List of LactSpeak Speakers

Amy Barron Smolinski, MA, ALC, CLC

Amy Barron Smolinski is the Executive Director of Mom2Mom Global, a network of breastfeeding peer support, education, and advocacy for military families. She has worked 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. She serves on the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative U.S. Working Group and the Union Institute and University Pathway 2 Lactation Studies Advisory Panel, and as the incoming Treasurer for the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee Board of Directors. Amy holds an MA from Union Institute and University, where her thesis explored re-emerging Sacred Feminine manifestations in the lives of contemporary women. Supporting breastfeeding families has shown her how each parent’s breastfeeding journey with each child is a reclamation of connection to inner wisdom and power.  Amy is an actress, director, and professional voice artist in Germany, where she resides with her husband and four sons, all of whom breastfed.

Liz Brooks JD IBCLC FILCA

Liz Brooks, JD, IBCLC, FILCA, is a lawyer/litigator (since 1983) and private practice lactation consultant (since 1997) who offers lively explanation of the overlap between clinical lactation support, ethics, and the law. Breastfeeding helpers (like IBCLCs) struggle with ethical, moral, and legal conundrums in their everyday work settings. With plain language and humor, Liz explains how the everyone can work ethically and legally, and offers pragmatic tips for immediate use in daily practice. She has served on the boards of directors of the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), and Human Milk Banking Association of North American (HMBANA). She wrote the only textbook focusing on IBCLC ethics and law, authored chapters and articles in several texts and journals, and is a well-received speaker, writer, and educator in her field.

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.

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.

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".

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.

Anne Merewood

Dr. Merewood directs the CHAMPS initiative and the Center for Health Equity, Education, and Research (CHEER). She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine, Associate Professor of Community Health Sciences at the BU School of Public Health, and Consultant to the Indian Health Service, the Rocky Mountain Tribal Epidemiology Center, and several American Indian  tribes. Her areas of interest are the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative; breastfeeding and working with minority populations; research; and international health. Anne gained her undergraduate and PhD degrees at Cambridge University, England, and her Masters in Public Health at the Boston University School of Public Health. She has published over 50 papers in the medical peer reviewed literature.

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.

Barbara D. Robertson

Barbara has been involved in education for over 31 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 was an Associate Editor for Clinical Lactation, a journal that she helped develop for USLCA. She is now a regular contributor with Cathy Watson Genna. She loves working with mothers and babies, helping them with breastfeeding problems in whatever way she can.

Alyssa Schnell

Alyssa has been helping parents and babies with breastfeeding for the past 17 years and she has been accredited as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) since 2009. Her private practice, Sweet Pea Breastfeeding Support, provides individual lactation consultations either in person or by phone or videoconference for parents throughout the United States and beyond. Alyssa is also the co-host of the Breastfeeding Outside the Box podcast devoted to families breastfeeding in extraordinary situations. Alyssa enjoys working with all parents and babies, but she has an extra special place in her heart for helping non-birthing parents 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 is an international speaker on the topics of inducing lactation, relactation, and other related topics. Alyssa is the proud mother of three breastfed children, two by birth and one by adoption.

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 on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Lactation Consultant Association and is 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. 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). She served as the founding associate editor of Clinical Lactation for it's first 7 years.

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, RLC, BSc, CLE, CLD, CCCE, BSc, CPPI

Laurel Wilson, IBCLC, RLC, BSc, CLE, CCCE, CLD is an author, international keynote, speaker, and pregnancy and lactation specialist. 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 international 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 almost three 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, hiking in the mountains with her dogs, kayaking, and cooking. She believes that the journey into parenthood is a life-changing rite of passage that should be deeply honored and celebrated.

Catherine Watson Genna

Maryland Coalition of Lactation Consultants

Jun 25th 2019
GBMC Towson, Maryland

Laurel Wilson

ILCA Engage Conference

Jul 24th 2019
Atlanta, GA