My work in this field developed as a lay support person, eventually maturing into a professional lactation consultant. I designed and implemented a hospital-based program for childbearing families in the mid-80’s, one of the first in the country. As my children grew, I returned to school earning an MA in psychology. As I began to develop a deepening interest in the dynamics of family and relationships, my understanding of the critical nature of the breastfeeding relationship deepened. Teaching at a university in the human development department has fueled my desire to share information about the often misunderstood needs of infants and young children, as well as their parents.
Nancy has been providing breastfeeding help and support for 40 years and has been a national speaker for 30. She has been a perinatal educator and consultant since the late 1970’s. Her second career is that of a Marriage and Family Therapist. Her passion is to explore the larger picture of the mother-baby dyad in the context of the breastfeeding relationship.
Care providers are well aware of the intensity of vulnerability experienced by new parents. This can mean that they are vulnerable to harm, but also can mean that they are more vulnerable to being cared for and taught. We don’t always consider how care providers might experience positive and negative vulnerability with each new parent. This workshop explores these questions and seeks to assist us to give the best possible care to parents and to ourselves.
Birth, breastfeeding and the parenting arts are largely right-brain experiences, drawing heavily on instinct and intuition as well as learned behaviors. Often when care providers teach new parents we come at it from a more left-brain teaching method. This workshop explores different learning styles of each part of the brain and provides strategies for more effective right-brain teaching.
In addition to rising Postpartum depression rates, lactation consultants are being presented with more complexities of the maternal experience. Understanding the dynamics may help us to provide optimal care. Strategies for assisting mothers to have better experiences will be explored.
Western Culture has increasingly ignored biological realities in our attempt to provide new and safer birthing and parenting practices. Perhaps this has led to many of our breastfeeding difficulties. Strategies for coping with changes will be presented.
This session will look at sensory problems, now known as Sensory Processing Disorder. How might these difficulties impact the breastfeeding dyad and the family? We will describe this and present ideas on how to minimize the problems and support breastfeeding.
What risks are incurred when formula and bottle-feeding are chosen? While it has become well-known that there are serious biophysical risks, this session will examine the arena seldom discussed. We will explore cognitive, emotional, relational deficits and more, paying attention to helping families who must use alternative infant feeding.
This session will explore Attachment Theory, discussing the importance of breastfeeding in developing the lifelong bond between the child and parents. Information on attachment and early brain development will be presented. The importance of good caregiving, as well as the opportune relationship will be addressed.
Some clients create special challenges with their mental or personality difficulties. This session will explore both, defining differences. A discussion of postpartum mood disorders will include maintaining breastfeeding. Counseling strategies will be presented.
Current information on working with teen mothers includes issues such as body art, nutrition, grandmothers, and adolescent brain development. Strategies for connecting with and teaching these mothers will be addressed.
Birth and Mothering take place on a limbic plane, yet we are often called to teach from a cognitive place. How can we bridge this gap? This workshop will describe and explore these differences, offering help to make our consulting experiences more effective.
Generations X and Y are now both our clients and colleagues to those older Lactation professionals. This workshop will help to assess the differences between these cultures and how best to serve and work together.
This session describes the dynamics in play with the mothers who present challenges to our counseling skills. Methods of coping and providing optimal care are described.