List of LactSpeak Speakers

Helen Ball

Helen Ball is Professor of Anthropology at Durham University, England, where she runs the Parent-Infant Sleep Lab. She has published widely on infant sleep, breastfeeding, bed-sharing, SIDS-risks, and postnatal care. She works with UK hospitals, breastfeeding and parenting organisations on infant sleep safety, feeding interventions and is involved in local and national policy development. She is a member of LLLGB's Panel of Professional Advisors, NCT's Research Advisory Group, and a member of the Editorial Board for the Journal of Human Lactation.

Naomi Bar-Yam, PhD, ACSW

Naomi Bar-Yam, PhD, ACSW, has been working in maternal and child health for almost 30 years as an educator, researcher, and writer.  She is the current president of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) and the founding director of Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast, which provides safe donor milk to hospitals and families throughout the northeastern US.  An expert on access to perinatal health care and policies that support breastfeeding, she been a consultant to the Centers for Disease Control (on a panel that created "The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions”), to the United States Breastfeeding Committee (developing an issue paper addressed to CEOs and legislators on breastfeeding and the workplace), and to the March of Dimes (developing educational material for women and families who are medically and socially vulnerable to high-risk pregnancy).  She also developed a curriculum for hospital personnel about combining breastfeeding with their work. She reviews articles submitted to the Journal of Human Lactation, Breastfeeding Medicine, and other publications related to breastfeeding and access to perinatal child care.  As Executive Director of Mothers' Milk Bank Northeast, she is thoroughly versed in the technical, procedural, and ethical aspects of milk banking.  She often speaks at professional conferences, hospital staff trainings, and grand rounds about milk banking and breastfeeding policies.

Amy Barron Smolinski, MA, ALC, CLC

Amy Barron Smolinski holds an MA from Union Institute and University, where her thesis explored re-emerging Sacred Feminine manifestations in the lives of contemporary women. She is the Executive Director of Mom2Mom Global, a network of breastfeeding peer support, education, and advocacy for military families. She works with breastfeeding dyads in a variety of settings, from inpatient postpartum and NICU to home visits, telephone, and online consulting as an Advanced Lactation Consultant and Certified Lactation Counselor. Supporting breastfeeding families has shown her how each parent’s breastfeeding journey with each of her children is a reclamation of her connection to her inner wisdom and power.  Amy is an actress, director, and professional voice artist in Germany, where she resides with her husband and four sons, the youngest of whom is still breastfeeding.


Liz Brooks, JD, IBCLC, FILCA, is a lawyer/litigator (since 1983) and private practice IBCLC lactation consultant (since 1997) who brings to life the connection between lactation consultation and the law. Healthcare workers (HCPs) face ethical, moral and legal challenges every day in their clinical care.  With plain language and humor, Liz explains how law and ethics affect IBCLCs and HCPs.  She offers immediate, pragmatic tips so HCPs can practice ethically, legally and confidently.  She is an Adjunct Professor in Drexel University's Human Lactation Consultation Program, recently served as the President of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) and Secretary of the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), and is a current Director at the Human Milk Banking Association of North American (HMBANA)(2015-1017).  She wrote the only textbook focusing on IBCLC ethics and law, authored chapters on similar topics in five other texts, and is a well-received writer and lecturer in her field.

Geraldine Cahill IBCLC, BA Community Ed. BA Training, Dip Ed.,(Antenatal)

Geraldine Cahill has been an IBCLC since 2007, working in Ireland in Private Practice and providing breastfeeding education for parents. She has been a Breastfeeding Counsellor with a parent to parent support group - Cuidiú - since 1993 and subsequently also became an Antenatal Educator with the same organisation. She is now a tutor in both Breastfeeding and Antenatal Education and has a huge interest in Adult Education theories and practice.

Melissa Cole, MS, IBCLC, RLC

Melissa Cole is a board-certified lactation consultant, neonatal oral-motor assessment professional and clinical herbalist in private practice.  Melissa is passionate about providing comprehensive, holistic lactation support and improving the level of clinical lactation skills for health professional. She enjoys researching and writing, especially on topics such tongue tie and botanical medicine.  Her bachelor’s degree is in maternal/child health and lactation and her master’s degree is in therapeutic herbalism. Before pursuing her current path, Melissa’s background was in education and cultural arts, which has served her well in her work as a lactation consultant and healthcare educator. She loves living, working and playing in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her 3 children.

Cynthia Good Mojab MS, IBCLC, RLC, CATSM

Cynthia Good Mojab, MS Clinical Psychology, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, author, consultant, and internationally recognized speaker. She is also Certified in Acute Traumatic Stress Management. She has a strong interest in the emerging field of lactational psychology. She is the Director of LifeCircle Consulting. She formerly served as mental health care provider, Research Associate in the Publications Department of La Leche League International, was on the faculty of Parkland College, and currently serves as Education Manager at the International Lactation Consultant Association. She has authored, contributed to, and provided editorial review of numerous publications related to breastfeeding, culture, and psychology.

Alison Hazelbaker Ph.D, IBCLC, FILCA, CST, RCST

Dr. Hazelbaker maintains a private practice in Columbus, Ohio. She has been a La Leche League Leader for over 30 years and a practicing lactation consultant for nearly 30 years. She incorporates her special training in Cranio-Sacral Therapy and Lymphatic Drainage Therapy into her lactation practice. She authored the "Assessment Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function" and invented the Hazelbaker(TM) FingerFeeder. She is one of the few lactation consultants who earned a graduate degree in human lactation (Master's.) Dr. Hazelbaker also holds a doctorate in Psychology, specializing in Energetic and Transformational Healing. Dr. Hazelbaker mothered her five children through long-term breastfeeding and is the proud grandmother of two breastfed grandchildren, Aidan and Eva.

Kay Hoover M Ed, IBCLC, RLC, FILCA

Kay has worked as a private practice lactation consultant, a hospital lactation consultant, the lactation consultant for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and for The Center for Childhood Obesity Research at The Pennsylvania State University. She has presented workshops at national and international conferences. She is a co-author of The Breastfeeding Atlas.

Jarold (Tom) Johnston CNM, IBCLC

Tom Johnston is unique as a midwife and lactation consultant and the father of eight breastfed children.  Recently retired after 27 years in the US Army, he is now an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Methodist University where he teaches, among other things, Maternal-Child Nursing and Nutrition. You may have heard him at a number of conferences at the national level, to include the Association of Woman’s Health and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN), the International Lactation Consultant's Association (ILCA), or perhaps at dozens of other conferences across the country. In his written work he routinely addresses fatherhood and the role of the father in the breastfeeding relationship and has authored a chapter on the role of the father in breastfeeding for "Breastfeeding in Combat Boots: A survival guide to breastfeeding in the military".

Nikki Lee RN, BSN, MS, Mother of 2, IBCLC, CCE, CIMI, ANLC, CKC

Nikki is a nurse, a childbirth educator, a lactation consultant, an infant massage instructor, a cranio-sacral therapist, a researcher, a writer, and a public speaker; she has been working with breastfeeding for over 30 years. Areas of special interest include complementary and alternative therapies, the impact of birth on breastfeeding, and the interpersonal relationship between mother and baby. Her other interests include figure skating and playing back-up rhythm guitar (Cajun and old-time). Nikki imagines clean air, clean water and organic food being major international goals. She imagines that the pursuit of war is dropped, because it isn’t good for babies. She sees everyone, everywhere, caring for and about babies

Alia Macrina Heise

Alia Macrina Heise is not only an expert on the topic of dysphoric milk ejection reflex (D-MER), but she is a former sufferer of the condition, herself. She has been in the field of lactation since 2004 and the topic of D-MER has been her sole pursuit since 2007 when she first identified and named the condition. Her passion is to bring more understanding of the condition to mothers and health care providers, as well as to spread awareness and education on the subject.

Lisa Marasco

Lisa Marasco has been working with breastfeeding mothers for over 30 years and has been Internationally Board Certified since 1993. She holds a Master's degree in Human Development with specialization in Lactation Consulting and was designated a Fellow of ILCA in 2009. Lisa is co-author of The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk, a contributing author to the Core Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Lactation Care, and a new Cochrane Collaborative author. She is employed by WIC of Santa Barbara County while she continues to research, write and speak. In addition, Lisa is an Associate Area Professional Liaison for La Leche League of So. Calif/Nevada, and serves on the Breastfeeding Coalition of Santa Barbara County.

Jake Marcus

Jake Marcus, J.D., is the nation's foremost expert on breastfeeding law. She is a lawyer whose private practice focuses on small businesses (including the business issues of health care practitioners such as IBCLCs and midwives) and healthcare. She was Politics Editor at Mothering magazine until it ceased publication in April of 2011. She was a member of the Legal Advisory Council to La Leche League International. She created and maintains

Jeanette McCulloch IBCLC

Jeanette McCulloch is an IBCLC and the co-founder of BirthSwell (link to an organization improving infant and maternal health by changing the way we talk about birth and breastfeeding. She has been using strategic communications and messaging to change policy, spread new ideas, and build thriving businesses for more than 20 years. Jeanette is honored to be working with local, national, and international birth and breastfeeding organizations and advocates ensuring that women have access to high-quality care and information. She is passionate about health equity and ensuring that all families have access to high-quality, culturally sensitive care.

Nancy Mohrbacher IBCLC, FILCA

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA is author or coauthor of several books for professionals and parents. Her textbooks for breastfeeding specialists, Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple (BAMS) and its BAMS Pocket Guide Edition, are used worldwide. She co-authored (with Julie Stock) all three editions of The Breastfeeding Answer Book, a research-based counseling guide that sold more than 130,000 copies internationally. Her books for parents include Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers, which she co-authored with Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Working and Breastfeeding Made Simple, and her tiny troubleshooting guide Breastfeeding Solutions: Quick Tips for the Most Common Nursing Challenges. Its companion Breastfeeding Solutions app has more than 30,000 downloads and is available on the App Store, Google Play, and the Amazon Appstore. Nancy has been helping breastfeeding families since 1982. Board-certified as a lactation consultant in 1991, she ran a large private lactation practice in the Chicago area from 1993 to 2003. In 2008 Nancy was in the first group of 16 to be awarded the designation Fellow of the International Lactation Consultant Association (FILCA) for her lifetime achievements in breastfeeding.

Theresa Nesbitt

Theresa Nesbitt, MD ("Dr. Theresa") is an Obstetrician-Gynecologist with special training in Maternal Fetal Medicine. Her interests these days lie in promoting health and wellness for women with a focus on mothers. She has a particular interest in brain growth and development. She is the Director of Family Health Coaching, editor of Babies and Breastfeeding Magazine and author of Evolutionary Eating: How We Got Fat and 7 Simple Fixes. She anticipates publication of her newest book Building a Baby Brain Bite by Bite - How to Eat Before, During and After Pregnancy in 2015. She is also Coauthor (with Nancy Mohrbacher IBCLC, FILCA) of the Natural Breastfeeding Program - The Solution to Successful Start. Dr Nesbitt developed an interest in breastfeeding because of she observed that although many pregnant women PLAN to breastfeed, they are not really PREPARED to do so. Her interest in brain health, nutrition and developmental kinesiology have helped her to look at Breastfeeding and Human milk from a new perspective.

Kathy Parkes MSN-Ed, BSPsy, RN, IBCLC, RLC, FILCA, CHC

Kathy Parkes is a registered nurse, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, a Fellow of the International Lactation Consultant Association, has a Masters in Nursing-Education,and a Bachelors in psychology. She has been board certified since 1992, and has worked with mothers and babies in a wide variety of breastfeeding situations in both hospital and private practice settings. Certified by the Texas WIC Department, Kathy is a Peer Counselor trainer. Kathy provides lactation inservices, breastfeeding presentations, Peer Counselor trainings, and lactation consultations through Breastfeeding Perspectives, her private practice. One of Kathy's specialties is lactation choices following pre-natal, post-natal, and infant loss. She is also a Certified Health Counselor, specializing in pregnancy and lactation.

Sherry Payne MSN, RN, CNE, IBCLC

Sherry L. Payne has a bachelors of nursing and a masters in nursing education from Research College of Nursing in Kansas City, MO. She is a midwifery student and is pursuing doctoral studies in nursing education with Walden University. She is a lactation consultant and a certified nurse educator. Upon completion of her midwifery studies, she plans to open an urban prenatal clinic and birth center. Ms. Payne founded Uzazi Village, a nonprofit dedicated to decreasing health disparites in the urban core. She owns Perinatal ReSource an education, training and consulting firm. She is an editor for Clinical Lactation Journal, and sits on the board of the National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color (NAPPLSC). She presents nationally on perinatal and nursing education issues. Her career goals include increasing the number of midwives of color and improving lactation rates in the African American community through published investigative research and application of evidence based clinical practice and innovation in healthcare delivery models.

Barbara D. Robertson

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.

Robyn Roche-Paull RNC-MNN, BSN, IBCLC

Robyn Roche-Paull, RN, BSN, IBCLC, has been working with breastfeeding mothers for over 18 years. She holds Bachelor's degrees in Maternal Child Health and Nursing. Currently, Robyn is working as an IBCLC at Madigan Army Medical Center serving AD military families. She is a Retired La Leche League Leader. Robyn is the author and founder of "Breastfeeding in Combat Boots" a resource for military mothers choosing to breastfeed. She is a veteran of the US Navy with experience breastfeeding on active duty. Robyn lives in Graham, WA with her 3 children and husband. She is the proud owner of various tattoos and piercings, and lives in the digital world more than she probably should.

Alyssa Schnell

Alyssa has been helping mothers and babies in the St. Louis area with breastfeeding for the past 14 years, first as a La Leche League Leader and now as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She works in private practice. Her practice, Sweet Pea Breastfeeding Support, provides prenatal, pre-adoption/surrogacy, and postpartum lactation consultations, as well as breast pump sales and rentals.  Alyssa also co-hosts the Breastfeeding Outside the Box podcast. Alyssa enjoys working with all mothers and babies, but she has an extra special place in her heart for helping mothers through adoption and surrogacy to breastfeed their babies. She is the author of Breastfeeding Without Birthing: A Breastfeeding Guide for Mothers Through Adoption, Surrogacy, and Other Special Circumstances and has been featured in Adoptive Families magazine, The Journal of Human Lactation, and The Journal of Clinical Lactation. Alyssa is the proud mother of three breastfed children, two by birth and one by adoption.

Sara Chana Silverstein

Sara Chana Silverstein is an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), classical homeopath, master herbalist, businesswoman, wife and mother of seven children. She is a highly sought-after public speaker, presenting an array of topics in an intelligent, compelling, and exciting way. Her specialty is using herbs in breastfeeding. Sara Chana has worked with over 12 thousand breastfeeding moms over the past 25 years specializing in sore nipples, chronic yeast, failure to thrive, low milk supply, over productions, and integrating alternative medicine with conventional medicine.  Her specialty is the use of Herbal Medicine while breastfeeding. Sara Chana travels the country doing TV segments for ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox news shows. She also guests lectures at Medical schools teaching pediatric residents about breastfeeding. She is a consultant to many obstetricians, midwives and pediatricians in the New York metropolitan and Los Angeles area, and she guides mothers in how to ask the proper questions of their doctors to ensure that they and their children receive the most appropriate and comprehensive healthcare.  

Jennifer South RN, IBCLC, RLC

Jennifer South is the Director of Women's Services at Santa Rosa Medical Center in Milton, FL and owner of The 4th Trimester, LLC. A board-certified lactation consultant and RN with nearly 30 years of experience in maternal-child care, Jennifer has served at some of the nation’s top hospitals, including Touro Infirmary in New Orleans, Dayton Children’s Hospital and the University of North Carolina Medical Center in Chapel Hill. In 2015, Jennifer led Sacred Heart Hospital of Pensacola’s push to receive its designation as a Baby Friendly Hospital. As a result, she received the hospital’s 2015 award for nursing excellence, and was a presenter at the 2015 International Lactation Consultants Association conference in Washington, D.C., presenting “Creating a Breastfeeding Culture" to excellent reviews. For Jennifer, breastfeeding education is more than a profession, it’s a calling. She passionately believe that breastfeeding is critical to not only healthy, successful children, but healthy, successful families. Jennifer lives with her husband Paul and their three children in Pace, Florida.

Marian Tompson

Marian Tompson is one of the seven Founders of La Leche League International. She currently serves on the International Advisory Council for WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.) Marian spends every spare minute gathering information, raising critical questions and stimulating needed research about breastfeeding in the context of HIV/AIDS and is the founder, President and CEO of AnotherLook, a not-for-profit corporation.

Marsha Walker RN, IBCLC

Marsha is a registered nurse and international board certified lactation consultant. She maintained a large clinical practice at a major HMO in Massachusetts, is a published author and an international speaker. Consulting with hospitals, providing in-service presentations, speaking at conferences and workshops and advocating for breastfeeding at the state and federal levels occupy her professional time. She is currently the chair of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, and sits on the board of directors of Baby Friendly USA, Best for Babes Foundation, and the US Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA). She is a past president of the International Lactation Consultant Association and the Executive Director of the National Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy.

Catherine Watson Genna BS, IBCLC

Catherine Watson Genna has been an IBCLC in private practice in NYC since 1992. She has a special interest in the anatomical, genetic and neurological influences on infant sucking skills, and writes and speaks on these topics. She serves as associate editor of Clinical Lactation. Catherine's research includes using ultrasound and cervical auscultation to study sucking and suck:swallow coordination in infants with ankyloglossia as well as biomechanical aspects of breastfeeding. She is an avid clinical photographer and the author of Supporting Sucking Skills in Breastfeeding Infants (Jones and Bartlett Publishers,2016,  2013 and 2008) and Selecting and Using Breastfeeding Tools (Hale Publishing, 2009).

Nancy Williams

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.

Laurel Wilson IBCLC, CLE, CLD, CCCE, BSc

Laurel Wilson, IBCLC, CLE, CCCE, CLD is an author, international speaker and pregnancy and lactation expert. She served as the Executive Director of Lactation Programs for CAPPA, the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association for 16 years and now is on the Senior Advisor Board. She is on the Board of Directors for the United States Breastfeeding Committee and also on the Advisory Board for InJoy Birth and Parenting. She owns MotherJourney, focusing on training perinatal professionals on integrative and holistic information regarding pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding. She has her degree in Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting and is an internationally board certified lactation consultant. Wilson is the co-author of two books, The Attachment Pregnancy and The Greatest Pregnancy Ever and contributing author to Round the Circle: Doulas Talk About Themselves. She loves to blend today’s recent scientific findings with the mind/body/spirit wisdom. Laurel has been joyfully married to her husband for more than two decades and has two wonderful grown sons, whose difficult births led her on a path towards helping emerging families create positive experiences. Laurel spends her free time reading piles of research, running in the mountains with her dogs, and kayaking. She believes that the journey into parenthood is a life-changing rite of passage that should be deeply honored and celebrated.

Alia Macrina Heise

Online presentation on iLactation

Mar 7th 2018
Online at

Laurel Wilson

WALC Breastfeeding Conference

Mar 8th 2018
Oshkosh, WI

Laurel Wilson

Tulare County Breastfeeding Conference

Mar 15th 2018
Visalia, CA

Laurel Wilson

Breastfeeding and Feminism

Mar 21st 2018
Chapel Hill, NC

Laurel Wilson

WIC Association of NYS 2018

Mar 26th 2018
Crowne Plaza, White Plains, NY