Believing wholeheartedly in the power of food as medicine, Functional Medicine Nutritionist Emma Park is passionate about helping her clients to regain health, improve vitality and reach optimum wellbeing. She is also the founder of The First 1000 Days Program, which focuses on the crucial period from conception through to a child reaching 2 years old. She shares her knowledge and experience to empower parents and to support the best possible start to life for our children.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
I’ve always been passionate about nutrition and helping people. So when my kids were young, I went back to uni to get a degree and start a career I loved! I originally specialised in working with clients on their gut health and microbiome (it was a new field then and I found it absolutely fascinating!). Then through my role as Clinical Educator for Qiara Probiotics, I became especially interested in the microbiome in The First 1000 Days life stage (conception to 2 years) and what it means for mums’ and bubs’ outcomes. I wanted to share this info to empower parents and support better starts to life for our future humans – so in early 2020, The First 1000 Days Online Education Program was born!
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
I started with an online education program for parents, then made one especially for health professionals caring for mums and bubs – Midwives, Lactation Consultants, OB/GYNs, Doulas, Naturopaths, Osteos, Chiros, etc etc. – basically, any modality working in Maternity Care. I launched in May 2020 and since then, so much new research has come out and we have many new clinical insights. It’s such a dynamic field and is often referred to as the ‘new frontier of medicine’.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I think the biggest innovation so far has been collaborating with other HPs and including HP education in the program. I’ve also continued to provide content for mums and dads in formats that are easy to understand and I also provide a lot of free information. I do an IGTV series on Instagram and I post lots of info in the F1Kdays Facebook group. I get a lot of feedback from people (especially mums) that they are very helpful and informative. That generates energy and organic spread – the more info I can share and the more people I can empower the better!
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
This is always a juggle! I’ve pretty much always been a single mum but I have an amazing network with my close family and friends, so I’ve always had lots of support.
Thankfully, my kids are pretty self-sufficient these days (18 and 21 years) so they help me more than I have to help them. I do find I have to stop myself from working ‘too much’ and make time to spend with them, and also prioritise time for self-care. I only very occasionally schedule clients or education on a Monday – so essentially I can have a ‘long weekend’ whenever I need one – that is a game changer and I highly recommend it!