EP243 A Whole Body Approach To Preparing For Conception: A Conversation with Dr. Olivia Watkins

Want to give yourself the best possible chances for conception? It starts with seeing your body as a whole, rather than just a pile of parts that “don’t work.” Dr. Olivia Watkins and I have a powerful conversation about Naturopathic medicine and it’s unique approach to preparing and supporting women on their fertility journey. We even take a good look at what might be causing the epidemic of thyroid issues that are plaguing women around the world.

To learn more about Dr. Liv and her work, go to: https://droliviawatkins.com

Want the journal page that goes with this episode? CLICK HERE


Hey Gorgeous, if you want success on your fertility journey, you’ve got to have the mindset for it. It’s time to kick fear, negativity, doubt, shame, jealousy, and the whole clown car of low vibe fertility journey BS to the curb. I’m your host, Roseanne Austin, Fertility Mindset Master. Former prosecutor and recovering type A control freak perfectionist.

I use the power of mindset to get pregnant naturally and have my baby boy at 43 despite years of fertility treatment failure. I help women across the globe beat the odds on their fertility journey just like I did. Get ready for a quick hit of confidence, joy, feminine badassery, and loads of hell yes for your fertility journey.

It’s time to get fearless baby, fearlessly fertile. Let’s do this. Welcome to the Fearlessly Fertile Podcast, episode 243. A whole body approach to preparing for conception. A conversation with Dr. Olivia Watkins. Hey my loves, I’m so excited to bring you this week’s episode. Okay, so if you haven’t figured it out by now, I especially love to have experts on my podcast that think outside of the box.

Because look, anybody can just regurgitate garbage that they got from a training program 5, 000 years ago. What I love to do is bring experts onto this podcast that think differently. That are looking at problem solving from a very different perspective. I don’t care about convention because convention is going to tell you you’re too old.

You tried too many times. This is never going to work for you. You have an X percent chance. Like no way. When we’re talking about your dream of being a mom, you’ve got to do better. You’ve got to think about. Your fertility differently, which is why I’m so excited to have Dr. Liv on today, because when Dr.

Liv and I were connected, it was like, boom, I love the way this woman thinks. And she’s treating her patients with the kind of respect that takes their individuality into account. And I freaking love it because you know what you can, anybody can read a statistic off of Google, OK? Dr. Liv is all about multifaceted, personalized wellness support to women of all ages, seeking comprehensive, culturally competent, preventative, and humanized care.

Okay, who doesn’t want more of that? So I can’t wait for you to hear my conversation with Dr. Liv. And here it is. All right. Well, Dr. Liv, I’m super stoked to have you on, and I would love it if you would start us off. By sharing a little bit about how you found yourself getting into naturopathic medicine.

Sure. Thank you for having me here. I’m really excited to talk to you and your audience. So, I have a little bit of a story. I initially knew I wanted to be into science, but I was not sure about being a doctor until, um, I was probably 11, 12, maybe 13, and I had went to visit my paternal grandfather in Michigan.

And he had been complaining about having pain in his feet, like the whole vacation, just like my feet hurt, my feet hurt. And I went to see like, what’s up with his feet. And he had these tube socks that were too tight. The elastic bands were tight and they were cutting off his circulation. So I remember getting some scissors.

Cutting the elastic bands out of all of his socks and his feet were better. And I think I gave him a foot bath or something like that, but he was the first one to put that seed in my spirit. He was like, you’re my little doctor. And I remember thinking like, oh. This is doctoring. There’s someone with a physical complaint and they’re seeking help and how to figure out where that complaint came from and how to remedy it.

And just doing that and having that experience with him, it stayed with me. So I had parents that just encouraged me throughout that. And we’ve always been into our community and giving back. So. Those seeds were planted as a kid, but the biggest influence was an experience I had in college. I was babysitting for a close friend and her husband, who was this ultra marathon athlete, was having issues with his sinuses.

I mean, chronic infections, he had had some invasive procedures, or they had removed some of his sinuses, which would predispose him to more infections, and he eventually started seeing an acupuncturist. And if I had not been in their house, um, the way I had been babysitting their kids, I would not have believed how much he had improved with acupuncture alone.

It was outstanding. I mean, physical changes to the mucosa and the tissue in his, in his sinus passages. And so that dropped a nugget in for me and I went to talk to her and just gave her my life story and about how I wanted to be in medicine, but I didn’t feel that conventional medicine was the path for me.

And she said, you should consider being a naturopathic doctor. And that was the first time I’d ever heard that word. And I Googled it and that’s how I’m here. Oh, wow. Well, so, you know, and part of the reason why I wanted to have you on Was because I come from a perspective like I don’t pit anybody against each other.

What, what I really love is a more complete and holistic view of health, right? There’s a place for allopathic medicine. There’s a place for Chinese medicine. There’s a place for spiritual healing, you know, naturopathic medicine. I like to look at the big picture. And so I would love it if you would share, I mean, because obviously this audience is all about conceiving and carrying healthy, happy babies to term, as well as healthy, happy mom.

Right. So I thought it would be awesome to have you share your brilliance about how women should start looking at their fertility. Because, I mean, so often, and like we talked before we started, I mean, There’s so much fear mongering. There’s so much disempowerment when it comes to fertility that I think it’s time we change the conversation.

Mm hmm. Mm hmm. I agree. So, I think it’s important as well to look at this really comprehensive picture we’re talking about. fertility because as you know, that journey is so personal and it is so unique and so different to each person, even though we have those common themes in the experience. And the thing I really like about naturopathic medicine is that we really focus on.

Looking at the whole person. You can’t just look at this being in this body who’s going through this experience and deduce them down to their separate parts. It’s like this is a whole entity. This is a whole entity that’s working together to do this magical thing. And, um, with my approach, I always think about creating a strong foundation first, and I try to keep that perspective for whatever I do in life.

If it’s me working with my patients or me trying to go. For new goals. It’s like, what is my foundation? What do I need to just have the best start? What does that look like? And In the realms of fertility, I think it’s really important to assess those functional tests, labs, organ function, detoxification, seeing what that looks like, what is the thyroid status, what are the adrenals doing, what’s the level of inflammation, how can we assess our egg quality, do we have this balance with our blood sugar through the day, do we have enough of the nutrition that we need to actually get us through and meet our demands?

How do we get that data and then make sense for it for how our lifestyles are so that we can be or have a more accessible way to create better health before we even start that conception journey. Oh, that is like music to my ears, because I think what you’re saying here really honors the multiple facets that come together to create health.

It’s not just as you were saying, like your uterus, there’s something wrong, right? Right. And, and kind of just parting us out in that way. Mm hmm. Yeah. And I feel like it brings back humanity to the person because. It is so demonized, this process that women go through, and so many of them are afraid to talk about it, they feel shame about it, and they don’t feel in their bodies.

They feel like there’s something wrong with them, and sometimes we see that that disassociation happens. When you bring in their complete story and their experience and you get the data and you get some of the energetic information, it gives you a lot of pieces to put together to get to know that person.

And then that, like, brings them back in their body and they’re like, wow, I do have all of this going on. Like, this is what my path looks like and how can I empower myself to give me in this body, in this experience, in this time, the best start I can to, like, reach what it is that I want. You know, I hope every woman listening to this just replays that like 30 seconds over and over and over again in their head because, you know, women on this journey immediately get bombarded with statistics, uh, with what has worked for other people, rigidity in the approach.

to fertility. And I think it’s so, when you’re talking about foundations, I think it’s really cool that you’re starting with, okay, I’m different. I get to be me. Yes. I get to start with me as my baseline and work with that. You’re just rocking what you already got, which I feel like is the best. Advice for any woman anyways.

It’s like, look, whatever you were born with, that’s your cards. All right. And we can work with it instead of demonizing it and creating more friction and more internal stress, which you know, and your audience knows play such a big role in our ability. To relax and to receive like you said to like allow that magic to happen to allow the pieces to be put back together to allow themselves the space to actually not do anything or to heal, you know, and so having that and just saying this is me.

This is where I’m coming from. There’s nothing wrong with me. What do I need to do to be my best self? To me that is so empowering and I feel that it’s a message that we can really like pull out no matter where we are in our lives, reproductive or not. Yeah. Yeah. And because I think that what happens is when women first find themselves on this journey, and we’ll get into like, whether or not you think you’re on a journey, it’s a journey and you can be proactive even before your fertility is a problem.

Right. Right. But, you know, I, I think it’s really important that we as women learn to go back to critical thinking when it comes to our health. Because I think what happens is a woman is, makes the decision to try to conceive. And then if it doesn’t happen right away, we immediately, like all the alarm bells go off.

Right. And I think that we’ve just been culturally trained that if things don’t happen exactly to plan that there’s something wrong. And I think what you’re talking about is like, Hey. Let’s slow this down a little bit. Let’s come from a different perspective. So let’s talk about, like, Getting in front of fertility in general, like what are some of the things that you as a naturopath when you’re working with women, either who are currently experiencing some issues with their fertility or women considering the possibility of getting pregnant, where would you start?

So I really start with lifestyle first. I get an idea of what does this woman’s day look like? What is she eating? Is she eating? When is she deciding to eat? When she’s stressed, what is she reaching for? Is she reaching for a little bit? Is she reaching for a lot? Is there stress from her relationship? Is it coming from her job?

Is she sleeping? Does she poop? Are there other things going on that she hasn’t told anyone about because she’s embarrassed when it comes to her body? So I just try to build that rapport first. And, um, ask them what’s your experience like because that gives me a lot of data about how I can help them in some of their weak spots.

But also how to advocate for them and educate them so how they so they know how to advocate for themselves in other professional spaces or other health care spaces. So that’s the first part is just getting an idea of like, who is she? What’s her experience? What are some of the things that she’s concerned about?

And how have they shown up with her body? After I get that piece, I really lean into comprehensive testing. And so I’m looking at the thyroid. I’m always looking at thyroid antibodies. I can’t tell you how many. patients I’ve seen where not only have they been told that their thyroid is normal and they’re only looking at T.

S. H. The thyroid stimulating hormone. It could be high normal. It could be low normal. And that’s a big difference with naturopathic doctors is we’re really looking at what’s optimal and we’re all about preventative health care. So if there’s a huge range for T. S. H. For example, it’s like 0. 45 to 4. 5.

That’s a huge range. Yeah, if I have someone who’s at 0. 057, I’m not just going to say, Oh, you’re normal because you’re in the reference range. It’s like your book, you’re like. One bad stressful situation from bottoming out. We need to address that now. So looking at those things a bit more deeply, looking at the antibodies.

Sometimes the TSH is totally fine. Then you look at the antibodies and they’re through the roof. That’s Hashimoto’s that causes a ton of inflammation and the thyroid is so important in your ability to be able to grow a baby and the baby’s ability to grow their own thyroid. So I look at those things The vitamin D status is very, very important.

Blood sugar. So insulin, the HbA1c, getting a look at what her blood sugar has been like for the past three months or so. Iron is a big deal. So many of our ladies have had a history of heavy periods and no one’s addressed their anemia because it’s normal or isn’t severe enough. So I like to look at ferritin and just a full iron panel so I can really get an idea of where she is.

I also like to look at the lipids. We fats have been demonized in our culture and I have some patients who eat very little fat and they do a lot of cardiovascular exercise and we look at their, their fats and their lipids and they don’t have any and cholesterol is the building blocks for hormones. You know, they have super low cholesterol, which can be great in some schools of thought.

But we all know how important fat is and how protective healthy fats are for our vessels, for our nervous system, and just for our overall function. So if I see someone and their lipids are bottomed out, I know that I need to put some healthy fats there, or if lipids are out of whack, if the triglycerides are high or the LDL is high and there’s a family history of cardiovascular disease.

So that’s that foundational piece that I was talking about. I just try to get as much information as I can about, do we have our building blocks in place? And then from there I can get more specific based on what they’ve tried, what they haven’t tried and what their cycles look like. Wow. I, you know, and I love that because it’s, I think that we can’t have enough information When we’re starting down this path, because at least if you have some of this, this information, then, you know, going in kind of what you’re working with, well, and it’s, it’s also interesting to me because, you know, I was, there were so many ups and downs on my own fertility journey and I was consistently told my thyroid.

Was just fine and it never occurred to me to like ask any critical thinking questions about what is just fine mean, right? And it’s fascinating to me, like not only the wide range, but also those are based on like sick people. And it’s like, you know, so it’s like all of these measures, you know, somebody like you, who’s looking for different, you know, from a different perspective may catch something that doesn’t, you know, that is completely different than this very kind of wide range that probably doesn’t.

Isn’t such a great tool right now. So let’s talk about stress because you know, we live in, you know, it just blows my mind. Like even in the past 10 years, if you look at people’s attention spans, like art, you know, through the advent of social media and just the pace of life, like I hear from adrenals. You know, all of these things, yet instead of addressing things like mindset and stress, you know, we just run to a fertility clinic expecting them to fix us.

What do you think of that? I think it’s a big mistake. That’s what I think. I, I think we got too much dip on our chip. If that’s, if that’s where we’re going, you know, and knowing that stress is such a big picture in our individual lives. Um, I will say there’s so many things you can do outside of a clinical space for your stress.

And I think it’s really empowering to give that power back to the woman and ask her what brings you joy? What do you want to do that you don’t have time to do anymore that you’ve told yourself that you can’t do anymore? How can we make more space for that? And if that can’t happen. How can we just work with what we have to give you like 10 or 15 minutes and not have any social media?

No one’s calling you. No one needs anything from you. It’s just your time. So I think being more cognizant of those mindful practices, something as simple as doing breathing exercises, sleep hygiene, making sure that we’re creating a safe space for us to sleep, and then starting to seek out other alternatives.

Modalities like acupuncture, which I love and is amazing for stress reduction because it goes deeper than this physical plane. Acupuncture is an energetic medicine. It is moving stagnation and cold energy so that we can have more of that flow within our bodies to give us that optimal health that we need.

And it is wonderful at decreasing the stress And just creating a more synergistic environment in the body. Yeah. You know, and I think, you know, there’s so many different cultural influences, you know, we, as women, I think get more celebrated when we are in our masculine do mode, just like do, do, do. And I think we were sold a line of goods that, you know, we have to be super woman when I think that’s just not the case.

I think we get to pick and choose and define. What success, what motherhood, all of these things look like for us as individuals instead of buying into this thing that we have to do it all. I believe we can have it all, but I don’t think we have to do it all. Yes, I love that distinction. I think, I think what you said about us not needing to do it all and being in that masculine energy.

I feel that that’s where a lot of the disconnect is, especially with moms who are struggling with fertility. Because. Fertility is literally the most feminine thing that can happen, and it’s like, it’s just so feminine in every way and possible, you know, way that it could manifest. That’s the ultimate. So we have to create that energy to receive and that requires us to do nothing.

And I think that’s why stress can be so difficult to talk about with some women because we are so used to doing everything and so much of ourselves worse. Is tied into what we do, and when we have obstacles like. Infertility, we want to fix it. We just want to like drive through it, get our solution and get our baby.

And it’s like, there’s so much more that’s underneath this that can not only get you closer to your baby, but make you a better human, make you a better mom, make you a better partner, make you a better, whatever your job and your purpose is, and that just requires you to actually let that information in.

We can’t just like override it. And I think that’s another thing about naturopathic medicine. That’s so beautiful to me is that we create the time and the space to actually get to know that person and give their body time to heal. I always tell my patients, it’s nice to know what your timeline is.

Definitely. But I need to create some space before that timeline to just give your body the time to do what it needs to do to prep for this baby and just changing, changing that narrative that this is not something that’s going to happen overnight for all of us. Some of us it will, and that’s fantastic, but for others of us, it’s going to be a journey and we need to create the space to just relax and let that journey happen.

Oh, I think that’s so brilliant and on point because It takes, you know, if you’ve been spending the past 30 years, like, if you think about a woman in her 40s, you know, sometimes late 40s, possibly even early 50s, who is coming to this journey, like, hey, It took you decades to get to this place. Give us three to six months to get to another place, you know, like you think that’s reasonable.

I think it’s reasonable depending on where the person is starting. You know, there’s so many different variables. So just to give you some examples, I’ve had moms come in. Who’s had full blown Hashimoto’s. So the autoimmune. condition for a long time that wasn’t being treated. So she had a lot of inflammation going on in other places.

She had just lost a parent. So she was grieving. Um, she was in an accident before. There was a lot of inflammation there. I knew that that case was going to take me Some time to just get her inflammation level down and to just give her time to breathe. That was a huge stress. And she was really honest about that.

Like I do want this baby, but right now, sometimes I don’t even know how I’m going to wake up the next morning or like go to work because she was grieving the loss of her parent. And so that was a very different case versus My other woman who we know was maybe 32 years old had been very healthy all of her life.

She was an athlete. She had a routine where she went to sleep the same time every single night. There wasn’t anything blowing up in her case physically. She just wanted to come in to know I want to have a baby on this date. What should I do for that? But there wasn’t any inflammation going on. There wasn’t any auto immunity.

She had a good handle on her diet lifestyle for the most part was taken care of. We were ready within two to three months because she just started at a different place. Wow. Well, does that make sense? It makes perfect sense. Well, so let’s talk about Hashimoto’s because I hear like, I don’t know, like It seems like this is coming out of the woodwork that the thyroid and especially Hashimoto’s I’m hearing a lot about that.

So, you know, based on your experience, I mean, it’s an autoimmune condition, but like, what is that really about? I really think it’s about our environment. I’m seeing a lot of ties. Particularly with gluten, we have so much science that shows us that gluten is super inflammatory for the thyroid. I’m not one of those people who have strong opinions about any dietary, uh, restrictions or, or diets.

I think it’s a very individual and personal choice. But I will say in the United States, so much inflammation is coming from gluten. And if you eat a standard American diet, you get gluten in almost everything, but it’s really hard to avoid gluten. So we see it there. I do see some connection between, um, genetics.

So having a history in the family, I typically see that often. And then any other autoimmunity in the gut or sensitivity in the gut will make this process worse. Wow. So I think it’s an environmental thing. I think it’s coming from our food, the pesticides, the herbicides, our water sources, some of the substances that we have on our home goods and our cleaning products and our hair.

Sometimes the genetics are there and the propensity to be more inflamed is there. Maybe there’s even an auto, another autoimmunity condition in the body, but then you add that environmental burden and that’s when you really start to see how common it is because we’re all subjected to that. Wow. I mean, that makes perfect sense to me because when you think about all of the chemicals, all of these exposures, all of these things, you’re like, Oh, well, and we also know, I mean, this is, this has come to light more recently as the, the glyphosate on.

Yeah. Even your stuff that, like, is allegedly organic and all of this other stuff, I mean, it’s just, you have no way of really knowing, you know, how clean this stuff really is, and I mean, it seems to me it just exploded, this, this thyroid thing. Yeah, I see it a lot. Yeah. So how, like, so when you’re looking, let’s say even something like Hashimoto’s, like your approach to beginning to help a woman heal, like, where do you, do you start with diet or you kind of looking at other things as well?

Like eliminating chemicals, things like that. Is it really kind of like scorched earth? Dr. Lynn’s going to go in there. I wish it was that easy. Yeah. Yeah. I wish it was that easy and it’s a really delicate dance because you it’s it’s very easy to tip over into this side of fear where it’s like, well, I’m doomed like no matter what I do or what I don’t do or how much I know or how much money I have or how much money I don’t have, like, It’s very easy to slide into that narrative.

So I enter very gently. And again, I just scope it out to just see like, what are they doing? What are they using? Um, and then we just clean up the environment slowly around them. And I just do that by screening and asking questions and being realistic about it. Like, I don’t expect you to throw away all of your furniture or like all of your cleaning supplies tonight.

It is what it is. And honestly, you can decide if you want to do that or not. I’m just going to give you the information and gently encourage you to like put it make it a priority. So that’s the piece. But I would say other than the environmental and the occupational exposures, which is important, like what does she do with her job?

What chemicals is she being exposed to a lot? Or what does her spouse do? Are there tools and things in the house? So she. Is she laundering for him? And they’re having like exposures from his job. I’ve seen that happen with a lot of my chemical engineers and mechanics. So cleaning up that environment is that piece.

But the second piece is looking into the gut, which is so important. So identifying if there are any triggers in her food, asking her to be a bit more mindful about what she’s eating. And if she has reactions, are they tied to those foods? Which can be tricky. But we use a diet diary to do that and we just stay really connected.

I just asked them to tune in for a few weeks and we go through foods to see if there’s any inflammation there. Occasionally I will use food allergy panels to get a bit more data. I don’t put all of my eggs in that basket because it is a imperfect test, but it does give us some data back. And then I try to do things to treat any intestinal impermeability.

So making sure that those tight junctions in the small and large intestines are intact so that we don’t have any other food particles in the bloodstream where they’re not supposed to be. And that helps us to actually digest our foods and get the nutrients that we need. Is that leaky gut? That’s the key.

Good. Yes. There you go. Well, there you go. Yeah. Well, and that’s interesting. So I didn’t realize that that, you know, permeability in the gut could cause that autoimmune response. Oh, for sure. Because if you think about it, the whole reason we have that lining is to create a difference between the space in the gut and outside of the gut.

Okay. So once that impermeability is there, that barrier is broken. Now we have food particles and proteins in the bloodstream where they’re not supposed to be. The body’s going to do what it’s supposed to do. It sees it as a foreign pathogen, and that causes an inflammatory response from the immune system, which can trigger autoimmunity because those same cell signaling pathways are happening.

Right. The same cells are going to those sites and addressing that inflammation. So it will absolutely either tick it off or make it worse if you’re getting chronic inflammation from your diet. And what’s even worse about it is if it’s from a food that you really like. And that you eat a lot, which I see happen often, right?

So that’s why it’s really important to know. Is there any inflammation coming from the gut? Because that can be an easy fix for us to do right now and then heal that lining and then eventually rebuild their microbiome, which is so important for hormonal imbalances, um, and neurotransmitters. Oh, wow. Yeah.

Because, you know, I’ve been hearing from a lot of women also about brain fog and all kinds of things. Does that know what’s, I mean, obviously there could be myriad causes of that, but you know, it seems like across the board, we’re really starting to wake up to all of these different symptoms being related to our gut.

Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. The symptoms from the gut. can affect every organ and body system. Usually when I ask people about their gut, they’re, they’re mostly thinking about is there constipation? Is there diarrhea? Are you bloated? Do you have heartburn? But it could be things like joint pain or swelling, the brain fog that you said, these weird skin lesions or rashes, insomnia, anxiety.

weight gain, difficulty to lose weight, depression. I’ve seen it all. So it can be this really insidious thing, which is why in my practice, I’m just assessing everyone’s gut regardless of if they have symptoms or not, I’m still going to go there just because it can be such a chronic source of inflammation because we have to eat.

And unfortunately our food isn’t what it could be here in the United States, which is a political topic that I’m, I won’t go. We’ll save that for another day. Um, so it’s just like a place I have to go to cause we all have to eat. Yeah. Yeah, I, I think that’s, I mean, it’s such a wise thing to, to be considering it from that perspective.

And, you know, and so when you are, so that sounds to me like, you know, you’re making this assessment. Do you also encourage women to consider detoxing and like, do you have detox protocols and things like that, that you do? Well, the body is always detoxing. That’s just what it does. The liver is always doing what it needs.

So I definitely have the conversation, but I like to start there because. With social media and some things being more popular women come in and again, they think they need to do work. They think they need to like wring themselves out like a dishrag to like get all the gunk out. And it’s like, baby, your liver’s been doing it for you.

Like, I promise you it’s doing it when we can assess to make sure it’s doing it. So I like to just like kind of give that back to them. But in some ways I do encourage them to do cleanup. That’s the way I like to call it. Yeah. I love that. I love that. And we typically do that. We try to give ourselves at least three to six months before we’re actively trying because you don’t want to be doing a detox like right when you’re about to try to conceive because it can take the body a while to get rid of things especially things like heavy metals sometimes aluminum can stay in the body in the bones and teeth for years right so you don’t want to start this process where you’re leeching things And then you start to conceive.

You want to start the process and then make sure that you have that proper drainage and elimination and then make sure you’re solid and then conceive, right? You’re giving your body enough time to actually eliminate and go through a cycle or two to get rid of what we’re doing. Wow. So, you know, another concern that the women listening to this podcast find themselves in is, you know, sometimes they are between they’re doing IVF or they’re doing some other assisted reproductive technology and they’re really look, they start to get fearful that, you know, am I going to have to detox from this?

Or, How does all of this, you know, how, what’s the impact going to be on my body? So I would love it if you would share a little bit about your approach when you’re supporting women through fertility treatments. Sure. So. It’s great when the patients come to me and they haven’t done anything yet. That’s like perfect scenario because that gives me the time and the patient the time to do some of that foundational work in the beginning, which helps us with the success later.

So if that happens, we have that prep time. Um, and then with the detox, we just do the cleanup and we do the prep that way, right? So making sure that the liver is supported. Is there any inflammation in the liver, which we can see on labs? Um, it’s on your metabolic panel. They’re called A. S. T. And A. L. T.

Those are two liver enzymes that we typically go for first. We look into that and make sure that’s good. I typically do around the liver supporting herbs anyways, just because it’s great. If I have a person who has a picture of hormonal imbalances with estrogen dominance, I almost always do some type of gentle liver support because the liver is what helps us bind our estrogens, especially excess estrogens, so that it can conjugate it, put it in the poop and we can get it out.

If there’s any constipation going on, which a lot of, a lot of my patients do have, or they have urinal bowels. Um, I like to make sure that the liver is supported and their stools are supported so that they can actually cling on to some of that excess estrogen and get it out. That’s a really common thing that I see a lot of.

So we make sure just that those elimination of pathways are open. I support the liver. I make sure that the foundational things are there. I make sure that their nutrition is on point. So are they actually getting the amount of proteins and fats and fibers that they need? I have a lot of mamas showing up in their life.

Doing caffeine for breakfast. It’s like Starbucks every day and I love them and I love them, but it’s like mama, you got to eat. You have to eat. We’re already starting the day with this huge insulin spike and that’s a stress for the body that stresses the adrenal glands, right? And so, you know, I actually want to talk about that a little bit.

If you don’t mind, let me just go into this. Yeah. Let’s do this. We’re always talking about stress, stress, stress, stress, stress, and the adrenals that’s become really popular in the last few years. And I’m glad that we’re talking about it, but I want to just say this piece. Sometimes it isn’t the job or the relationship or the woman’s working out too hard or she’s not sleeping.

Sometimes it really is something as simple as not eating breakfast for the last 15 years. Some people that’s okay, right? And it may work for them for a lot of us. That’s not okay. And so we start the day off in this deficit. The adrenal glands will respond to that because it’s a stress. So that your body can release glucose so that your brain and your heart has energy.

If we’re starting off with that stress and then we’re trying to catch up the whole rest of the day, and we’ve done that for years, that will cause adrenal burnout. And that can cause a woman to be tired. And she’s like, I don’t know what’s going on. Everything in my life is perfect, but I’m so tired. And then I asked her about her eating and sometimes they’re eating one meal a day because they’re doing all the things and they’re living on their caffeine.

So that’s a part of the lifestyle piece of just like, what’s your life like when you eat? What do you eat? How much are you eating? Because our food is our fuel. And I find so much of my work is just educating on what does the body need? What do we need to get through our day and what does your body need for your demands and for what your physiology is like?

Yeah, that’s so, I mean, I think that makes so much sense because, you know, intermittent fasting, things like that. I mean, those are things that are really, you know, there’s a lot of traction on that, but it may not work for everybody. Right. And, and you, and it’s a tool possibly depending on your own unique physiology, but even that tool needs to be deployed in a sensible way.

If somebody is doing that. You have to take into account what your goals are for doing whatever it is that you’re doing. Are we intermittent fasting because we want to lose weight? Do we want more energy? Are we trying to cut a cravings habit? Like, what is our intention for it? And then being mindful about that and if it’s a good fit for us.

But when we’re trying to grow a baby or trying to start that process, our demands are different. You’re going to need more, right? Your body’s going to need more energy. And just the event of going through IVF, before you even get to that stress, the foundational piece again, you want to make sure you’re coming from a place of fullness, not lack or deficiency.

You want to make sure that you’re showing up. With your body having everything that it needs to just do is daily processes because you’re going to be doing a whole different set of processes that you’ve never done before. Oh, I love that you said that is coming to it full and because that word isn’t just about a full belly.

I mean, even the way you said that you mean picking up your energy on that is like full, like, as a complete human being. Yes. And I just love that because there’s, it seems to me that there’s also, you know, just kind of the way that you’re sharing this, there’s a bigger vision for humanity. There’s a, there’s a spiritual aspect to what you do.

Is that fair to say? It’s very fair to say. Each person has. a God within them. We all have this God spirit that should be revered. And that has to start with us first before we can expect it from anyone else. And for me, going through medical school was such a spiritual process because you learn about the physiology, you learn about these receptors and The hormones and cellular signaling.

And when you see all of these pieces, you slowly build that knowledge to understand how this intricate system works without us even really thinking about it, it’s almost enough to make you cry because it’s like we walk around every day and we just pick apart the things that are wrong with us. And some of it isn’t even valid or legit.

It’s just stories that people have told us or that we tell ourselves. But then when you really think about what your body does for you. You have to give reverence to that. Like there’s a holiness about it. And so when I approach my work, especially with women. Who have this divine power to create within their body nations, I try to bring that back to them because that’s a part of the healing work as well.

It’s not just me doing labs. It’s not me just talking about your diet and trying to get optimal from that. That point is about me trying to rebuild with you internally so that you feel worthy for this and so that you know that you can do this. Or even have enough guts to start to address some of the things that may not be where they should be for you to bring a child in the world right now.

And like being able to say that and to say it was conviction. It was like, I want this baby, but maybe there are other things that I need to work on, or maybe my body’s trying to tell me something right now. Maybe there’s a more space for me to kind of lean into that instead of me, just like wanting to get to that end goal.

That’s love too. That’s reverence as well. So I just try to create. You know, space for us to get into that more because fertility is such a multifaceted experience and you really have to address it as such. Yeah. And I love that you say that because I think so many women come to their fertility journey, feeling like they are at a deficit and feeling kind of kicked around by the system where there is that lack of reverence or.

I don’t know where this narrative comes from. I don’t, well, I have my suspicions of where it comes from, but this idea that you just put a sperm and an egg together and it’ll work. And it’s like that completely denies that beautiful magic that happens because if it was as simple, Dr. Liv, as just putting a sperm and egg together, not one of us would suffer.

We just all have IVF in the first round. It would work. Exactly. It will work. Yeah. There’s something bigger at hand. Yeah. And that’s why you have to get to know from a practitioner’s perspective. For me, that’s why it’s so important for me to really get to know you if we’re going to work with each other on this journey, because for someone, it might be a thyroid for someone else.

It might be fear about what motherhood is really like. And it’s presenting in some other way on the physical plane, right? Like it goes deeper than that. And each person is going to be different. So when I can get to know you, that helps to give me. Some information on where I can reach you, like where I can, like, find where our obstacle to cure is.

Yeah, yeah, I mean, and that’s such a powerful thing because, you know, when I’m working with women and my focus is on mindset, you know, sometimes I’ll hear things that I’m like, oh, she’s actually really scared to be a mom. Like, of course she’s going to block this if she is going to, like, because, you know, you see this with women that, you know, Everything looks quote unquote perfect, but I think we completely neglect the spiritual side that superpower that we have to that’s kind of our internal traffic cop of what we will allow what we don’t allow.

And then I see women just get into this spiral of, well, it’s not working because I must not be worthy or there’s something wrong with me and then we just, then it all, you know, starts. Coming crashing down. But I think when we look at things from a more unified perspective, like, which is what you’re talking about, we take our whole person into consideration, then we can go about the business of fertility with some compassion.

Yes. And some patience like, yes, dude, just because it didn’t happen in the first three months you’re trying doesn’t mean you’re going to be doing IVF. You know, it may never even come across, you know, within the realm of possibility and there’s, there’s a zillion other things you can be doing for sure.

And I think it also creates. space to bring the partners in as well, which is so important. The mindset, the energy, like what that relationship is like, what’s underneath some of those. nuances that may be difficult to bring up. All of that is involved with fertility and conception and Chinese medicine time and time again addresses that it’s more than just the parts.

It’s the energy that’s moving the parts that’s moving the chi, that’s moving the lymph and the blood that’s warming the uterus. That’s energy and energy moves from our mindset. So you can’t foster a true space of healing without going there. I don’t care if you do it first or if you do it last, if it’s not in the conversation, where are we really going?

Like, are we just trying to check off a box or are we really trying to create healing? And that’s something that I like to ask my patients too, or like. What are we just trying to have a baby? Are there other things under this? Are you trying to be your best self and have a baby just because let’s let me know because we can go there and some people are with it and some people are not and I just have to respect that choice as well.

But for me as a practitioner, it’s always something that I am like bringing up. Yeah. I love that you do that. I mean, it’s such a, it’s not brought up enough and I think We, as women, it gives us a chance when we can slow things down for a minute and start to notice what’s truly going on for us, even mentally, and what our mindset looks like.

And then we can tune in at a higher level to what’s going on with our body. Because you know, once people start coming to see you, chances are they’re going to start noticing things about themselves that they had never noticed before. And, and that’s just an increased level of awareness that they can use, you know, throughout their pregnancy and then, you know, through their birth and all that other good stuff.

So I think that’s incredible, Dr. Liv. So, you know, the last question that I want to ask you is, cause you, you brought, it was an interesting segue is, so what do you do as a practitioner when Let’s say you have a woman come in and she’s like gung ho, she’s going to do whatever Dr. Liv says to do, but she’s dealing with a partner that may be resistant to these changes in diet, these changes in lifestyle.

Like, what are some of the things that you encourage your patients to do if they find themselves in that situation? So I like to invite the partner to the appointments. And, um, only if the patient is open to that, I found that to be very helpful because usually if there’s some resistance, it’s because there’s ignorance there.

They either think that other things are not important or that there’s something wrong with just the body. There’s just like this one dimensional view or that they don’t really need any other help. That it’s just not time or that I don’t know the things that people say, but usually it’s just this one.

Okay. You know, there’s just like this one layer that it goes and it’s very superficial and there’s they’re afraid they’re afraid or they don’t know any better or they think they know everything and no one can tell them different. So when you bring them into the process, and you let them just hear your approach and encourage them to ask questions.

That can really change the tide because then they understand why we’re doing what we’re doing and what some of the other obstacles may be that’s beyond what their partner is or isn’t doing or the diet or whatever. They can just see that there’s a reason why we’re doing these things. It’s not because your partner’s crazy about having a baby.

It’s because there’s a meaning and a purpose to helping her get to that goal. That will also help us to identify if the other partner is actually on board. Because sometimes they’re not. And that’s another conversation that has to happen that I can’t facilitate. Right. But sometimes when you’re in that space and you’re encouraging them to be a part of it, and you just see that they’re not.

And sometimes it takes the woman to be in that space to see that they’re not there. She’s like, Oh, you don’t really want this or you don’t want it right now or whatever it is. So I use that tactic of trying to bring them in or just creating space where it’s like. We can have a con a conversation without your partner and you can just ask me questions about your own fertility.

Sometimes it’s that as well. Sometimes they don’t want to go through that process because they’re afraid that they could be. Why they’re not having a baby when I’m talking about heterosexual couples here, right? So male partners, sometimes there’s resistance there because they have a fear that if she gets all of the workup and she’s doing all these things and it still doesn’t work, when is she going to look at me and say, maybe it’s you?

I see a lot of resistance there too. So, you know, it could be so many things. Yeah. And it’s, I mean, and I think it’s, yeah, it’s such a, there’s so many different aspects of that. And, you know, even from a mindset perspective, you could go down a rabbit hole with, you know, finding yourself with a partner that’s not all in.

And so that, yeah, that’s. And I really appreciate your answer on that. And I think it opens up a really cool conversation that they’re going to end up happening. You know, they’re going to end up having at some point somewhere, baby or not. Well, Dr. Liv, I am so glad that we were able to have this conversation and I, we’re going to make sure that everybody has all of your contact information in the show notes.

And that, you know, if somebody wants to get a hold of you, that they certainly can. And is there anything in closing that you would love to say to the women listening who might be feeling down in the dumps about their fertility? What would you say to them? I would say to challenge yourself to adopt a spirit of curiosity.

I think that’s a really good way to change the negative narrative that we tell ourselves when we’re in this journey towards fertility and motherhood. When we change it and we flip the script and we make it more about curiosity. Are there things that my body could be trying to tell me? What’s that symptom mean?

Why do I feel that? Maybe I should start to note it, right? Like, how do I feel during different parts of the month? Just putting those antennas up. You don’t have to be obsessive about it, right? But just coming back in and just being curious of like, where am I in my life? Physically speaking, where am I mentally?

How do I feel about myself? How do I feel about my partner? How do I feel about the state of the world? Like, what are my beliefs? What are my thoughts? When you reframe it as curiosity, there’s no blame. And there’s no shame. And so it allows you to actually get the answers that could help you to change that mindset so that you can actually visualize and feel worthy enough for the thing that you want.

And then go and see Dr. Liv to help you get your baby. So then come holler at me. Yeah, I love that. Well, thank you so much, Dr. Liv. It’s such an honor to have you on and I love the work that you’re doing. So keep on going, lady. Thank you so much. I’m so glad to be here and share with your audience. OMG Loves, didn’t you just love that conversation with Dr.

Olivia Watkins? I just think she is a gem and I love the work that she’s doing and the way that she approaches women’s health. And if you want to get in contact with Dr. Liv, we are including the link to her website in the show notes and it’s super simple, DrOliviaWatkins. com. I think you would love working with her.

Now, in addition to taking care of your body, my loves, you have got to be looking at your mind. And for the mindset piece of the puzzle, my Fearlessly Fertile Method program is for women who intend to get pregnant in the next 12 months and say hell yes to covering their bases, mind and body, so you don’t have to look back on this time in your life with regret.

I work with women that are committed to success. To apply for your interview for this program, go to my website, www.FromMaybeToBaby.com And apply for an interview there. My methodology is help women around the world make their mom dreams come true. Their results speak for themselves. And we got the receipts, baby.

And if you don’t have a mindset for success in this journey, you’ve got a gaping hole in your strategy. Love let’s fix that shit and set you up for success till next time. Change your mindset. Change your results. Love this episode of the Fearlessly Fertile Podcast? Subscribe now and leave an awesome review.

Remember, the desire in your heart to be a mom is there because it was meant for you. When it comes to your dreams, keep saying hell yes.

Rosanne offers a variety of programs to help you on your fertility journey — from Self-study, to Live, to Private Coaching.