About the Speaker

Alyssa’s passion revolves around supporting non-gestational parents to nurse their babies:  adoptive, intended (through surrogacy), partnered with the gestational parent, and more.   Alyssa’s own amazing experience breastfeeding her baby via adoption prompted her to become a lactation consultant so that she could help other families have their own extraordinary experiences. She has done extensive research on inducing lactation and relactation, and has worked with hundreds of non-gestational parents over the past several years. She believes that every parent who wishes to breast/chestfeed, no matter how their baby arrives, should have the support and helpful information to do so. Lactation professionals provide an essential link to the breast/chestfeeding success of these special families.

Official Bio for Brochure

Alyssa has been helping parents and babies with breastfeeding since 2002, first as a La Leche League Leader and as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 2009.   In her private practice, she consults with families around the globe who wish to induce lactation or relactate as well as with local families with a variety of needs. She is the author of Breastfeeding Without Birthing:  A Breastfeeding Guide for Mothers Through Adoption, Surrogacy, and Other Special Circumstances and a professional supplement to the book, The Breastfeeding Without Birthing Professional Pack online training.  Alyssa has authored articles for The Journal of Human Lactation, The Journal of Clinical Lactation, La Leche League’s Leader Today and Breastfeeding Today magazines, and Adoptive Families magazine.  She 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.

Bio for Introduction

Alyssa has been helping parents and babies with breastfeeding since 2002, first as a La Leche League Leader and as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 2009.   In her private practice, she consults with families around the globe who wish to induce lactation or relactate as well as with local families with a variety of needs. She is the author of Breastfeeding Without Birthing:  A Breastfeeding Guide for Mothers Through Adoption, Surrogacy, and Other Special Circumstances and a professional supplement to the book, The Breastfeeding Without Birthing Professional Pack online training.  Alyssa has authored articles for The Journal of Human Lactation, The Journal of Clinical Lactation, La Leche League’s Leader Today and Breastfeeding Today magazines, and Adoptive Families magazine.  She 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.




Presentations

An Individualized Approach to Induced Lactation and Relactation

Time-frame: 120 minutes
CERP: yes

Non-gestational parents – whether through adoption, surrogacy, foster care, or their partner is birthing – may induce lactation to provide their milk for their babies.  Gestational parents who never initiated or discontinued lactation can relactate to provide their milk for their babies as well.  Initiating milk production when it doesn’t follow birth is not only possible, but when successful it can be extremely healing, empowering and rewarding to the parent and health-giving to the infant.  How can lactation professionals support successful induced lactation and relactation? By suggesting a lactation plan based on the individual histories, circumstances, preferences, and goals of the parent and baby. Frequent and effective milk removals are the only requirement.  Methods and schedule of milk removals can be customized to each dyad.  And, to support the effectiveness of the milk removals, galactogogues and other methods can be applied, also customized for each parent.  The purpose of this presentation is to provide the lactation professional with the skills to suggest methods and a schedule for inducing lactation or relactating customized to the needs of the individual parent and baby.

The External Milk Duct: Choosing and Using A Nursing Supplementer

Time-frame: 75-90 minutes
CERP: yes

Exclusive feeding directly from the breast or chest is not always available.  Common reasons for this include a baby who is unable to effectively remove milk from the breast/chest or a parent who is not producing enough milk to meet baby’s needs.  A nursing supplementer – or supplemental feeding tube device as it is often referred to in journals – can serve as an “external milk duct” providing plenty of extra flow when baby needs an easier flow or parents need an increased flow.  A nursing supplementer can help preserve the breastfeeding relationship and increase milk production.  So why isn’t it used more often?  It can be challenging to use, especially at first.  As a lactation consultant who specializes in working with parents inducing lactation, Alyssa has seen the struggles and successes using a nursing supplementer first-hand.  In this presentation she shares her professional experience and the wisdom of the research to help other lactation professionals support clients with this incredible tool for supporting long-term breastfeeding outcomes.

 

Supplementation: A Goldilocks Dilemma

Time-frame: 60
CERP: yes

Too much supplementation means baby is getting less of the parent’s own milk, and eventually less milk production for the parent.  Too little supplementation means baby is not fed enough.  So how to find that juuuuust right amount?  Or even to determine whether supplementation is really necessary?   And, when necessary, how to supplement in a way that preserves long-term breast/chestfeeding outcomes?  This presentation can serve a guide for if, when, how and how much to supplement direct breast/chestfeeding with additional human milk or infant formula.

The Three Step Framework for Inducing Lactation (TM)

Time-frame: 60-90 minutes
CERP: yes

Whether a parent or parent-to-be is growing their family by adoption, surrogacy, foster care or their partner is pregnant, they may choose to induce lactation.  Inducing lactation allows a non-gestational parent to provide their milk for their baby and aids parent and baby in having a nursing relationship.  But how can a parent bring in milk without the hormones of pregnancy and birth?  Inducing lactation is a process.  When a parent is pregnant, lactation is also a process:  her body and breasts prepare for lactation during pregnancy, the delivery of the placenta triggers the flow of mature milk, and continued removal of milk maintains milk production.  With pregnancy the start of that process happens automatically without any efforts by the parent.  Without pregnancy, the parent can intentionally trigger lactation with three basic steps.  Each of the steps can be customized to the unique circumstances, health profile and preferences of each parent.

Bottles, Breastfeeding and Beyond: Infant Feeding Options for Non-Gestational Parents

Time-frame: 60 minutes
CERP: yes

Non-gestational parents are not limited to bottles filled with formula or their partner’s milk.  This presentation embraces a variety of feeding options available to non-gestational parents … whether they are mothers or fathers, adoptive or intended, cis-gender or transgender.  Options that include bottle-nursing, finger-feeding, comfort nursing, milk sharing and more.  Alyssa will outline what feeding options might suit various families best based on parent health, infant health and development, time available, financial resources, and amount of support required.  Of course, in the end parents generally have a sense of what feeding options they feel most drawn to, and the goal of this presentation is to provide them to finding success wherever their hearts lead.

Successfully Combining Breastfeeding with Work or School

Time-frame: 60 minutes
CERP: yes

Over half of U.S. mothers return to work or school following the birth of their babies.  Unfortunately, this transition back to work or school is a common time when parents discontinue breastfeeding.  They may find continuing to breastfeed creates more challenges for them than the benefits it offers.  Improved support during this time of transition can make all the difference.  This presentation discusses choosing a breast pump, communicating needs with employers. educating caregivers, managing pumping during the work/school day, milk storage, introducing a bottle, and more.

The Unique Needs of Non-Gestational Nursing Parents: Adoption, Surrogacy, LGBTQIA+ and More

Time-frame: 60 minutes
CERP: yes

Every parent deserves the opportunity to breastfeed – even if that parent did not birth their baby.  And as professionals, it is important to recognize that these parents will come to us with some unique needs and circumstances.  They are likely to have health histories that are different than gestational parents.  They may have difficult feelings about their path to parenthood or about their gender identity. The timing of their baby’s arrival may be unknown until weeks or days beforehand.  They may be sharing the nursing role with a partner.  They can expect to need to supplement their milk production.  And of course, they won’t have the hormones of pregnancy to initiate lactation.  Understanding as best we can the unique needs of these extraordinary parents can go a long way towards being an inclusive lactation practice.

The Proficient Pumper

Time-frame: 30-75
CERP: yes

Many lactating parents rely on a breast pump to help provide milk for their babies when they are separated or not feeding directly from the breast/chest for other reasons. Some of these parents may find pumping uncomfortable. Many others have difficulty expressing enough milk to meet their babies’ needs. There are also those who produce an overabundance of milk while pumping. This session addresses all of these parents by providing ideas for making pumping as effective, efficient, and comfortable as possible.

Relactation: Resuming Milk Production after Days, Weeks, or Even Months

Time-frame: 60 minutes
CERP: yes

When is it too late to breastfeed a baby? Sometimes parents regret the decision not to breastfeed. Sometimes they discontinue breastfeeding and feel it was too soon. For various reasons, parents may wish to resume lactation.  Although it isn’t as easy to make milk without the hormones of pregnancy kicking things off, it is very possible for parents who haven’t lactated for days, weeks, or months to begin to produce milk once again.  This presentation was developed to help the listener understand when and why a parent may wish to relactate, what to expect, and the specific tools and techniques to resume milk production.

ReLATCHtation: Transitioning from Bottle-feeding to At-Breast/Chest Feeding

Time-frame: 60 minutes
CERP: yes

Newborn babies are hardwired for breastfeeding:  their newborn instincts direct them to latching at the breast/chest.  But what about older babies who are currently exclusively bottle-feeding – can they learn to breastfeed too?  A birthing parent may wish to initiate or resume breastfeeding after choosing not to breastfeed or discontinuing breastfeeding.  An adoptive or foster parent may be placed with an older baby or toddler whom they wish to nurse.  With patience, persistence, support, and some tools and tricks, it can be possible.  This presentation discusses how to know if baby is ready to breastfeed, setting the stage for success, and the process of gentle transitioning from bottle to breast/chest.

Attachment Parenting as a Foundation of Successful Breastfeeding

Time-frame: 60 minutes
CERP: yes

Breastfeeding is a cornerstone of attachment parenting. But did you know that the other tools of attachment parenting can set the stage for breastfeeding success? Alyssa will discuss how natural childbirth, skin-to-skin, babywearing, co-sleeping, co-bathing, and infant massage are effective tools in establishing breastfeeding – or saving it, if breastfeeding got off to a difficult beginning.

Peer-to-Peer Milk Sharing

Time-frame: 30-60 minutes
CERP: yes

When a parent is unable to meet her baby’s needs with her own milk, milk donated by another nursing parent may be an option. Parents have always quietly, informally received donated milk from family members and friends. Recently, parents are connecting via the internet with nursing parents they have never met who are willing to donate their surplus milk to another baby in need. Milk donors are not screened, the milk is not pasteurized, and the handling and storage of the milk is not monitored. As a result, it is essential that parents take precautions whenever accepting donated milk. This session takes a close look at the concerns regarding milk sharing and how parents can minimize the risks involved.

The Breastfeeding Partner: How Dads, co-Moms, and other Special People Make A Difference

Time-frame: 30-75
CERP: yes

According to research collected by the U.S. Surgeon General, the support of the breastfeeding partner is one of the most important factors for breastfeeding success. Dads and other breastfeeding partners can support breastfeeding success by providing emotional support, gathering resources, helping mother get comfortable, nurturing her, and more.  This session also suggests ways the partner can bond with the baby without bottle-feeding, so that mother can more successfully breastfeed without feeling that she must allow her partner to sometimes feed the baby.

Alyssa Schnell


Country: USA
Phone number: 314-614-2074
Email: alyssa@alyssaschnellibclc.com
Site: http://AlyssaSchnellIBCLC.com
Download CV
social

Publications