About the Speaker

Barbara Robertson is the owner of The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor.

Barbara’s professional experience includes:

More than 19 years experience working with mothers and babies, helping them resolve breastfeeding issues
Current International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) since 2004
Over 29 years teaching experience with all ages, newborn to adult
Director of Professional Development for the United States Lactation Consultant Association 2009-2014
Associate Editor Clinical Lactation 2010-Present
Grant awarded from the Michigan Breastfeeding Network 2010
Co-chair of the Washtenaw County Breastfeeding Coalition from 2005-2009
MA Curriculum Development in Education
BA in Education, Communication, and Children’s Literature

Barbara has been involved in education for over 29 years. She received a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education in 1988 and her Masters in Education in 1995. Barbara left teaching elementary students in 1995 to raise her two children. Her children spurred her to become involved in La Leche League and, in 1998, she became a La Leche Leader. She enjoyed this work so much that she decided to sit for the International Lactation Consultant Exam and became a board certified lactation consultant. Barbara is the Director of The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor, on site at the Center for the Childbearing Year. She teaches breastfeeding classes for parents, runs support groups, trains professionals, and is in private practice as a lactation consultant. Barbara has developed a 90 hour professional lactation training and a 20 hour course which fulfills the “Baby Friendly” education requirements. Barbara volunteered for the United States Lactation Consultation Association as the Director of Professional Development. Her responsibilities included coordinating educational opportunities for IBCLCs across the country. Her website is extensive including blogs, podcasts, and youtube videos. She loves working with mothers and babies, helping them with breastfeeding problems in whatever way she can.

Official Bio for Brochure

Barbara has been involved in education for over 28 years. She received her Masters in Education specializing in Curriculum Development in 1995. As the Director of The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor, Barbara teaches breastfeeding classes for parents, runs support groups, trains professionals, and is in private practice as a lactation consultant. She has developed a 90 hour course for lactation professionals, and a 20 hour training for hospital staff. Barbara has fully utilized her education background by becoming an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker on a variety of lactation related subjects. She is also an Associate Editor for Clinical Lactation, a journal that she helped develop for USLCA. She loves working with mothers and babies, helping them with breastfeeding problems in whatever way she can.

Bio for Introduction

Barbara has been involved in education for over 28 years. She received a Bachelors degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Communications in 1988 and her Masters in Education specializing in Curriculum Development in 1995. Barbara left teaching elementary students in 1995 to raise her two children. As the Director of The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor, Barbara teaches breastfeeding classes for parents, runs support groups, trains professionals, and is in private practice as a lactation consultant. She has developed a 90 hour course for lactation professionals, and a 20 hour training for hospital staff. Barbara has fully utilized her education background by becoming an entertaining and knowledgeable speaker on a variety of lactation related subjects. Barbara sits on the board of her profession organization, the United States Lactation Consultation Association as the Director of Professional Development. Her responsibilities include coordinating educational opportunities for IBCLCs across the country. She is also an Associate Editor for Clinical Lactation, a journal that she helped develop for USLCA. She loves working with mothers and babies, helping them with breastfeeding problems in whatever way she can.




Presentations

Microbiome, Infant Gut Health, and Breastmilk: What’s the connection?

Time-frame: 60-90 minutes
CERP: yes

Remember when we used to have to whisper to mothers who were struggling with yeast overgrowth, “Probiotics could be helpful”? Now everyone is talking about probiotics and gut health. What is a healthy gut? What is our microbiome? How can we impact our gut health? And, most importantly for us, where does breastmilk and breastfeeding fit into all of this? These questions and more will be answered as we explore gut health from the very beginning of a baby’s life.

Motivational Interviewing for health care providers

Time-frame: 120-All day
CERP: yes

Using communication techniques that promote respect and autonomy can greatly increase the ability for different types of people to find commonality. Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a communication style that allows each client to reveal their unique situation and have the health care provider respond in a way that is genuine and tailored to that particular mother and baby. Everyone wants to be understood. Avoiding common mistakes such as making false assumptions is avoided when we allow each client to tell their story in their own way. The basics skills of MI, using open ended questions, affirmations, reflections, and summaries will be presented and practiced. Listening and supporting positive changes in a client’s health will also be discussed and practiced. We can do a better job when we have better tools!

Epigenetics and breastfeeding: how do they relate?

Time-frame: 90-120
CERP: yes

The topic of epigenetics has been increasingly on health care provider’s radar as something of importance. What are epigenetics and what do they have to do with breastfeeding? This and other questions, such as how do epigenetics play into a baby’s growth both in the womb, once it is born, and throughout a lifetime, will be explored. We inherit genetic materials from our parents but what controls those genes and how they are expressed? These controls from our external environment and from inside our bodies greatly impact this process. The nutrition from breastmilk and the very act of breastfeeding itself influence both the mother and baby’s epigenetics. We also now know that these factors are passed down through many generations. We will discuss the basics of epigenetics and how does breastfeeding fit into this picture based upon the latest research.

Helping to level the playing field by using effective communications techniques

Time-frame: 60-120 minutes
CERP:

The IBCLC profession is not made up of a diverse group of people. Dominated by older, white, middle class women, there have been charges of not being able to serve the diversity of the population that surrounds us. While the evidence is strong that having people with similar characteristics serve similar people, the reality is that diversity in the IBCLC profession, as in most professions requiring advanced training, is growing slowly. What can be done now? Using communication techniques that promote respect and autonomy can greatly increase the ability for different types of people to find commonality. Motivational Interviewing is a communication style that allows each client to reveal their unique situation and have the health care provider respond in a way that is genuine and tailored to that particular mother and baby. Everyone wants to be understood. Avoiding common mistakes such as making false assumptions is avoided when we allow each client to tell their story in their own way.

Non-latching babies: Why and what to do

Time-frame: 60-120 minutes
CERP: yes

When parents are struggling with a baby who isn’t latching, it is very stressful. They often feel that the baby doesn’t “like” them, or “hates” the breast. Mothers will often become exclusive pumpers or wean early if this issue isn’t quickly resolved. This session will explore the reasons a baby might not be able to latch and how we can help. Both non-latching newborns and nursing strikes will be discussed. Babies are intrinsically compelled to breastfeed. By re-framing the issue from babies not “wanting” to latch, to a baby being “unable” to latch, leaves a feeling of hope. Discovering the obstacles that are interfering with this natural, ingrained process of breastfeeding is a key component. The reasons why a baby might not be able to latch, possible ideas to investigate, strategies to try, will all be covered in this interactive session.

Deconstructing online messaging: Ethical considerations

Time-frame: 60-120 minutes
CERP: yes

If it is on the internet, it must be true! Not. Online media may present as an entertainment video but really be a commercial. A publication can appear to a research article but actually be an opinion blog. A website, at first glance, may seem to belong to a fact-based, educational non-profit  group  but, in reality, promote a for-profit company’s agenda. We will identify ways in which businesses try to manipulate the viewer. Underlying messages will be decoded using the values of biomedical ethics. Online breastfeeding media will be analyzed through the lens of biomedical ethics and the IBLCE Code of Professional Conduct to uncover their true meaning.

Breastfeeding: Baby’s First Milestone

Time-frame: 90 minutes
CERP: yes

Breastfeeding is widely acknowledged as being the healthiest way to feed an infant for at least two years. In the United States of America, the CDC 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card states that 79.2% of mothers start out breastfeeding. However, as the babies get older, these numbers plummet. Only 49.4% of these babies are receiving any breastmilk by 6 months of age. We know from the literature that the primary reasons mothers stop breastfeeding in these early months are pain and worrying about their breastmilk supply. These are problems with solutions if the proper support is in place. Why is this support lacking? Is it because for all of the talk, “breast is best”, the importance of breastfeeding is not really valued? What if successful breastfeeding was reframed into a milestone? Baby’s first milestone? This presentation will explore other milestones, walking, talking, and learning to read, and what happens if babies and young children are not reaching these markers in a reasonable time frame. What support systems are in place to help these milestones be achieved if babies are faltering? The possible reasons for a baby not being able to breastfeeding and possible solutions will then be examined from the lens of having proper support systems in place.

What, she didn’t follow my care plan? How to increase client success

Time-frame: 90 minutes
CERP: yes

Many of us are baffled when mothers don’t follow our advice. We painstakingly create such thoughtful, careful care plans, filled with valuable instructions and information. Yet, when we follow up with our mothers, we find that they have not done what we told them to. What is going on? We will exam the research on medical compliance and then focus in on how this relates to the lactation field. How do we set mothers up for failure to comply with our suggestions?  In small groups, we will work on improving sample care plans and role play how we can better communicate with mothers so their care plans are realistic and better suited to each individual mother’s needs. Our behavior does influence how compliant mothers will be. Let’s make sure we are setting mothers up for success.

Breastfeeding by numbers – when is it useful? Mother and infant assessment, test weights, and infant intake calculations

Time-frame: 60-120 minutes
CERP: yes

Numbers are used all the time in the lactation field. Test weights, percentiles, % of weight gain, are just some of the information that is gathered to help make infant feeding decisions. But what are they really telling us? When are they useful? Using these numbers in a way that actually helps support and promotes breastfeeding are key. Appropriate infant weight gain, how to do a test weight, scale calibration, calculating infant intake, and the possible need for supplementation, will all be covered.

Best Start for Preterm Babies: Human Breastmilk

Time-frame: 60-90 minutes
CERP: yes

Human milk is the healthiest choice for human babies. When a baby is born early, they need this optimal nutrition even more. This session will outline the potential options for human milk if mother’s own breastmilk is not available. The session will differentiate between the types of human milk banks. The research on why human milk is so critical for preterm babies will be explored. Finally, the processes of donating human milk and obtaining human milk will be presented.

Motivational Interviewing for Health Care Professionals

Time-frame: 60 Minutes to 6 hours
CERP: yes

How we communicate with our clients is critical to how successful our help will be. Traditionally, health care providers “inform” clients as to what they should do to improve their health. Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to improve health of both mothers and babies. By using non-traditional communication techniques, support people can increase their odds that the time they spend with their clients will be evoke the positive health changes the clients are interested in achieving. This session will focus on two techniques. The first, Motivational Interviewing, will be introduced to the participants leaving them with thought provoking new ideas about how they work together. The second technique explores how we can help our clients identify the obstacles that are preventing them from reaching their goals. The combination of helping clients identify their obstacles to success while using the collaborative communication techniques of Motivational Interviewing is powerful and will help us become stronger support people for positive health change.

Lactation Pain Management

Time-frame: 120-390
CERP:

Breast and nipple pain are often miss-understood and miss-diagnosed! Pain is one of the major reasons many mothers discontinue breastfeeding. What can you do to help? Understanding breastfeeding pain, its causes and solutions, are a critical tool for anyone working with mothers and babies.
This one day training will provide a strong understanding of common types of lactation pain, pain origins, and possible solutions.

Initiating Lactation Success

Time-frame: 120-390
CERP: yes

Most mothers want to breastfeeding and the first few days postpartum can make or break their success.
The presentation is must have day for anyone working with mothers and babies during the birth and early postpartum!
This one day training will provide a thorough understanding of what is happening to lactation during the birth and the first few days afterward and how to help facilitate success.

So you think your can help? Communication skills that help families meet their breastfeeding goals

Time-frame: All Day
CERP: yes

How we communicate with our clients is critical to how successful our help will be. Traditionally, health care providers “inform” clients as to what they should do to improve their health. Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to improve health of both mothers and babies. By using non-traditional communication techniques, support people can increase their odds that the time they spend with their clients will be evoke the positive health changes the clients are interested in achieving. This session will focus on two techniques. The first, Motivational Interviewing, will be introduced to the participants leaving them with thought provoking new ideas about how they work together. The second technique explores how we can help our clients identify the obstacles that are preventing them from reaching their goals. The combination of helping clients identify their obstacles to success while using the collaborative communication techniques of Motivational Interviewing is powerful and will help us become stronger support people for positive health change.

Create A Custom Presentation for You!

Time-frame: All Day
CERP: yes

Barbara Robertson’s expertise in lactation allows her to be able to create and customize a presentation on any of her areas of expertise. Start a dialog to create the conference which meets the educational needs for your community!
Notes about this presentation for conference organizers:

Given the proper notice Barbara Robertson can turn any of her modules from her 90 hours Professional Lactation Course into a seperate lecture customized for you.

What?! I have to go back to work already? Creating an action plan for working and breastfeeding success

Time-frame: All Day
CERP: yes

Abstract:

According to the Business Case for Breastfeeding, 80% of breastfeeding mothers stop breastfeeding within one month of returning to work. What is going on? How are breastfeeding mothers being undermined upon returning to work and what can we do to help? In this session, the top five obstacles and solutions to help your clients succeed will be presented. Particular areas of vulnerability for working breastfeeding mothers will be analyzed, including pumps and pumping, bottle feeding, and childcare settings. If a mother is given proper emotional support, is well informed regarding the mechanics of maintaining her milk supply, and is prepared to negotiate correct feeding in a childcare setting, her chances of reaching her breastfeeding goals can be greatly increased.

Objectives:

List five obstacles to the continuation of successful breastfeeding for women who are returning to work.
Identify five solutions to common working and breastfeeding challenges.
Create a successful working and breastfeeding plan for mothers and babies.

Are you still nursing that baby? Taking a stand on breastfeeding the older baby.

Time-frame: Half Day
CERP: yes

Anthropologically speaking, human babies should be breastfed for at least two years. In our current culture, however, normal breastfeeding is cut short. Mothers are constantly being challenged regarding the value and practicality of breastfeeding, but social pressure to stop nursing reaches a new peak once a baby turns six months of age and beyond. In this session, we will address common areas where families face criticism from society and health care providers, including the nutritional value of breastmilk over time, introduction of solids, teething, dental caries, sleep issues, and weaning. Mounting evidence of the benefits—for mother, baby, and society—of normal breastfeeding duration, including the social and emotional advantages, will be presented. Finally, possible solutions will be proposed for helping families sustain normal breastfeeding. Currently, normal breastfeeding in our culture is the exception, not the rule. We can help change that fact!

Objectives:

Identify six challenges to breastfeeding a baby past six months in our culture.
List five benefits to families of breastfeeding a baby more than six months of age.
Identify strategies to help families sustain normal duration of breastfeeding.

Clinical and Communication Skills for Lactation Professionals

Time-frame: All Day
CERP: yes

This is a comprehensive 45 or 90 hour course designed to focus on problem solving, clinical skills, and communication techniques.

Basic goals:

To be able to explain the normal course of breastfeeding To be able to identify breastfeeding problems To be able to identify the underlying causes of breastfeeding problems To gain direct exposure to clinical strategies and gain enhanced confidence when working with breastfeeding dyads To be able to offer practical solutions in a compassionate, easily understandble way

Who would benefit from this course?

IBCLCs who need lacation CERPs for re-cerification Aspiring IBCLCs who are aquiring their lactation education hours RNs or other health care professions who want to increase their breastfeeding skills Peer Counselors, La Leche League Leaders, anyone who want to be able to better help mothers and babies wiht breastfeeding concerns

Working and Breastfeeding Sucess: Focusing on the Mother

Time-frame: Half Day
CERP: yes

According to the Business Case for Breastfeeding, 80% of breastfeeding mothers stop breastfeeding within one month of returning to work. What is going on? How are breastfeeding mothers being undermined upon returning to work and what can we do to help? In this session, the top five obstacles and solutions to help your clients succeed will be presented. Particular areas of vulnerability for working breastfeeding mothers will be analyzed, including pumps and pumping, bottle feeding, and childcare settings. If a mother is given proper emotional support, is well informed regarding the mechanics of maintaining her milk supply, and is prepared to negotiate correct feeding in a childcare setting, her chances of reaching her breastfeeding goals can be greatly increased.

Breastfeeding and Dentistry

Time-frame: 60-90
CERP: no

Breastfeeding and dentisty intersect in a number of ways. How can we help preserve breastfeeding while at that same time protect our baby’s teeth? The research on this topic will be reviewed and possible solutions will be discussed.

Tools We Use: What’s New?

Time-frame: 60-120
CERP: yes

This presentation focuses on the tools that are available to lactation professionals and which tools might be most useful in which situations.

Objectives:

The learner will be able to list at least two tools that are critical to their practice
The learner will be able to discuss assessment and clinical factors to help families determine the most appropriate breastfeeding tools for their breastfeeding situation.
The learner will be able describe advantages and disadvantage of three tools for supplementing a baby
The learner will be able to list at least two factors to consider in deciding whether to utilize a nipple shield with a particular baby
The learner will be able to describe the steps of paced bottle feeding with cueing to protect breastfeeding skills and help prevent over feeding
The learner will be able to discuss the pros and cons to different types of nipple creams and treatments

Supplementation: Should We or Shouldn’t We? And if so, How Much?

Time-frame: 60-120
CERP: no

How we supplement and how much we supplement infants is not always based upon accurate, medical information. This presentation strives to share the latest supplementation guidelines with lactation professionals to help reduce unnecessary supplementation of breastfeed infants. Both hospital and out- patient situations will be addressed.

Objectives:

The learner will be able to articulate Joint Commission’s definition of exclusive BF and define what are acceptable reasons for supplementation
The learner will be able to differentiate between appropriate and inappropriate supplementation in hospitals and in private practice
The learner will be able to calculate how much supplement is appropriate if the baby does need extra milk depending on the baby’s age and health status
The learner will be able to describe how to supplement in the most appropriate manner

Barbara D. Robertson


Country: USA
Phone number: 734-975-6534
Email: barbara@bfcaa.com
Site: http://bfcaa.com
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Publications

Robertson, Barbara D., An Alternative Treatment: Using ultrasound for plugged ducts. Clinical Lactation. 2016, 7 (4).

Robertson, Barbara D. Breastfeeding Without Birthing- An interview with Alyssa Schnell. Clinical Lactation. 2016, 7(1).

Robertson, Barbara D. Hope from ashes: The creation of the NEC society- An interview with Jennifer Canvassar. Clinical Lactation, 2015 6(4). 156-160.

Robertson, Barbara D. Revisiting Nipple and Breast Pain: A Conversation with Anne Eglash, MD. Clinical Lactation. 2015, 6(3), 124-128.

Robertson, Barbara D. Free to Breastfeed—Voices of Black Mothers. Clinical Lactation, 2014, 5(3), 90-96. http://www.clinicallactation.org/sites/default/files/articlepdf/s3-CL-5-3.pdf

Robertson, Barbara D. Working and Breastfeeding: Practical Ways You Can Support Employed Breastfeeding Mothers. Clinical Lactation, 2014, 5(4), 137-140. http://www.clinicallactation.org/sites/default/files/articlepdf/CL5-4_Final_A7_137-140.pdf