“I went to see the nutritionist Melanie Brown in central London the other day and I was thoroughly impressed by the consultation. Melanie is very amenable, knowledgeable and very informed on current nutritional/environmental issues that impact fertility/pregnancy. She is also studying for a masters degree which I think is always a good indication of a professional that always strives to provide excellent service. I am pretty au fait with nutrition, I saw a nutritionist in the past, I wanted a refresher and Melanie ticked all my boxes. She has got a really good sense of humour as well, so things are kept in perspective; what I also found very useful is the pragmatic strategies that Melanie illustrated to enable a busy person to eat well without sacrificing an inordinate amount of time.”
Client, London, 2013
“I don’t know if you remember us but my husband and I came to see you in October ahead of our second round of ICSI.
We loved meeting you and your chat with my husband specifically about this being his project too, had a profound impact on our attitude, making it a real team effort! It also inspired me to dig deep, follow your advice avidly and get up each morning to sort out meals so we stayed on plan.
I am due to start my treatment in 2 weeks, but having followed your program of supplements, investing in a slow cooker, a Vitamix and having bought more BPA-free Tupperware than I believed possible, we have been lucky enough to fall pregnant naturally in under 3 months.
Very early days, but a massive thank you to you for treating us both as a couple, not just focusing on me. We are cautiously delighted and it has done loads for our confidence. Its also one in the eye to our last consultant who suggested that “eating the odd organic carrot won’t make any difference” and “we don’t focus on men, it is as it is with them’. Unbelievable!
Thanks again Mel, we will recommend you to anyone who’ll listen!”
Client, London, 2013
“We are so grateful for everything Mel has done for us. I never believed that I would get pregnant, especially after I was sensitively told by a Doctor that it was unlikely I’d ever conceive naturally. I am 38 and was diagnosed with endometriosis and very low AMH (0.9) 2 years ago.
On our first IVF attempt only one of my eggs fertilised and I was told that it was a very poor grade. So for our 2nd IVF attempt, we decided to do everything differently. I started reflexology and we started speaking to Mel who was absolutely amazing from the outset. She is so down to earth and realistic about how to change your eating habits – she doesn’t preach or tell you off if you scoff chocolate, just gently nudges you back in the right direction! She’s also brilliant at communicating with men and managed to persuade my partner to cut down on his drinking and change his diet. We both found it really easy to stick to the plan and Mel’s recipes are delicious which made it much easier. We changed our diet for just over 3 months after which time I went through my 2nd IVF procedure. I’m happy to say that I had 3 eggs collected, all of which fertilised and two of the eggs were grade 1. I am now 9 weeks pregnant and have just had my first positive scan.
I truly believe that this outcome is down to the change in diet and the supplements Mel suggested. I felt so much healthier after changing my diet and there is now so much evidence to show that diet can affect egg quality that I don’t understand why hospitals don’t educate patients more about nutrition. I can’t recommend Mel highly enough. She is so lovely to deal with and can’t do enough to help.”
Client, 38, London, 2012
“Mel’s warm and caring personality put my husband and I at ease immediately, and she respectfully enquired about our fertility issues and current diets when we first met.
She recommended a few blood tests to help her prescribe the correct treatment for us, after which we were very quickly on the road to getting our bodies into tip-top reproductive order.
Mel always answered emails if we had any worries along the way, too, and our joint efforts resulted in a very successful pregnancy. Wonderful.”
Victoria, 40, London, 2012
“Mel has been my nutritionist since January 2011. I see her every 2 to 4 weeks and she has been my lifeline. Mel was recommended to me by my gynaecologist, Miss J. Yoon.
When I first went to Mel, I was horrendously overweight and had (still do) a loathing for most forms of exercising and gyms. My attitude to losing weight was negative, but I was aware that at the age of 50 I really needed to tackle the problem before I developed any health issues. I have been a yoyo dieter for as long as I can remember and have always put on whatever I have struggled to lose.
I was very clear in my mind that I was not prepared to calorie count, keep food diaries or starve. In 16 months, I have lost 20 kilos – as Mel says the same weight as a suitcase you’d take on holiday! I’m still aiming to lose at least a further 5 kilos. I have gone down 3 dress sizes.
Mel’s approach is pragmatic, sympathetic and practical. She lives in the real world like the rest of us. She has always worked around how I would like to tackle my weight loss. If I can’t, or won’t do it, she’ll come up with alternatives. Her kind manner and sense of humour make her recommendations palatable.
I would like to tell you about several tips that Mel has given me, that have helped me enormously and that really do work. On the question of exercise, she came up with a very simple solution that no one had ever come up with before. She suggested I walk-every day, 10,000 paces.
She sent me off to John Lewis to buy an inexpensive pedometer and I haven’t stopped walking since. I clip my pedometer onto my belt first thing in the morning and don’t take it off till last thing at night. She also advised me to keep a note of the number of paces I walk a day. Very clever – it has made me competitive and flags up any slack days. Some days I walk about 8000 paces and then I make up the following day by walking 12,000. I go everywhere on foot and have abandoned my car. It helps toning and weight loss enormously and makes me feel so well.
On the subject of food intake, here are some of the things Mel has instilled in me. No carbs at dinner. Decrease your plate size. She’s introduced me to this amazing peanut butter – Whole Earth Smooth Organic Peanut Butter with no added sugar, which I have every morning for breakfast. It’s delicious and fills me up till late afternoon. Then there are tasty crackers like Dr Kaargs and reduced fat hummus which I can have as a snack when I’m hungry (I rarely am). Her ideas are endless as is her patience.
With her gentle cajoling, it means that I have never considered myself as being on a diet. I have made a lifestyle choice. It means that I can go out for dinner and not feel ostracised. If I want a glass of wine, a piece of cake the decision is mine, and as Mel says the world won’t come crashing down around me. Then it’s up to me to be sensible. She’s taught me how to be, with confidence. And she’s always there if you have a blip. On the 2 occasions thatI have gained rather than lost weight (no more than 800 grams), she has encouraged me, talked me through the reasons why and given me the impetus to persevere. I have never wanted to give up.
Thank you, Mel; I wouldn’t have achieved any of this without you.”
Katerina Kydoniefs, 2012
“As a family (now) we owe Melanie so much – she pin pointed things that went far beyond my infertility and IVF treatment. I keep telling anyone I know with not only fertilty problems but general ‘not feeling right’ to go and see a nutritionist! She was on hand right through me finally getting pregnant to ensure I did my very best for myself and my son. I can’t thank you enough Melanie, you so much of my pain disappear by small guidlines and helped bring the biggest joy to our lives!”
SWS Kent, 2011
“I got myself in a complete tizz about what to do for the best re diet and supplements. I had read so much conflicting stuff. In the end I had a consultation with a Zita West consultant called Mel. She was amazing,…It gave me huge peace of mind to speak to someone so knowledgeable and get specific advice for my personal situation……I really believe that the diet had an impact on us getting a BFP.”
Fertility Friends thread, 2011
“Fantastic suggestions, all made without being ‘preachy’; I was scared about getting a telling off about my diet but I actually got a really sympathetic ear and some really helpful advice.”
In:spa client, 2011
“Thank you so much for all the fantastic expertise in my eating routine to help bring such a ‘super’ strong baby into this world.”
JS Wimbledon, 2007
“Thanks you for all your incredible help. You made pregnancy much more bearable!”
KB Notting Hill, 2009
“Mel was excellent and gave me great advice in a very professional caring manner. She has an excellent manner in dealing with a very sensitive subject to us non-clinical people and made me feel very much at ease. She clarified so much detail for me in relation to dietary issues and male fertility.”
MS Dublin, 2007
“I saw a nutritionist at Zita West called Mel Brown — she was truly outstanding and definitely played a part in helping me to conceive. My husband saw her as well and his fertility improved dramatically which is what I think largely helped me to fall pregnant.”
Mumsnet thread, 2010
“I have received support from Mel for nutrition for the last 9 months…following 6 years of unsuccessful fertility treatment. Mel has been endlessly supportive and treats every symptom I present her with as a challenge. In the beginning I was charting around 20 different symptoms and within 3 months this was reduced down to five. It was amazing…I got pregnant! Mel has made the whole process so managable, she also helped me through pregnancy sickness. I am so glad I went to the clinic and found out that I could relieve the symptoms of endometriosis and that it didn’t have to rule my life.”
Fertility Planit, 2011