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Dawn Whitten

Naturopath, Nutritionist, Herbalist
Lactation Consultant (International Board Certified)
The Hawrelak Gut and Microbiome Clinic - Mentor and Senior Partner


Dawn is a senior practitioner and sought after clinical teacher and mentor. She has a broad base of clinical experience having had a busy clinical practice since 2002.


Dawn has a particular passion for working with women through conception, pregnancy and beyond; and in the area of infant and toddler health. Having a background as a Naturopath and a Lactation Consultant makes her well placed to serve parents through these life chapters.


Dawn is a Senior Partner and Mentor in Dr Jason Hawrelak's Gut and Microbiome Team. Dawn has worked closely with Dr Jason Hawrelak for over twenty years, is experienced in working within Dr. Hawrelak's paradigm of care, and possesses intimate knowledge of his treatment approach. Dawn is highly skilled and has extensive experience working in the area of thyroid health, gastrointestinal health, female reproductory health, and with infant and toddler gastrointestinal issues and allergy. She has  many years experience in microbiome manipulation for health optimisation.


Dawn regularly presents at both international conferences and national events for health professionals. She has written two textbook chapters for the recently published and widely-acclaimed textbook Advanced Clinical Naturopathic Medicine (2020) including one chapter on Breastfeeding and one on Infancy. She was invited to contribute five modules to the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (ACNEM) functional medicine training programs in 2022-23. The topics she presented included: The Preconception Microbiome; The Infant Microbiome; Pregnancy Nutrition; and Prevention of Allergy and Treatment of Paediatric Eczema. Other areas on which Dawn has presented include: Colic, Reflux and Blood in Infant Stool; The Breastmilk Microbiome; and Mastitis, Low Supply and Introducing Complementary Foods to Infants.  For a more extensive list of Dawn's presentations and publications see below.


After completing her Bachelor degree in 2002, Dawn went on to obtain First Class Honours for the clinical research she undertook in the area of Herb-Drug interactions. Her work published in this area is commonly cited in the literature. Dawn was awarded a prestigious Fellowship by the National Herbalist Association of Australia for her contribution to the field of herbal medicine in Australia. She currently teaches two units on Evidence Based Complementary Medicine and The University of Tasmania.

Dawn works with people using a practical approach and by adapting treatment to individual needs. She appreciates the profound impact that food and lifestyle medicine can have, and finds it a privilege to work with people to bring these changes into their lives. Dawn also draws on herbal medicine and nutritional supplements as aids for restoring balance and she seeks to uncover and address the underlying factors that challenge health, rather than just addressing the symptoms that present.


In her work with infants, Dawn is passionate about working gently and safely. Where possible, Dawn works with a restorative approach through the mother, focusing on nutritional repletion, microbiome manipulation, and herbal medicine supports. She sees the health of the infant and parents as intrinsically related.   

Dawn is blessed to have three daughters spanning ages 10 years to 30 years. She enjoys going on multi day hikes with her children and has recently become a very amateur runner.

Areas of experience:


  • Gastrointestinal health (SIBO, inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, Coeliac disease)

  • Microbiome health and optimisation

  • Thyroid health

  • Fertility and Pregnancy care

  • Women’s health

  • Breastfeeding help (e.g., supply concerns; mastitis)

  • Babies and toddlers

  • Toddler nutrition

  • Eczema (infant and child)

  • Digestive upsets in infants and toddlers

  • Allergies in children (prevention and treatment)

Recent Podcasts:

Whitten Dawn, The Infant Microbiome. Love and Guts. 2020

Whitten Dawn, Introducing Solids to Babies, The Holistic Nutritionists Podcast. 2020


Whitten Dawn, Breastmilk & The Breastmilk Microbiome. Love and Guts. 2018


Whitten Dawn, When to Introduce Solid Foods & Building a Robust Baby. Love and Guts. 2019


Whitten Dawn. EpO16 – The Breastmilk Microbiome. Annie Breen Nutritional Therapist Podcasts 2019



Blog Posts:

Whitten D (April 2019) Probiotic Supplements and The Breastfeeding Infant – Why Not [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Recent Academic Presentations:

Treating Children with Eczema Australasian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine (Online 2022)


Common Breastfeeding Challenges (including functional and nutritional medicine aprouches) Australasian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine (Sydney 2022)

Nutrition in Pre-conception and a Healthy pregnancy Australasian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine (Sydney 2022)

Herbal Safety and Breastfeeding National Institute of Medical Herbalists Conference, United Kingdom (Online 2022)

The Preconception Microbiome Australasian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine (Online 2021)

The Infant Microbiome Australasian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine (Online 2021)

Herbal Galactagogues National Institute of Medical Herbalists United Kingdom (Online 2021)

Nourishing the Gut Microbiota of the Caesarian Born Infant National Symposium on Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine (2021 Gold Coast)

Herbal Safety and Breastfeeding Vic Herbalists (Online, 2020)

The Infant Microbiome Australasian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine (Sydney, 2019)

Unpacking Infant Colic and GORD Australasian College of Nutrition and Environmental Medicine (Sydney, 2019)


The Breastmilk Microbiome and Glycobiome NHAA11th International Conference (Melbourne, 2019)

Herbal Galactagogues New Zealand Association Medical Herbalists Conference (Christchurch, 2019)

Infantile Colic and GORD Gastrointestinal Masterclass II revised, Health Masters Live (2019)

The Infant Microbiome Microbiome Masterclass, Health Masters Live (2019)


The Fourth Trimester. Pregnancy Masterclass Health Masters Live (Nov 2018)


Blood in the stool of a thriving breastfed infant Australian Naturopathic Summit, (Aug 2018)

Breastmilk Microbiome and Glycobiome MINDD Forum (May 2018)


​​Breastfeeding 3 Part Short Course for Naturopaths. Health Masters Live (Nov 2017)

The Breastmilk Microbiome and Glycobiome. Health Masters Live (June 2017)

The Unsoothable Infant – GORD an Unhelpful Diagnosis 10th International Conference on Herbal Medicine (Brisbane, March 2017)


Treating Through the Mother - Prescription Considerations for Young Infants 10th International Conference on Herbal Medicine (Brisbane, March 2017)

Infantile Colic and GORD. Gastrointestinal Masterclass II, Health Masters Live (December 2015)


Breastfeeding: Finding Your Way. Building Better Babies Summit (December 2014)


Pacing Solids For Health. Building Better Babies Summit (December 2014)


Allergy. Natural Paediatrics Masterclass Series, Health Masters Live (May 2014)


Lactational Mastitis. 8th International Conference on Herbal Medicine (Melbourne, April 2013)


Galactagogues. 7th International Conference on Herbal Medicine (Gold Coast, July 2010)



Some of Dawn Whitten’s Publications:

Whitten D, Chapter 14 Breastfeeding, Advanced Clinical Naturopathic
, Ed Leah Hechtmann, Elsevier Sydney, 2020.

McIntosh T, Whitten D, Padarin H. Chapter 15 Infancy, Advanced Clinical Naturopathic Medicine, Leah Hechtmann (ed). Elsevier Sydney, 2020.

Hawrelak J, Wohlmuth H, Pattison M, Myers S, Goldenburg J, Harnett J, Cooley K, Van De Venter C, Reid R. and Whitten D. Western herbal medicines in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2020;48

Whitten D. and Hawrelak J. Are maternally administered probiotic strains transferred to breastmilk: a systematic review of Human Studies. Advances in Integrative Medicine, 2019;6,S85.

Whitten D. and Hawrelak J. Are maternally administered probiotic strains transferred to breast milk: A systematic review of human studies. Abstracts from the 19th International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation Conference. Breastfeeding Medicine, 2018;13(7)

Avila C, Whitten D and Evans S. The Safety of St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) in pregnancy and lactation: A systematic review of rodent studies. Phytotherapy Research, 2018;32(8):1488-1500

Walton R, Whitten DL, Hawrelak JA. The efficacy of Hibiscus sabdariffa (rosella) in essential hypertension: A systematic review of clinical trials. Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine. 2016;28(2)48-51.

Whitten, D. A precious opportunity: Supporting women with concerns about their breastmilk supply [online]. Australian Journal of Herbal Medicine, Vol. 25, No. 3, 2013: 112-126.;dn=605350526251277;res=IELHEA


Dwyer A, Whitten DL, Hawrelak JA. Herbal medicines, other than St John’s wort, in the treatment of mild-to-moderate depression: A systematic review. Alternative Medicine Review. 2011;16:40-49.


Whitten DL, Myers SP, Hawrelak JA, Wohlmuth H. The effect of St John’s wort extracts on CYP3A: a systematic review of prospective clinical trials. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2006;62:512-526.


Hawrelak JA, Whitten DL, Myers SP. Is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG effective in preventing the onset of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea: a systematic review. Digestion. 2005; 72:51-56.


Whitten, D and Gooden, JS. Cardiovascular drugs: a guide for naturopaths [online]. Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, Vol. 14, No. 2, 2002: 40-51, 53-5.;dn=408385498870124;res=IELHEA

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