Jill Bergman, BA, HDE.


  • Advocacy for Breastfeeding
  • Baby Training/Sleep Programs
  • Babywearing and Breastfeeding
  • Birth Interventions and Breastfeeding
  • Birthing Practices and Breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding Classes
  • Co-Sleeping, Bed-Sharing, and Breastfeeding
  • Colic and Breastfeeding
  • Communication Skills for Breastfeeding Specialists
  • Counseling Methods for Breastfeeding Specialists
  • Hospital Practice/Policy and Breastfeeding
  • NICU Policy/Procedures for Breastfeeding Mothers/Infants
  • Parenting Techniques
  • Premature Breastfeeding Babies
  • Psychology of Breastfeeding
  • Work - life balance

About the Speaker

Jill is passionate about helping parents and their babies get the best start in life. She was fortunate in having her own children in an environment that supported her maternal instincts. Over the years those instincts have turned out to be the same as the highly conserved neuro-endocrine behaviors that her husband Dr Nils Bergman researches in neuroscience.  As an educator she wants to make this neuroscience accessible to parents, who are otherwise disempowered in their birth experience. Even more, she is an advocate, a voice for the newborn. The great majority of parenting advice, at birth and in the years beyond, tells parents what they want to hear, NOT what the baby wants to say! Babies are able to communicate their needs, and their best development requires responsive and sensitive parenting. A key to this is the right start to life at birth, and so Jill speaks her message to parents, as well as to nurses who work with term or preterm newborns.

Official Bio for Brochure

Jill Bergman loves children!

She holds a degree in Geography and English, and a higher diploma in education.   She has worked as a teacher, lecturer, missionary, counselor, guider and youth leader, in three different cultures using three languages. Nevertheless, her top priority is her family, with three children that all breastfed for 18 months, and are now bright and super youngsters. All along she has been working with Dr Nils Bergman on Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC).  She has written a book called “Hold Your Prem”, a workbook on skin-to-skin contact for parents of premature babies; as well as scripted and produced four films on KMC.

Bio for Introduction

Jill Bergman was born and schooled in South Africa, and holds a degree in Geography and English, with a higher diploma in education from the University of Cape Town.  She has worked as a teacher from primary school to secondary school levels, lecturer at a training college, missionary, counselor, Girl Guider (scouts) and youth leader. She has done this in South Africa, Sweden and Zimbabwe, three cultures and three languages; thus she has a broad perspective on the real world. Nevertheless, her top priority is her family, with three children that all breastfed for 18 months, and are now bright and super youngsters.

In 1988 she and her husband Dr Nils Bergman arrived at a remote rural mission hospital, where she helped in starting Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) from birth. Since there were no incubators, Jill and midwife Agneta Jurisoo designed a shirt that supported mother in doing 24 hour skin-to-skin contact safely, and in which the baby could breastfeed successfully.

She has continued this involvement ever since, setting up a small business to market the shirt and other products that support KMC. She has written  “Hold Your Prem”, (“Hold Your Premie” in the USA Version), a workbook on skin-to-skin contact for parents of premature babies; as well as scripted and produced a film of same title, as well as three others, the latest being “Grow Your Baby’s Brain” ... empowering all parents to understand the neuroscience of birth. She manages Nils’ travelling and business, and together they provide workshops and training courses to parents, organizations and hospitals. They share the vision that one day, all babies will stay with their mother at birth, start breastfeeding, and go on to establish a secure attachment.


This speaker is pleased to provide presentations on the following topics to professional and parenting conferences. Presentations on other topics may be available upon request and subject to sufficient development lead-time. (For CERP topics, required paperwork will be provided promptly to meet CERP deadlines.)

Parenting Starts at Birth

60 - 90 minutes

With skin-to-skin contact, the newborn has amazing abilities to breastfeed and begin development of social and emotional intelligence. The key is the early sensitive period, even at caesarean.

This talk is aimed at expecting and new parents, as well as health professionals caring for them.

Helping Health Professionals to Help Parents at Birth

60 - 90 minutes

Latest neuroscience puts the mother as primary caregiver from birth. Nurses need a new role – to teach parents practical skills of skin-to skin contact, breastfeeding and early parenting.

This talk is aimed at health professionals mainly.

Developmental Care for Parents of Preterm Infants

60 - 60 minutes

New evidence shows how vital it is to put the preterm baby onto mother’s chest.  This talk empowers the mother with information and practical skills to best support her sensitive baby’s development.


This talk is for parents of preterm infants and the NICU staff supporting them

Parent-centred Developmental Care for NICU Staff

60 - 90 minutes

This talk is for staff to make the complex neuroscience and scary NICU accessible for parents; and to empower  parents with practical skills in developmental care, while coping emotionally with a preterm.

This is for NICU staff and parents of a preterm baby

Early Parenting informed by Neuroscience

60 - 90 minutes

Early skin to skin contact and breastfeeding change parents’ brains to make parenting so much easier. This neuroscience helps parents to discern a way through conflicting advice from our culture.


This talk is mostly for  parents in the first months and years and those supporting them

Other talks and courses

60 - Full Day minutes

 Jill is specially pleased to share the platform with her husband Nils. They combine to provide the theoretical reasons WHY(Nils) to the practical means HOW(Jill).

They are happy to customise this to shorter lectures, to one day workshops through  to whole week workshops

Travel from South Africa does cost, but by coordinating several events the costs can be shared and become reasonable: see website or email me !!


Contact Info

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8 Francis Road
Pinelands, WC 7405
South Africa


Dr Nils Bergman
November 17, 2011
Dr Nils Bergman
January 4, 2010
Dr Nils Bergman
February 1, 2011
Dr Nils Bergman
November 17, 2011

Speaking Services

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Nearest Airport: 
Cape Town, South Africa
Willing To Travel To: 
Northeast - US
Mid-Atlantic - US
Southeast - US
Northern Mid-West - US
Central Mid-West - US
Southern Mid-West - US
Northwest - US
Mid-Pacific - US
Southwest - US
East Canada
Central Canada
West Canada
South America
West Europe
East Europe
United Kingdom
Middle East