough bleed. That’s not a true period, even being in pharmacy school as a pharmacist, I don’t even think I had a full comprehension of that. Like, oh, this isn’t actually a real period. This isn’t a real cycle.

Lorne Brown:

Meaning because it’s a non, you’re having bleeds, but you’re actually not releasing an egg. You’re not creating your own progesterone. So it’s a non cycle.

Katie Wood:

Exactly. Yeah. It’s basically a withdrawal bleed from the estrogen. So let’s say that you are skipping your periods altogether. It’s because you’re taking that estrogen pill throughout. You’re not taking a break. Some combos where it’s like you only get that breakthrough bleed every three months depending on what pill you’re on. And then there’s a lot of side effects that they don’t really necessarily talk about very much, but it can affect your gut health. It actually depletes you of really important nutrients, especially for fertility. I know there’s a lot of B vitamins, I think magnesium, definitely folate, things like that. And so in my case, I do. I was taking a prenatal at least six months before I started. I stopped my birth control, but taking her advice, my OB, to stop my birth control, the same month that we started trying was really not great advice. I definitely advised people to stop at a minimum of three months, if not six months. A, to give your cycles time to regulate and then really to kind of get your nutrients up, maybe restore your gut health if you are on it for a long time. Birth control can also shrink your ovaries is something that I’ve read as well. I mean, it’s essentially shutting off your ovulation

Lorne Brown:

And your OBGYN when they said you can try, because there’s two different things focused here. They’re saying you can get pregnant because you can, after you stop your birth control pill, you can get pregnant. Your program and your approach is optimal fertility. How do you set that health blueprint, the epigenetics of this future child? And so your idea of restoring the microbiome, the gut health, making sure you have good hormonal balance for those two to three months so that during that follicular genesis, that recruitment and growth of those follicles, which one will be chosen in an auditory cycle or many in an IVF. That’s what you’re talking about is wanting to get yourself into that state of peak fertility when you try to get pregnant where the OB G WAN was just thinking, yeah, just get pregnant. And so two different paradigms or philosophies here. You could get pregnant the month you stopped taking the birth control pill. You could release an egg and you could get pregnant.

Katie Wood:

Yeah, you can get pregnant. I think especially for someone who was on birth control as long as I was, you can get pregnant right away, but that doesn’t mean that That’s a great idea. Great. If you didn’t allow yourself that time and space to really, what I’m trying to think of what you said on my podcast to nourish

Lorne Brown:

No, nourish the soil. Nourish the soil, yes. Which is right before

Katie Wood:

You plant the seed.

Lorne Brown:

So you guys got to go listen to my episode on Katie’s podcast to hear more about that, but nourish the soil, soil being the cellular health before you plant the seed because we want the egg and the sperm and the uterine environment to be at its peak fertility potential at the time of conception for the health blueprint of your child. Because we all know when our child is born, how much TV we’re going to allow them to watch, how much candy we’re going to allow them to have. But the health of your child actually starts for the man and the woman three months before you even conceive because you’re already setting up the epigenetics, the health blueprint of the child before you conceive three months before you conceive. And then throughout the pregnancy, the mother’s continuing to influence the epigenetics, the health blueprint of this child, how genes will be turned on and off.

And then how you raise your child once you birth a child continues to impact that. But it doesn’t start after the birth and it doesn’t start in pregnancy. It actually starts with what quality are you bringing together with egg and sperm? And that’s what your work’s all about. And I think that’s what you’re sharing about the birth control pill, that it can be a bandaid effect and some people don’t. We do some genetic testing, nutrigenomic testing in our clinic, and some people have poor detox pathways and with the estrogens, poor pathways. And so these people are, the ones probably don’t feel great. We have some patients that have to do natural frozen embryo transfers or whenever they do the IVF, they go mad. It causes such credible depression and mood disorders for these people so severe. Some people don’t feel great about it. I would suspect they may have some of those pathway issues. Some people are not an issue at all. And then some people, it is like a life-changing in a bad way and they won’t take it because it affects their life. So again, you said it really well, they’re still an individual. So for anybody listening, because some people are going to need or have to take birth control pills as part of their fertility journey, especially in IVF clinics, it really is individualized. And it’s also how long, because you did it for, what, 12 years you said?

Katie Wood:

Yeah, over 13.

Lorne Brown:

Yeah. So I think somebody on the birth control pill 12 years versus somebody on it for two months, that’s also very different. So I just wanted to point that out because the last thing I want to do is stress our listeners out there like, wait a minute, I’m taking the birth control pill. Yeah, it’s the body’s resilient, but there are always things that you can do to support it. So if somebody comes in who’s been doing birth control pills, that’s where you would look at diet and some of the supplements where you know that the birth control pill can lead to deficiencies in B six and magnesium and other nutrients. You’d either test or make sure they’re getting that in the diet and in their supplement. I take it.

Katie Wood:

Yeah, doing that. Also, looking at their bowel movements too. I know for me when I was on birth control, I was not very regular at all, and that’s terrible. So kind of seeing where they’re at, being able to support their natural detox pathways as they’re getting off of birth control and focusing on whole foods, making sure that they have a high quality prenatal, potentially other supplements to really support those nutrients to be able to come in. But I think actually that’s another important piece about our gut health is if you have bad gut health, you can eat all the organic food that you want or have that expensive, high quality prenatal, but you might not be absorbing all of the nutrients that you’re taking in.

Lorne Brown:

Absolutely. And in our practice, we always want to heal the gut and the gut microbiome, but we will use IV therapy, nutritional IV therapy to bypass that gut and address the gut because so much absorption issues are around that. We see people that have low ferritin iron levels and they’re taking the supplement and it just is not moving the needle. We’re not seeing a shift and we do iron infusion. So they’ll do that and they’ll feel great, but will it start to go back down? Most likely if we don’t address the cause, which would be the absorption issue. And so gut health is so important because naturopathic physicians have been talking about this for decades and decades. I was just at a conference in September, 2023 where it was for Western, so it was a fertility andrology conference, and there was a presentation about the gut microbiome.

First they’re talking about the uterine microbiome for uterine receptivity. Then they said, actually the vaginal microbiome will impact that as well. And they said, and it’s systemic. There’s microbiomes all over the body, the skin and the gut and everything can affect everything. So we really want to make sure the gut’s healthy. The vaginal and uterine environment is in that balance. And they said, we need to find ways to create drugs to treat this. They don’t have a treatment so they know there’s an issue. And in my head I was like, ah, too bad. They’re not going to tell their patients that the naturopathic doctors have been doing this for a long time. So for our listeners in the West, they have realized that the microbiome impacts your health and impacts your fertility, quality and uterine receptivity. And I’ll share with you that if you talk to your Chinese medicine doctor or naturopathic physician because there aren’t drugs yet that really address it well, they have great approaches.

So talk to your naturopathic doctor, your Chinese medicine doctor because of their herbal medicine. Talk to Dr. Katie Wood here and she’ll give you some ideas to support that microbiome, that gut health. I’m glad you brought that up because that’s something that’s important that we often have, if you go for fertility workup and you have severe bloating, gut issues, skin issues, and they’re like, well, your FSH looks great. Your A MH looks great, but again, you’re doing a holistic, so you’re looking at all areas, and we know now that gut health can impact lots of areas of our health besides just in the gut.

Katie Wood:

Yeah, absolutely. And I know that our main focus is helping women and couples conceive, but if you kind of step back and look at it from a big picture as well, when and if you do become pregnant, having that healthy microbiome that’s going to help your baby, especially if you do have a natural vaginal birth, that is their first really, well, one of their big exposures to cultivating their own microbiome. So that was a huge thing that I focused on when I was pregnant, is having certain prebiotic probiotic foods in my diet and really trying not to test for that strep B, so then I didn’t have to have antibiotics during the birth. I mean, that’s just kind of getting in the way a little bit there, but it’s just a very big picture to allow yourself that time, that preconception time where you work on your body, you’re really nourishing the soil to plant the seed, but then also to grow the plant so then you have that healthy blossom, the healthy fruit and all of those good things.

Lorne Brown:

Katie, I’m so glad we got together. And if people want to connect with you to learn more about how you focus on nutrition lifestyle and the MINDBODY connection in your fertility coaching, I’ll put in the show notes, a whole bunch of links for them to find you, but what’s kind of one or two places you definitely want them to go to connect with you or to download some of the resources that you offer?

Katie Wood:

So I’m definitely most active on Instagram, so you can find me at the Wellness Pharmacist if you’re not on Instagram, but maybe you’re on other social media platforms. I have quite a few of them. I would say going to my website would probably be easiest. All of the social media icons are right up at the top top, and that’s happy nourished motherhood.com

Lorne Brown:

And we’ll put that in the show notes. And then the podcast that we did where you got to interview me is called Is It Rising Into Mindful Motherhood?

Katie Wood:

Yes, rising Into Mindful Motherhood.

Lorne Brown:
And so that’s Katie’s podcast, which you can find on Amazon, apple, and Spotify. So my episodes are on there or will be on there. I don’t know when she’ll release it, and so many other episodes she’s done. So check out Katie on her podcast and at her website and on Instagram. Katie, thanks so much for joining me today and sharing your story. I really appreciate it.

Katie Wood:

Thank you. It was a pleasure.

Lorne:

If you’re looking for support to grow your family contact Acubalance Wellness Center at Acubalance, they help you reach your peak fertility potential through their integrative approach using low-level laser therapy, fertility, acupuncture, and naturopathic medicine. Download the Acubalance Fertility Diet and Dr. Brown’s video for mastering manifestation and clearing subconscious blocks. Go to Acubalance.ca. That’s Acubalance.ca.

Lorne Brown:

Thank you so much for tuning into another episode of Conscious Fertility, the show that helps you receive life on purpose. Please take a moment to subscribe to the show and join the community of women and men on their path to peak fertility and choosing to live consciously on purpose. I would love to continue this conversation with you, so please direct message me on Instagram at Lorne Brown official. That’s Instagram, Lorne Brown official, or you can visit my websites Lorne brown.com and Acubalance.ca. Until the next episode, stay curious and for a few moments, bring your awareness to your heart center and breathe.

Dr. Katie Wood Bio:
Dr. Katie Wood is a mother, Pharmacist, and Integrative Fertility Coach. She helps women over 30 to nourish their minds, body and spirit for optimal fertility health so they can consciously and confidently conceive with ease. Katie comes with a decade of experience as a retail pharmacist and alternative modalities. She is passionate about educating and empowering women on their fertility and pregnancy transition into motherhood using her calm, gentle guidance and taking a holistic approach focusing on nutrition, lifestyle, and mind-body connection.

Where To Find Katie Wood:

 

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Lorne Brown
Katie Wood

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