Essential Beginnings Mission Statement

To responsibly develop, research and produce a micro-nutrient product line that fulfills the specific nutritional requirements for reproduction, gestation and lactation. i.e. To help create optimum health for growing families.

Bios of our Expert Developers

Carolyn Givens, M.D.Carolyn Givens, M.D.
Dr. Carolyn Givens is Board-Certified by The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility and has spent the majority of her career helping couples with infertility.

She attended the University of Texas, graduating magna cum laude with a B.S. degree in Molecular Biology. She received her medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in 1986 and served a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Parkland Memorial Hospital from 1986 to 1990. Dr. Givens moved to San Francisco in 1990 to continue her training in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of California, San Francisco. After fellowship training, she was appointed to the medical school faculty at UCSF.

During her seven years on faculty at the University of California, San Francisco, she developed particular interest in severe male factor infertility and genetic problems associated with infertility. Dr. Givens was concurrently a full-time clinician with the UCSF In Vitro Fertilization Program and an Assistant Professor of the UCSF Medical School. As a faculty member, she focused on infertility patient therapy, infertility clinical research and training other infertility specialists. Although her career has focused on assisted reproduction, infertility and egg donation treatment, she is a skilled practitioner of all aspects of infertility care including physician-assisted ovulation induction and insemination, and surgical procedures such as laparoscopy and hysteroscopy. Dr. Givens is an accomplished clinical researcher and author of numerous articles for peer-reviewed professional journals.

In November of 1999, Dr. Givens left UCSF and joined Pacific Fertility Center ( She currently co-directs the Bay Area Pre-Implantation Genetic Diagnosis Program (PGD) and directs Pacific Fertility Center’s PGD/PGS Program.

She has been named since 2004 as one of "Best Doctors in America" and by her peers in a national survey. Dr. Givens served as President of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society ( for 2010-2011 and has served on the Board of the Society from 2000-present. She remains actively involved locally in the San Francisco Ob/Gyn Society and as a member of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at California Pacific Medical Center (a leading Bay Area hospital group) and serves as a reviewer for the journals Fertility and Sterility, Endocrinology and Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (, Pacific Coast Reproductive Society ( and the Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (, among many other organizations and societies.

Paul Turek, M.D. Paul Turek, M.D.
Dr. Turek is Director of The Turek Clinic ( a men’s health clinic in San Francisco. He is a former Professor of Urology, Obstetrics & Gynecology at the UCSF and held the Academy of Medical Educators Endowed Chair in Urology Education. Dr. Turek is an internationally recognized authority on issues of men’s sexual and reproductive health.

Dr. Turek attended Yale College, followed by Stanford University Medical School. After a urology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Turek was fellowship trained at Baylor College of Medicine. His 175 publications include basic research that focuses on germ and stem cell genetics, and epidemiologic studies of men’s sexual and reproductive health problems. He is on the editorial board of three journals and actively reviews for another twenty journals. He is on the Advisory Board of the national Men’s Health Care Network and the NIH Reproductive Medicine Network and he is the Editor of the Reproductive Volume of Netter’s Images, 2nd Edition. He oversees an active blog on men’s health issues (

He is Past-President of the American Society of Andrology, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Société Internationale d'Urologie and the Royal Society of Medicine (U.K). He recently founded a volunteer medical clinic powered by retired physicians for the working uninsured ( in San Francisco.

Natalie Ledesma, MS, RD, CSO Natalie Ledesma, MS, RD, CSO
Ms. Natalie Ledesma is a Board-Certified Dietician and specialist in Oncology Nutrition. Ms. Ledesma is the clinical nutrition specialist at Smith Integrative Oncology ( in San Francisco and the senior dietitian for the University of California, San Francisco Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer ( Ms. Ledesma provides nutrition counseling, cancer-focused nutrition seminars, and has been extensively involved in community outreach involvement.

Throughout her career, Natalie has also worked with young cancer patients facing issues of possible fertility loss with their cancer disease and treatment. Drawing on her extensive knowledge and expertise in the nutritional needs of cancer patients, as well as her own personal experience with nutrition for two of her own healthy pregnancies, she has developed an interest in the area of nutrition for pre-conception, pre-natal and post-natal women. Natalie has direct knowledge of the proper dosages and bio-availabilities of essential micro-nutrients necessary to decrease oxidative stress in damaged as well as dividing and recovering human cells.

Natalie has been interviewed by NBC television, The New York Times, Fortune magazine, Runner’s World, Cure magazine, MAMM magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle (San Francisco’s major daily newspaper). Recent publications include nutrition chapters in Clinical Nutrition for Oncology Patients, Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Therapy, Everyone’s Guide to Cancer Survivorship, Nutritional Issues in Cancer Care, and Supportive Cancer Care: The Complete Guide for Patients and their Families.

Her memberships in professional societies includes: American Dietetic Association (, California Dietetic Association (, Bay Area Dietetic Association, ADA DPG for Nutrition in Complementatry Care, and the ADA DPG for Sports, Wellness and Cardiovascular Nutritionists. She is a peer reviewer for Natural Standard Newsletter and the ADA Food and Nutrition Conference 2003-2005.