List of LactSpeak Speakers

Naomi Bar-Yam, ACSW, PhD

Naomi Bar-Yam,ACSW,  PhD, has been working in maternal and child health for over 35 years as an educator, researcher, advocate, and writer. She is past president of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) and the director emerita 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 has 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, milk banking, and access to perinatal child care. As the founder and Director Emerita 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.


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, MS, IBCLC, RLC is a board certified lactation consultant, neonatal oral-motor assessment professional, and clinical herbalist in private practice. Melissa has been passionate about providing comprehensive, holistic lactation support and improving the level of clinical lactation skills for health professionals. She enjoys teaching, researching and writing about wellness and lactation-related topics. Melissa holds a bachelor of science degree in maternal child health and lactation consulting and her master’s work is in therapeutic, clinical herbalism. Melissa actively conducts research and collaborates with several lactation and health care professional associations. 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. Melissa Cole - Teaching Topics and Objectives Melissa Cole - Two Page Speaker Packet 2024

Cynthia Good, MS, LMHC, IBCLC, CATSM

Cynthia Good, MS Clinical Psychology, is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Psychotherapist, author, consultant, and internationally recognized speaker. She is also Certified in Acute Traumatic Stress Management, and formerly served as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University in Washington, USA where she taught counseling skills. She has a strong interest in the emerging field of lactational psychology. She is the Director of Perinatal Mental Health and Parent Support at Sandbox Therapy Group in Washington, USA and serves as Program Chair for GOLD Lactation. She formerly served as Research Associate in the Publications Department of La Leche League International, faculty of Parkland College in Illinois, USA, and Education Manager at the International Lactation Consultant Association. She has authored, contributed to, and provided editorial review of numerous publications related to lactation, culture, psychology, and social justice.

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.

Christy Jo Hendricks

Christy Jo Hendricks, IBCLC, RLC, CLE, CCCE is an international speaker, author, inventor and educator. She has made a career of teaching lactation in ways that simplify learning. She has been awarded the US Presidential Volunteer Award, the Phyllis Klaus Founder’s Award for her contribution to the Mother/Baby bond and the Above and Beyond Award for innovative projects that exemplify the mission of Public Health. She has also been named Lactation Educator Faculty of the Year from CAPPA and has earned their Visionary Award. Christy Jo created a popular Lactation Preparation Course, which has been used to train hundreds of students to become Lactation Consultants and the popular breastmilk versus artificial human milk tower comparison. She has invented many teaching tools for visual learners. She resides with her family in California where she continues to serve her community as a Lactation Consultant, Health Educator for the Department of Public Health, and faculty for the CAPPA CLE© and Childbirth Educator Programs.

Jarold (Tom) Johnston

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".

Hope Lima, PhD, RDN, IBCLC

Dr. Hope Lima (she/her) is a nutrition and lactation educator and clinician who wants to help raise the bar for how we care for clients in the field of maternal and child health. She is trained as a nutrition researcher, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). Hope has advanced training in pediatric food allergies, metabolism, and utilizing an Internal Family Systems-informed counseling approach to support families. Hope has experience in curriculum development, program planning and research methods as a professor in a university-level dietetics department. Hope also has experience in clinical counseling through her private practice, Hope Feeds Families, based in Rock Hill, SC. She uses these experiences to provide meaningful, engaging learning experiences for professionals in the fields of nutrition, dietetics, and lactation. Hope founded Feeding Families Education and Consulting in 2023 with a vision of changing the way that we train clinicians and raising the bar for continuing education. When she is not working on her professional endeavors, Hope can be found playing with her 3 dogs, hiking in national parks with her husband, or riding roller coasters with her step-kids.

Bonnie Logsdon

Bonnie Holt Logsdon (she/her) is a Registered Dietitian (RD), International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Certified Lactation Educator™ (CLE©) through CAPPA, a DONA trained birth doula, and parent with over 20 years of experience in community-based nutrition and lactation practice, professional speaking and training. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Western Kentucky University. Through her private practice in the Louisville, KY area, Bonnie has educated hundreds of parents and families during the prenatal and postpartum period on topics surrounding nutrition and lactation. She facilitates new parent groups and coordinates parent retreats and classes as well. In addition to her private practice, Bonnie is a current board member of the HMBANA-accredited human milk bank - The Milk Bank, and served on the board of the Kentuckiana Lactation Improvement Coalition as President. In her lactation practice, Bonnie is committed to giving personalized, affirming care to each family and individual she works with. Her promise and #1 priority is to provide support in a compassionate, non-judgmental way to meet families where they are and help them meet their chest/breastfeeding or nutrition goals. In her free time, Bonnie spends time with her husband and their 9-year-old and they enjoy time outdoors, traveling, and cooking.

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, MA, IBCLC, FILCA

Lisa Marasco has been working with breastfeeding mothers for over 35 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 Making More Milk: The Breastfeeding Guide to Increasing Your Milk Production, a contributing author to the Core Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Lactation Care, and a Cochrane Collaborative author. She is recently retired from WIC of Santa Barbara County as well as her volunteer position with La Leche League, but continues to research, write and speak.

Meghan McMillin MS, RD, IBCLC

Meghan McMillin holds a Master’s Degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has been a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) since 2013 and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2019 Meghan spent 5 years working clinically in the NICU, pediatric floor and women’s units of a local hospital. In 2019, Meghan started her own private practice with a focus on postpartum and infant care. The mama to two young kids with food allergies, helping other families manage food allergies, whether it’s while breastfeeding, during the introduction of solids, or later in childhood, is her passion. Meghan is a member of the International Lactation Consultant Association and the United States Lactation Consultant Association. She enjoys sharing her knowledge through social media, freelance writing and public speaking. Meghan is the coauthor of the eBook What To Eat When Your Baby Can’t Tolerate Milk, Soy, or Egg Protein; Nutrition guidance for avoiding milk, soy, and/or eggs while lactating. Meghan has presented both nationally and internationally including for GOLD learning, the National WIC Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In 2020, Meghan was awarded the Emerging Professional in Women's Health Award from the Women's Health Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics  Meghan lives with her husband and two children outside of Chicago, IL. In her spare time she enjoys working out, allergen-free baking and having dance parties with her kids in the kitchen.

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.

Jeanette Mesite Frem

Jeanette Mesite Frem, MHS, IBCLC, RLC, CCE is an experienced childbirth educator, IBCLC-lactation consultant and retired birth doula.  She started her career working with families while serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa in the early 90s.  She loved that work so much she went on to receive a public health masters degree from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, focusing her studies on nutrition for maternal and child health.  Her two children were breastfed for more than 2 years each and Jeanette has experience pumping at work for both children and has supported thousands of families with feeding and pumping over the last 30 years.

Jeanette provides prenatal childbirth and breastfeeding classes at her office in Northborough, Massachusetts, as well as providing virtual and office feeding consultations. She also enjoys leading online and in-person workshops and speaking at conferences for lactation and perinatal health professionals and mentoring professionals related to pumping, flange fitting, bottlefeeding, and various feeding gear.  She's also enjoying being involved in research studies related to pumping and flange fitting, as well as connecting with industry leaders to request they change recommendations and products related to pumping. If you have questions, feel free to email

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. Kathy provides evidence and research-based lactation inservices, presentations on breastfeeding, parenting, and well-woman care, 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 and a Certified Attached at the Heart Parenting Educator.

Barbara D. Robertson

Barbara D. Robertson, IBCLC, has been involved in education for over 34 years. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education in 1988 and her Master’s in Education in 1995. Barbara left teaching elementary students in 1995 to raise her two children. Barbara is now the Director of The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor and of the brand new business LactaLearning. The Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor will still continue to serve breast/chestfeeding families and now LactaLearning will be dedicated to all of Barbara’s professional lactation trainings. Barbara has developed two 95 hour professional lactation training, a group training and a completely self study training with Nancy Mohrbacher. Barbara’s idea of creating professional book groups has exploded with her hosting Making More Milk with Lisa Marasco, Supporting Sucking Skills with Cathy Watson Genna, Breastfeeding Answers, 2nd Edition with Nancy Mohrbacher, and new for the fall, Safe Infant Sleep with Dr. James McKenna.  Barbara will be hosting a one day online conference in the fall with Lisa Marasco and Cathy Watson Genna using all of her tech savvy skills to make this a one of a kind experience. Barbara is also a speaker for hire on a wide variety of topics including Motivational Interviewing.  Barbara volunteered for the United States Lactation Consultation Association as the Director of Professional Development for 4.5 years.  She just retired as Associate Editor for Clinical Lactation, a journal she helped create for USLCA. Barbara has free podcasts, a blog, and Youtube videos which can all be found on her websites and She has written many articles as well. She loves working with parents and babies, helping them with breast/chestfeeding problems in whatever way she can.

Alyssa Schnell

Alyssa has been helping parents and babies with breastfeeding since 2002, first as a La Leche League Leader and currently 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, and their breastfeeding partners.  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, 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.

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.  

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 with Columbia University and Tel Aviv University departments of Biomedical Engineering 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, 2023, 2016, 2013 and 2008) and Selecting and Using Breastfeeding Tools (Praeclarus Press, 2009). She served as the founding associate editor of Clinical Lactation for it's first 7 years.

Alisa Williams

Alisa is a registered nurse and a board-certified lactation consultant currently in clinical private practice. She is the owner of Momentum Lactation in Edwardsville, IL. She brings over thirty years of experience as an obstetric nurse, educator, and IBCLC to her speaking and teaching engagements. Alisa has a passion for lactation practice skill-building, incorporating an awareness of mental health and social support into lactation care, and integrating evidence into practice. She is an affiliate member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.

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, INHC, CLSP is an author, TEDx and 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 17 years. She previously served on the Board of Directors for the United States Breastfeeding Committee, as CAPPA Senior Advisor, and was on the board for Kindred World. She currently serves as an Advisor for InJoy Health and is on the board for the Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition. She owns MotherJourney, focusing on training perinatal professionals on integrative and holistic information regarding pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding and Thrive with Laurel, focusing on supporting women during perimenopause and menopause. 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 more than 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.

Marie Zahorick, MS, APRN, FNP-C, IBCLC

Marie Zahorick, MS, APRN, FNP-C, IBCLC became a La Leche League Leader in 1999 and an IBCLC in 2005.  After several years of working as a hospital-based bilingual IBCLC, she attended nursing school and eventually became a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner.  In the meantime, she continued working as a hospital-based lactation consultant doing inpatient, outpatient, and Level III NICU lactation support at a variety of hospitals and with a wide variety of patient populations.  After graduate school, Marie was recruited to work as a nurse practitioner in psychiatry.  She was fellowship-trained to manage patients in the acute inpatient setting, partial hospitalization, outpatient office, and OB patients in the general hospital setting.  She specializes in women’s psychiatry, especially medical management of women who are pregnant or lactating. Her expertise includes psychopharmacology in pregnant and lactating women as well as general psychopharmacology.  She is experienced at diagnosing and treating mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, perinatal/postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, postpartum psychosis, obsessive-compulsive disorder, premenstrual and perimenopausal mood disorders, and personality disorders. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and three adult children in the transient stage of life.  Her children all breastfed for at least two years but now just make faces when confronted with that fact.

Lisa Marasco

GOLD Lactation

Aug 19th 2024

Christine Staricka

2024 Texas WIC 50th Anniversary Conference

Aug 21st 2024
Austin, Texas, USA

Bonnie Logsdon

Texas WIC Association Conference

Aug 22nd 2024
Austin, TX

Melissa Cole

GOLD Tongue Tie Symposium 2024

Sep 9th 2024

Melissa Cole

A Mindful Approach to Care with Growing Green Families

Sep 13th 2024
Valparaiso, FL

Hope Lima

Colorado Lactation Conference

Sep 13th 2024
Denver, Colorado

Bonnie Logsdon

Appalachian Breastfeeding Network

Sep 24th 2024

Laurel Wilson

Minnesota WIC Breastfeeding Conference - Step Into the Future

Sep 25th 2024
Bloomington, Minnesota