why we started Needed.

Through nutrient testing, we realized we had serious nutrient deficiencies. Food alone wasn’t meeting our needs.

As lifelong nutrition nerds, we were shocked to realize food wasn’t fully meeting our needs. Through nutrient testing, we discovered we were both seriously deficient in Omega-3 and other key nutrients for fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum well-being.

We dug into the research and realized we were far from alone. Nearly all women have nutrient deficiencies.

Up to 95% of women (even those who are very health conscious) are deficient in Omega-3 and Choline, two of the most critical nutrients for before, during, and after pregnancy. We simply aren’t getting enough of the nutrition we need through food alone. 

Most prenatal vitamins don’t include all the nutrients a woman needs for optimal nourishment.

Most prenatals contain just enough nutrition to prevent birth defects and serious diseases--but fall far short of providing women all that we need for optimal fertility, pregnancies, and postpartum recovery. The critical nutrients Omega-3 DHA + EPA and Choline are lacking from most prenatal vitamins--and even when present, dosages are generally too low to meet a mama’s needs.

Prenatal nutrition information is often confusing, incomplete, or just plain wrong.

It’s difficult to find trusted, fundamental nutrition information focused on women’s nutrition needs before, during, and after pregnancy. Too often, nutrition information is incomplete, missing important nuances and not considering the whole context of nourishment.

We started Needed to meet our needs and that of every mama-to-be.

Our mission is to empower women to experience optimal nourishment through better identification of their nutrition needs, supplements that truly work in meeting those needs, and a supportive community of like-minded mamas and trusted health practitioners. 

our values

Everything we say and do is rooted in our core values. They serve as our guide as we develop new products and education, and grow our community.

  • we are about the whole

    We are holistic thinkers, viewing nothing in isolation • We focus on the whole person: the physical, mental, and emotional • We think about all the ways nutrition fits into your whole life • We are in it for the health of our families, customers, community, and planet

  • we see abundance, not scarcity

    We make quality nutrition more accessible and abundant • We see challenges as opportunities for learning and growth • We value new perspectives and solutions as essential • We seek patterns and relationships that others overlook

  • we own our own growth

    We pursue research, scientific inquiry, innovation, and learning • We are doers and solvers • We empower those around us to do and solve for themselves • We grow along with our families, friends, communities, and customers

  • we meet every need, one at a time

    We care about every customer and need • We go the extra mile and get the details right • We empower with education, so others can meet their own needs • We address the root, not the symptom

meet our founders

Through navigating our own fertility and nutrition journeys, we realized most prenatal nutrition information and products fall far short of empowering real nourishment for mamas-to-be. We started Needed to meet our needs and that of the thousands of women and health practitioners we’ve met along this journey. Needed empowers women to meet their biochemical nutritional needs, and to find nourishment beyond nutrition through better products, better identification of nutrition needs, education and community to support nourishment beyond nutritional needs alone.

Julie Sawaya

co-founder

I discovered my passion for nutrition around my family dinner table. My dad (an MD) was diagnosed with diabetes when I was just 5 years old. His illness has had a profound effect on me, leading me to research, experience firsthand, and advocate for the connection between our health, our families and communities, and how we choose to nourish ourselves. My passion for nutrition only grew as I began my journey to motherhood, as the quality of our nourishment as mamas-to-be and new mamas quite literally impacts the health and wellbeing of our entire family. 

Ryan Woodbury

co-founder

My interest in nutrition and health grew out of my interest in the environment. As a young girl in California, I started volunteering at a local aquarium, leading educational tours to teach kids about marine science and environmental advocacy. It was clear to me, even then, that our health as humans is directly connected to the health of our environment. Advocating for broader awareness of the human and environmental health connection has carried through much of my life. I believe fundamentally that nourishing mamas will directly support nourished communities and a nourished planet. 

looking to join our nourishing community?

Be a part of the movement to seek nourishment beyond nutrition.