The Intergenerational Secret Service Inside You--and Your Baby!

November 28, 2016
Hosted by Marie Biancuzzo, RN MS IBCLC

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Episode Description

How would you feel if a secret service agent was assigned to protect your baby’s body for the rest of her life? Safe? Reassured? And what if that secret service agent required no training, no salary, and no special effort to protect your baby? And even more amazingly, would you want that secret service agent for your baby if you knew it would also protect your grandchild? Yes? Are you wondering how you can get such a secret service agent for your child—and her children? Listen as Marie and her guest, author and filmmaker Toni Harman, talk about the microbiome and how there is not only one, but over 700 unique species of “secret service agents” for your breastfed baby! Do formula-fed babies enjoy as much protection as breastfed babies? Um, no. Are there ways to increase the number of protective microorganisms in each newborn? Yes, absolutely. Don’t miss this intriguing episode that helps you to let these protective microorganisms in the window of opportunity to—before it slams shut.

Born to be Breastfed

Born to be Breastfed

Monday at 3 PM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Health and Wellness Channel

Every new mother hears that breast is best. Many decide to breastfeed so their baby has the best. But soon after birth, the days are often fraught with sleep deprivation and conflicting messages from peers, family members, and health care professionals. Later, negative messages from the media and critical comments from family members and others may trigger mothers to question their decision. Feelings of inadequacy, intimidation and societal pressure to wean can cause mothers to give up breastfeeding before meeting their goals.

The aim of this show is to empower parents to overcome the barriers that keep them from beginning or continuing to breastfeed. Through discussion of hospital practices, milk supply, medications, returning to work, milk storage options, and more, this show will provide an informed and supportive voice for new families and established families, so that they can take charge of their breastfeeding experience from conception through weaning.

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Marie Biancuzzo, RN MS IBCLC

Marie Biancuzzo, RN MS IBCLC

Marie Biancuzzo started helping mothers, babies and families to succeed at breastfeeding more than thirty years ago. Fondly remembered for decades by mothers, she earned their trust by helping them to cut through the misinformation, bust the myths, and believe in themselves. Among her peers, Marie has received international recognition as a clinical expert, book author, and national-level change agent. She was a founding member of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, the past president of Baby-Friendly USA, and the founding editor of Nursing for Women's Health.

Marie has both depth and breadth of expertise from having worked in community and teaching hospitals, with mothers and health care providers, in nearly all subspecialties of maternal infant health. From the mother’s hospital bedside to the university classroom, Marie has honed her skills at helping people be good consumers of health care information.

A native of the Rochester, New York area, Marie now resides in the Washington DC area but crisscrosses the country as Director of Breastfeeding Outlook, the education company she founded in 1998. Through her courses and seminars, Marie works to help nurses and other professionals learn how to help families with breastfeeding and related perinatal topics. Recognized for her warmth and personable teaching style, Marie continues to provide direct assistance to mothers, as well.

Marie writes weekly for her blog, The Gold Standard Line.

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  • 11/28/2016: The Intergenerational Secret Service Inside You--and Your Baby! Listen Now
  • 11/21/2016: Encore: Top Tips for Air Travel Listen Now
  • 11/14/2016: Military Families: Serving Their Country, Breastfeeding Their Babies Listen Now
  • 11/7/2016: A Quick Guide to Stress-Free Baby-Led Weaning and Offering Table Foods Listen Now

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James Akre

When presenting at breastfeeding conferences, James Akre often begins by emphasizing his three most important credentials, in order of significance: being a mammal (since 1944), being a father (since 1974), and being a grandfather (since 2000). Before formally retiring in 2004, James also worked for 30 years in the field of international public health nutrition. He believes that people fare best when they act consistently with nature; the newborn, then, should begin life at the mother’s breast. James is a passionate advocate for appropriate nurturing and nutrition for all children. “Breastfeeding,” he explains, “is not a woman’s issue. Breastfeeding is not a man's issue. Breastfeeding is a human issue.” View Guest page

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Kimberly Seals Allers

Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist and nationally-recognized commentator on motherhood and breastfeeding in the African American community. A former senior editor at Essence magazine, she is the author of “The Mocha Manual” series and co-author of “Giving Notice: Why the Best and Brightest are Leaving the Workplace.” In 2011, Kimberly was named an IATP Food and Community Fellow for the Kellogg Foundation’s effort to increase awareness of the “first food”—breast milk—in vulnerable communities. She has been selected by the United States Breastfeeding Committee as a lead commentator for the national “Break Time for Nursing Mothers” campaign, and writes for several popular online parenting sites. Her next book, on the social, political and economic influences of U.S. breastfeeding culture, will be published by St. Martin’s Press this year. Kimberly is a divorced mother of two and lives in Queens, NY. She is online at and BlackBreastfeeding 360°. View Guest page

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Michelle Atkin

Michelle Atkin is a breastfeeding advocate and parenting coach in the U.K. For the past 12 years, she has worked to support parents in their infant feeding choices, and she developed the first peer-based breastfeeding support organization. Employing more than 100 peers, the company has served more than 30,000 mothers. Michelle has worked with regional and national government on breastfeeding-related policies and was a lead partner on the successful “Be a Star” social media campaign to reach young mothers. She is a persuasive public speaker who has spoken on effective breastfeeding support at UNICEF, international, and national conferences. Her recent efforts are on breastfeeding past the first birthday and child-lead weaning. She notes that Western culture is out of kilter with nature, leading to premature weaning. The mother of seven children, ages 4 to 27 years, Michelle draws on parenting and professional experience to make the case for breastfeeding beyond the first year. View Guest page

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Teresa Bailey

Teresa Bailey, CD, IBCLC, has been a doula with “Hearts and Hands Doula Service” since 1999 and a lactation consultant since 2010. She and Jan Mallak (founder of Hearts and Hands) co-authored “Doulas’ Guide to Birthing Your Way,” published by Hale Press in 2010 and available on Amazon. As a doula, Teresa has attended more than a hundred births, including VBACs, cesarean births, inductions, birth center births, twin births, home births, and births with water. She also provides postpartum assistance, including breastfeeding help. As an educator, Teresa teaches new mothers about their upcoming birth; she also trains new doulas. In addition to her doula and lactation consultant training, Teresa has earned a doctorate in law, a master’s degree in library science, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and mathematics. She is happily married to writer Christopher Bailey, and has a son Simon, born in 2001 in a doula-attended birth. She blogs at View Guest page

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Dr. Isabel Basaldu-Prado

Isabel Basaldu-Prado, MD, IBCLC View Guest page

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Dr. Mark Belsey

Now retired, Dr. Mark Belsey was, during his 24 years with the World Health Organization, Chief Medical Officer and head of the Maternal and Child Health and Family Planning. He also served the focal point for Family Health and the International Year of the Family and is the author of “AIDS and the Family,” published by the United Nations in 2005. With the late James Grant and other international public health leaders, Dr. Belsey was instrumental to the development of the WHO’s Baby-Friendly Health Initiative. View Guest page

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Nils Bergman

Nils Bergman calls himself a Public Health Physician, and currently promotes and researches skin-to-skin contact on a fulltime basis. He is an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and a research affiliate of the South African Medical Research Council. He was born in Sweden and raised in Zimbabwe, where he later worked as a mission doctor. He received his medical degree (MB ChB) at the University of Cape Town, and later a Master's in Public Health at the University of the Western Cape. He has worked in rural South Africa, Zimbabwe and Sweden, and his last posting was Senior Medical Superintendent of Mowbray Maternity Hospital in Cape Town, overseeing 18000 births per year. He enjoys sharing the wildlife of Africa with his wife and three youngsters. See for more info. View Guest page

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Debbie Betts, M.S., CCC-SLP

Debbie Betts has been providing speech language services to children, many of which have special needs, in Olney and Bethesda, Maryland, for 18 years. With a focus on Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Language Disorders, Articulation Disorders and Oral Motor Disorders, she has explored how breastfeeding contributes to the development of speech and other aspects of childhood development. “Providing guidance and support for breastfeeding is a natural progression,” Debbie says, when asked how breastfeeding became part of her practice. She will share how oral motor development is an essential foundation for life—from eating and speaking, to first impressions, and other life skills. She also will tell you that she loves children and how gratifying it is to see them develop.
Having breastfed her own child, she is aware of the benefits and the challenges of early breastfeeding. Patient, understanding, an active listener, and constant learner, Debbie focuses on the whole person and family in her practice.
Debbie was awarded a B.S. degree from Towson University and a M.S. degree in Speech Language Pathology from Loyola University of Maryland. On several occasions, the American Speech-Language Hearing Association has given Debbie the Award for Continuing Education in recognition of her exceptional commitment to continuing professional education. She speaks to parent groups and educators on a variety of developmental related topics and she currently works with a new mothers breastfeeding support group. View Guest page

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Amelia Boomker

Born and raised in Chicago, Amelia was breastfed; her mother also donated to a local milk bank. During a bad illness at age 1, Amelia was a recipient of donor milk. She learned early in school and sports never to give up even when the challenges are large, and she credits this sense of determination in helping her to pump and donate milk for babies in need. Amelia met her husband at Valparaiso University, and the two married shortly after graduation. The couple has four boys together. Danny was born in 2005 with a severe complex heart defect, hypoplastic left heart syndrome. He has undergone several surgeries and was unable to breastfeed. So that he could receive her milk, Amelia began pumping. She continued to pump her milk after the births of Liam (2007), Ryan (2009), and Connor (2012). Guinness Book of World Records recently recognized her for donating the most breast milk ever (>482 liters). Amelia works as a Java developer and donated to the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank. View Guest page

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Jolene Brighten

Jolene Brighten, ND earned her doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the National College of Natural Medicine after receiving a BS in Nutrition Science and completing graduate coursework in molecular nutrition. She has extensive training in Integrative Women’s Health and autoimmune disease management and is a practicing Holistic Pelvic Care(TM) provider. Having developed Hashimoto’s following the birth of her son, Dr. Brighten is an advocate for the Hashimoto’s community, with special emphasis in fertility, pregnancy, and postpartum thyroiditis. The author of Healing Your Body Naturally After Childbirth: The New Mom’s Guide to Navigating the Fourth Trimester, Dr. Brighten is a regular contributor to several publications and websites. She often lectures on the subject of postpartum care, autoimmunity, and women’s health. Her website is View Guest page

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Ariadne Brill

Ariadne is a happy mama to three children. Ariadne has a Masters in Psychology and is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator. She specializes in helping families bring more cooperation and calm into their homes. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, one cuddly dog and "bluey" the fish. Connect with Ariadne at the Positive Parenting Connection Website (, Facebook Q&A Group ( and Online Classroom ( View Guest page

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Amy Bruehwiler

Amy Bruehwiler, RN, graduated from nursing school in 2005 and began working in maternal-newborn hospital care. After a few years, she moved to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Before she was a nurse, Ms. Bruehwiler trained as a massage therapist with the International Professional School of Bodywork (San Diego, CA) and the International Association of Infant Massage (now the World Institute for Nurturing Communication). She continues to be active in both infant massage and neonatal nursing. View Guest page

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Sarah Buckley

Dr Sarah Buckley is a family physician (GP), trained in family physician obstetrics. She is the author of the internationally best-selling book Gentle Birth. Gentle Mothering and the scientific report Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing, published with Childbirth Connection (US) in 2015.
Sarah is also the mother of four children, all naturally born and naturally raised, now in their teen years and beyond.
Sarah’s work supports parents and professionals to be well informed, and to listen to their hearts and instincts. She acknowledges parents as the real experts in their bodies, babies, and families.
Sarah is currently combines mothering with her work as a writer and lecturer on pregnancy, birth and parenting, and is also a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. See and and her Hormonal Physiology report at View Guest page

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Samantha Bunnell

Samantha Bunnell, RN is a Certified Babywearing Instructor through the Center for Babywearing Studies as well as a Pediatric nurse. Her background includes work with local midwives attending births and teaching babywearing classes, work with local pediatricians doing in-office babywearing consultations and teaching families in their homes. Samantha is an aspiring IBCLC and hopes to bring a babywearing program to her hospital as part of the prenatal education series. View Guest page

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Di Bustamante

Di Bustamante has made a career out of supporting women and children as they transition through pregnancy, childbirth, and into new parenting. She completed her training and certification as a doula and childbirth educator with Childbirth International and has worked as a board-certified consulting hypnotist, Hypnobirthing(R) practitioner, child birth educator, pregnancy massage therapist. She has also trained instructors in infant massage and Dunstan Baby Language of infant communication. Over the years, Di has volunteered with breastfeeding training programs for new moms and a child bereavement support group. Currently, she resides in Pine, Arizona, where she is a practicing hypnotherapist with Pine Hypnotherapy. View Guest page

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Jennifer Canvasser

Jennifer Canvasser founded the NEC Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis, after losing her son Micah to the disease in 2012. The NEC Society is a leading international champion for the prevention of NEC in fragile infants. She and her husband Noah also founded the Micah Smiles Fund to help expand the music therapy program at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. Jennifer's expertise includes children's environmental health, nonprofit leadership, community organizing, and public policy. A well-known speaker and a regular contributor to The Huffington Post on parenting, health, and food justice issues, Jennifer completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA and earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California. She can be found online at View Guest page

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Tina Cardarelli, BS IBCLC

Tina is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant whose primary interest is engaging community partnerships, leveraging local talent and efforts to promote breastfeeding. After almost two decades of working in Massachusetts and Michigan, Tina moved to Indianapolis in 2008 to become the first State Breastfeeding Coordinator. In this role, her favorite part of the job is working in communities to create successful, sustained coalitions. During her tenure the number of coalitions in Indiana has grown by 500%. Tina often speaks on the topic of Breastfeeding Support in the Child Care Setting. The “We Care for Breastfed Babies” program began as a coalition initiative in her state and has grown into a model program. Two recent breastfeeding projects she has worked on at Indiana Perinatal Network have received special recognition:Indianapolis Business Journal Health Care Hero Award finalist and Start Award recipient for top Statewide Community or Philanthropic Program. View Guest page

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Tracy Cassels

Tracy Cassels is the founder and primary writer for Evolutionary Parenting. Tracy earned a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from the University of British Columbia, where she focused on evolutionary factors, children’s behavior, and neurological development. Her academic works have been published in many peer-reviewed journals including Psychological Assessment, PLoS One, Personality and Individual Differences, Midwifery, and more. Formerly employed by the Canadian Council on Learning, Tracy serves as an advisor to the Children’s Health and Human Rights Partnership. She writes frequently about the science and importance of attachment and evolutionary parenting. See more at View Guest page

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Suzanne Colson

Suzanne Colson, PhD is a research midwife and a nurse whose thesis introduced biological nurturing ~ laid-back breastfeeding and won the prestigious Akinsanya Award for originality and scholarship in doctoral studies. She is co-founder of The Nurturing Project, an organization which disseminates biological nurturing research. Suzanne is an honorary and founding mother/leader of La Leche League France and is on the professional advisory board of La Leche League of Great Britain. She has over 35 years clinical experience supporting breastfeeding mothers-in France working with Dr. Michel Odent, in London hospitals as a caseload midwife and midwife/lactation specialist, and in research and lecture at Canterbury Christ Church University. Suzanne has authored numerous articles, research papers, a book, and three DVDs. Suzanne has presented biological nurturing in 22 countries across the world. She is available for conferences and clinical consultation; see View Guest page

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Ann Davis

Ann Davis, RPh IBCLC is a versatile and experienced pharmacist and lactation consultant who blends pragmatism with problem-solving. Over more than twenty years of experience in retail and compounding pharmacies, Ann has proven to be an ally to breastfeeding moms and babies facing a host of challenges-medicinal or otherwise, from outside the health care establishment or within. If you have a question about breastfeeding and medicine, Ann is the person to call. An expert on endocrinology, particularly women's hormones, Ann has taught classes, led support groups, and provided one-on-one consultation for many breastfeeding mothers. Told they must "wean" due to a medicine, a procedure, or a biological issue, many women have found other solutions-and preserved their breastfeeding relationship-thanks to Ann's compassionate guidance. View Guest page

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Jill DeLorenzo

Anne Eglash

Anne Eglash, MD, IBCLC, FABM is a practicing family physician at UW Health (Mt. Horeb), where she is the medical director of the outpatient lactation program and leads a teaching lactation clinic. A clinical professor in the Department of Family Medicine and a board certified lactation consultant, she is a co-founder of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, and the medical director and co-founder of Mother’s Milk Association of the Western Great Lakes. A member of the Breastfeeding Advisory Committee of the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP), she has been involved in the organizing of the Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central Wisconsin. Dr. Eglash is co-developer of a breastfeeding triage curriculum for clinical nurses, and she was recently recognized with a Distinguished Service Award from the Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central Wisconsin (2013). She has developed a series of podcasts for medical providers to learn more about breastfeeding, at View Guest page

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Rachael Ellison

Rachael Ellison, MA is a self-proclaimed “workplace crusader,” who works to help companies create and implement flexibility solutions of mutual benefit for employers and employees. The founder of Reworking Parents, Rachael has coached hundreds of executives navigate the transition to parenthood. As a senior partner at the Center for Parental Leave Leadership, Rachael works to create customized, data-driven solutions to guide parental leave programs. The developer of the Need/Done app for working parents, Rachael is available online at View Guest page

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Dr. Keren Epstein-Gilboa

Keren Epstein-Gilboa is a nurse psychotherapist with a long list of credentials behind her name (PhD, MEd, BSN, RN, FACCE, LCCE, IBCLC, RLC) and more than 25 years of working with new parents and families with young children. She has been a counselor, lactation consultant, childbirth educator and birth supporter, researcher, and preschool teacher. She has been on staff at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Keren is the author of articles in scientific journals and other publications on topics ranging from pregnancy and birth to breastfeeding and early parenting, as well as the new book, "Interaction and Relationships in Breastfeeding Families." View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Jill Farmer

Liz Flight

Liz Flight has helped mothers and babies with breastfeeding for over 25 years. As a Navy wife, Liz is focused on the needs of military families and has developed lactation programs for several Navy hospitals over the last 10 years and provided guidance for policy makers concerning support of the military mother returning to active duty.

Liz continues to provide professional education for military residency programs. Liz has been board certified as an IBCLC since 1993. She is on the Executive Board of the USLCA (United States Lactation Consultant Association) and is active in her regional chapter, TALCA (Tidewater Area Lactation Consultant Association). View Guest page

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Robin B. Frees

Robin B. Frees, is a private practice IBCLC who offers consultations for breastfeeding and fertility, and educational programs in Hypnobirthing, infant massage, and Prenatal Parenting. Robin has been featured on Fox News, 48 Update, and NBC News. She has also appeared in articles in the Main Line Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Robin helps each new family formulate and achieve their goals as they begin their journey into parenthood. Over the years, Robin has been an instructor for the Nursing Mothers Counselor Training Course, President of the Board of Directors of the Nursing Mothers Alliance, and President of the Pennsylvania Resource Organization for Lactation Consultants. She is a member of the International Lactation Consultants Association, the HypnoBirthing® Institute, the Institute for Perinatal Education, the American Board of Hypnotherapy, the Loving Touch Foundation for Infant Massage, and the Association for Pre-and Perinatal Psychology and Health. View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Tiffany “Tipper” Gallagher

Tiffany “Tipper” Gallagher has earned the nickname “The Boob Geek” due to her passion for providing evidence-based support for breastfeeding and families. A CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor) and CLEC (Certified Lactation Educator Counselor), Tipper is currently enrolled in the University of California – San Diego Extension lactation consultant certificate program and preparing to sit for the exam to become a board-certified lactation consultant in 2015. She blogs online at View Guest page

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Rachelle Gershovich

Rachelle Gershkovich is a dietician, labor and postpartum doula, certified sleep development specialist, and owner of Maternal Instincts, in Colorado. She has worked as a night nanny since 2002 and has helped guide hundreds of families to a peaceful night’s rest. She has developed the Baby Created Sleep method of tear-free sleep training. A Colorado resident and mother of four children and the author of Creating Sweet Dreams. View Guest page

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Pascal Ghazi

Pascal Ghazi is the founder of Papallaitants, an online support group for fathers of breastfed babies. He launched the community after the birth of his first child, in recognition of the need for fathers to have a peer-based space that encouraged clear communication about their questions and feelings. Although he works as a project manager in a solar energy company in Paris, Pascal's interest in parent/child communication has led him to become certified as a "Faber and Mazlish" facilitator. In addition to spearheading the Papallaitants community on the web site and in Facebook groups, he has spoken alongside Dr. Michel Odent about birth/bonding/breastfeeding. Pascal is married to a La Leche League leader, and he is the proud father of a four-year-old child and a baby on the way. Papallaitants can be found online at View Guest page

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Jon Gillan

Jennifer Grayson

Jennifer Grayson is an environmental journalist, Huffington Post columnist and the author of “UNLATCHED: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy” (HarperCollins, 2016). Her articles have also appeared in The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and American Baby. A leading expert on environmental issues, she has been featured by MSNBC, WGN and NPR, as well as numerous online outlets and blogs. As a columnist for HuffPost Green, she contributed more than a hundred articles to the site via her popular “Innovation Earth” and “Eco Etiquette” columns. Jennifer has also been featured and quoted in articles for Slate, Entrepreneur, Self,, BabyCenter, MomsRising, Well+Good, Earth911, and more. She lives in Los Angeles with her screenwriter husband and two young daughters, and works to restore our vanishing connection to the natural world. View Guest page

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Karen Kerkhoff Gromada

Karen Kerkhoff Gromada, MSN, RN, IBCLC has worked in various perinatal settings, including labor and delivery, early postpartum discharge homecare, and as a private practice and hospital-based lactation consultant. Former leader of a La Leche League group specifically for mothers of multiples, she continues to help mothers facing these particular challenges via private consultation. Karen is the author of ”Mothering Multiples: Breastfeeding and Caring for Twins or More” and related articles for professional and parent publications. A past president of the International Lactation Consultant Association, Karen has breastfed each of her five children (including twins). She is online at View Guest page

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Rebecca Hall Gruyter

Rebecca Hall Gruyter is the founder and owner of Your Purpose Driven Practice, and the creator of the Women’s Empowerment Series events and TV show. She is the network director for VoiceAmerica’s Women Channel, for both radio and TV. As the CEO of RHG Media Productions, Rebecca recently launched an international TV channel called Empowered Connections TV. Author of six popular books, including “Becoming Outrageously Successful” (with Dr. Anita M. Jackson and others), “Succeeding Against All Odds” (with Sandra Yancey and others), and “Catch Your Star” (with Bev Adamo and others). Rebecca recently received recognition as one of the Top 10 Working Women of the Year from AWWIN (Assisting Working Women in Need). Rebecca is available online at View Guest page

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Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle is a freelance science and health reporter and parenting blogger, who has written for NPR, Scientific American, Slate, Politico, HealthDay, Medscape, Everyday Health, and elsewhere. Tara is a regular contributor to Forbes, as well as the core topic leader in medical studies for the Association of Health Care Journalists. She blogs about health, science, and evidence-based parenting news at Red Wine & Applesauce. With Emily Willingham, Tara has authored The Informed Parent: A Science-Based Resource for Your Child’s First Four Years (Tarcher Perigee/Penguin Random House, 2016). View Guest page

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Paige Hall Smith

Paige Hall Smith, PhD, MSPH is a professor of Public Health Education at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where she is also on the faculty of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. The Director of the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness there, Dr. Smith is the founder/co-director of the Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference and editor of three books. Dr. Smith’s areas of research include breastfeeding, violence against women, and women’s reproductive health. Details on the conference are available online at View Guest page

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Toni Harman

Toni Harman is the founder of One World Birth, co-director of the award-winning documentary “Microbirth” and co-author of the book, “The Microbiome Effect”, which will be released in North America in February 2017 as “Your Baby’s Microbiome”. Toni has also created an educational video series about a baby’s microbiome called Birth Summit. Over the past four years, Toni has travelled over 50,000 miles interviewing dozens of world-leading professors about their research into the importance of “seeding and feeding” a baby’s microbiome through pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. She is excited to share what she’s learned on her travels about the optimal “seeding and feeding” of a baby’s microbiome through pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Links: Film, MICROBIRTH: Book, THE MICROBIOME EFFECT: Book, YOUR BABY’S MICROBIOME: View Guest page

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Lea Harris

Lea Harris is a certified clinical aromatherapist. After completing the Vintage Remedies Aromatherapy course in 2013, Lea enrolled in Aromahead Institute’s Aromatherapy Certification Program, which she completed that same year. Later in 2013, she graduated Aromahead Institute’s Advanced Graduate Program. In February 2014, she completed over 400 hours of education through the Institute’s Scholars Program, making her a Clinical Aromatherapist. A professional member of Alliance of International Aromatherapists, Lea also earned recognition as a Certified Herbalist through the Herbal Academy of New England’s online Intermediate Herbal Certification course. She has published an e-book entitled “Using Essential Oils Safely,” and writes for “Natural Herbal Living” magazine and can be found online at View Guest page

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Mark Harris

Mark Harris is a registered midwife and nurse. He loves being around people, and has for as long as he can remember. Growing up with five sisters and three brothers afforded Mark plenty of practice, and his grown-up family with six children and six grandchildren provides lots of opportunity to indulge his people passion. The choices he has made in his professional life have been shaped by this gregarious inclination. Mark has trained and worked as a Nurse, Midwife, Teacher in Further Education, hypnotherapist, NLP trainer, and outreach youth worker. He still works as a Midwife offering birth education through a program called, Birthing for Blokes. He states that for him, work and play often merge. Mark is the author of "Men, Love and Birth. Together with doula Karen Hall, he produces Sprogcast, a podcast about pregnancy, birth and early parenthood. View Guest page

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Barbara Hotelling

Barbara has been an active birth doula and Lamaze educator for over 25 years. She maintains her certifications with DONA International and Lamaze International, is a member of Lamaze’s Certification Committee, trains Hug Your Baby instructors, and is a DONA approved Birth Doula Trainer. In 2012 she became an IBCLC. In addition to teaching Lamaze seminars for training childbirth educators and doula trainings, she has taught Labor Support for Nurses, Labor Support and the Teen Specialist programs of Lamaze throughout the United States, Canada, Iceland, and Korea. Barbara has served as President of DONA International, Chair of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS), and President of Lamaze International. Currently she serves on the Certification Council of Lamaze International and the Leadership Team of CIMS. View Guest page

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Hilary Jacobson

Hilary Jacobson was born in Southern California, but moved to Europe as a young adult. A 30-year resident of Switzerland, she is a certified Swiss holistic lactation consultant (CH. HU. SI) and ACHE certified clinical hypnotherapist. Hilary has completed special studies in herbs and nutrition, is the author of “Mother Food: A Breastfeeding Diet Guide with Lactogenic Foods and Herbs” and “Healing Breastfeeding Grief.” She is the co-founder of the online resource, and can be found online at and View Guest page

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Anna Jaworski

Anna Jaworski knew early on she wanted to breastfeed her children. After the birth of her first child, Joey, she had no trouble with breastfeeding from the start. Anna appreciated the many health and emotional benefits she could provide for her child through breastfeeding. She faced a completely different breastfeeding situation with her second child, Alex, who was born with an undiagnosed heart defect. Inspired by her experiences with Alex and Joey, Anna became an advocate within the parenting and congenital heart defect communities. As an author, publisher, and public speaker, Anna strives to provide hope, inspiration, and information on congenital heart defects. My Brother Needs an Operation has helped families around the world talk with children about a sibling’s hospitalization. Anna is the owner and founder of Baby Hearts Press, president of Hearts Unite the Globe, and host of a talk show, Heart to Heart with Anna, on BlogTalkRadio. She can be reached at View Guest page

Episode Listing:

Chris Jepson

Chris Jepson, RN, RD, CLC has worked in the maternal-child health field for almost 30 years. After earning a Bachelor's in Nutrition (Virginia Tech, 1984)and working with the Peace Corps in the Dominican Republic, she became a WIC nutritionist and pursued a Bachelor's in Nursing at San Diego State University. After her first son was born prematurely, Chris experienced breastfeeding challenges. As a result, she dedicated herself to lactation support. After moving to New Mexico, Chris worked as a nurse manager and educator with the Maternity and Infant Care Program (University of New Mexico). Chris went on to have a long, successful breastfeeding relationship with her second son, who came to the family by adoption. Chris has worked with Breastfeeding Council, Home Health, Families First, and the First Born Program supporting women and their families in new parenthood and breastfeeding. She is part of a team working towards Baby Friendly Hospital status for Gila Regional Medical Center. View Guest page

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Jarold 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". View Guest page

Episode Listing:

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". View Guest page

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Wendy Jones

Wendy Jones BSc, MSc, PhD, MRPharmS has been a pharmacist for more than 40 years. Since 1987, she has been a breastfeeding supporter, and in 1995 she developed a specialist interest in the safety of drugs in medicine. Wendy and has developed fact sheets and educational materials for pharmacists, health care providers, and parents. Wendy is the author of "Breastfeeding and Medication" (Routledge, 2013), which has been praised by the program director of UNICEF UK's Baby Friendly Initiative as "carefully researched and comprehensive, yet still easy to read ... a valuable resource." These days, Wendy often can be found online, answering questions for enquiring breastfeeding mothers via her web site and social media. A mother of three breastfed daughters and several grandchildren, she lives in the United Kingdom and is available at View Guest page

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Andrea Kelly

Andrea Kelly, WINC CEO and Lead Trainer was initially a regional sales director and leading sales producer for two major health and life insurance companies. In 2002, Andrea was recruited by the WINC board of directors. For more than a decade, she has been combining WINC’s signature grassroots, hands-on routines with the latest in touch research. In 2012, Andrea was inducted into the Massage Therapy Hall of Fame for introducing the science of touch in her TRIAD® model, which embraces epigenetics. WINC's mission now includes the equation of total family health, where parents and siblings play major roles to encourage and strengthen family bonding to endure a lifetime. View Guest page

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Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA is a health psychologist and lactation consultant specializing in women’s health research, including breastfeeding, depression, trauma, and health psychology. She is also the owner and editor-in-chief of Praeclarus Press, as well as the editor-in-chief of both Clinical Lactation (official journal of the United States Lactation Consultant Association) and Psychological Trauma. She is a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Texas Tech University School of Medicine) and Research Associate at the Crimes Against Children Research Center (University of New Hampshire). The author of more than 360 articles, she has authored/edited 24 books, including: The Science of Mother-Infant Sleep (2013), Depression in New Mothers (2nd ed., 2010), and (with Nancy Mohrbacher) Breastfeeding Made Simple (2nd ed., 2010). She can be found online at,,, and View Guest page

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George Kent

After more than forty years of teaching in the University of Hawaii’s Department of Political Science, George Kent retired in 2010 as Professor Emeritus. Currently he serves as an Adjunct Professor with the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney in Australia and also with the Transformative Social Change Program at Saybrook University in California. He teaches an online course on the Human Right to Adequate Food for both of them.
Professor Kent has worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Children’s Fund, the World Food Programme and several nongovernmental organizations. His books on food policy issues are Freedom from Want: The Human Right to Adequate Food, Global Obligations for the Right to Food, Ending Hunger Worldwide, and Regulating Infant Formula.
His newest books are: "Caring About Hunger", which is on shelves now and "Governments Push Infant Formula", coming soon. View Guest page

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Max Kirsten

Max Kirsten is an internationally-recognized clinical hypnotherapist, neurolinguistic processing (NLP) master, and certified sleep coach. He has completed many thousands of hours of clinical work, practices at his clinic in Knightsbridge London, and works in collaboration with the London Sleep Centre. He specializes in anxiety related issues, such as chronic and acute insomnia, smoking cessation, addictions, anxiety, stress management, weight issues, eating disorders, phobias, study and sport performance anxiety, public speaking, and optimal health. Max is also the creator of many award-winning Hypnotherapy NLP ‘Life Change’ apps for the iPhone and iPad. He is the author of “Self Help: Find Your Self to Help Yourself” (Hay House, 2011) and columns as the daily self-help expert for The Times Newspaper. Max is a full senior member of the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR), National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH), and Society of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (SNLP). View Guest page

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Lawrence A Kotlow

Lawrence A. Kotlow, DDS, PC is a board certified specialist in pediatric dentristy and expert in tethered oral tissues (TOTS), including tongue-tie and lip-tie. After attending the Albany College of Pharmacy and the SUNY Buffalo School of Dentistry, he completed a two-year residence in pediatric dentistry at the Children’s Hospital of Cincinnati. He has been a practicing pediatric dentist in Albany, NY since 1974. Dr. Kotlow is one of only 18 dentists recognized by the Academy of Laser Dentistry to certify other dentists in standard proficiency to use lasers. He is the author of "SOS for TOTS" (The Troy Book Makers, 2016). Online, Dr. Kotlow can be found at View Guest page

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Emma Kwasnica

Emma Kwasnica is a Montreal-based activist and owner of the popular Facebook group "Informed Choice: Birth and Beyond." In 2010, in response to the news that an online health guru was planning to market his own brand of powdered infant formula, Emma founded Human Milk 4 Human Babies ( as a global network to support "informed milksharing" so that babies could realize their "birthright to be nourished exclusively with human milk." Emma's efforts to normalize breastfeeding images in social media has generated a great deal of media attention and recently influenced Facebook to change its photo policy and allow breastfeeding photos. Emma lives in Montreal with her four young daughters and husband. View Guest page

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Miriam Labbok

Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH, IBCLC, FACPM, FABM, FILCA is the Director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute and Professor of Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is a founder of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and Co-Chair of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. Previous positions include: Senior Advisor, Infant and Young Child Feeding and Care, UNICEF; Chief, Maternal Health and Nutrition Division, USAID; Associate Professor, Georgetown University Medical Center and Co-Director, Institute for Reproductive Health, and Assistant Professor, Johns Hopkins. During 35 years of research, teaching, policy and program work on the health of the mother-child dyad, Miriam worked in more than 50 countries, published over 300 chapters and articles on breastfeeding, birth spacing, child growth, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, and more. She has been recognized by multiple academic, government and public service groups for lifetime contributions and for the development of the Lactational Amenorrhea Method. View Guest page

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Laurie Berkner Band

Laurie Berkner has been a professional musician since 1992, but her success as a children’s recording artist and innovator in the “kindie rock” genre was a surprise to her. “The more I started working on material for children,” she explains, “the more I realized that it opened up creativity in me that I never knew I had.” Laurie’s childhood in Princeton, NJ and her college time at Rutgers University was filled with musical activities, including choirs, bands, and musical theater. She worked as a children’s music specialist before becoming a recording artist. Her music was featured on the popular preschool show Jack’s Big Music Show. Laurie’s music is the focus of a short-form animated series Sing It, Laurie! Seven albums of music, four children’s books, and an off-Broadway musical called Wanda’s Monster round out her career to date. Her latest album, Lullabies, was released in May. The Laurie Berkner Band also includes Susie Lampert, Brady Rymer, and Bob Golden. View Guest page

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Dr. Ruth Lawrence

Dr. Ruth Lawrence is a world-renowned neonatologist and expert on breastfeeding. As a prolific researcher, teacher, mentor, medical writer, international breastfeeding authority, poison control expert and, not least, mother of nine children (!), good humor and tireless commitment have hallmarked Lawrence's distinguished career. Dr. Lawrence is a professor of Pediatrics and Obstetrics and Gynecology and a member of the Division of Neonatology at the University of Rochester School of Medicine, as well as Medical Director of the Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Study Center, and Medical Director of the Finger Lakes Regional Poison and Drug Information Center. Author of Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Profession and many articles, chapters and reviews, Lawrence is a founding member and a past president of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and serves on the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section for Breastfeeding. View Guest page

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Susan Ludington

Susan Ludington, PhD, CNM, FAAN is an expert in infant development and kangaroo care (KC). She has a PhD in Nursing and Child Development and Psychology and is a Certified Nurse Midwife. Her study of early sensory stimulation on newborn development led her to establish the Infant Development Education Association of America and pen her popular book “How to Have a Smarter Baby.”

The first U.S. researcher funded by the National Institutes of Health for study of KC, Dr. Ludington has had a crucial role in establishing KC as the gold standard for family centered care and infant care. KC is now recommended for all newborns by the CDC and the AAP. She has received many awards, including the Excellence in Research Award (AWHONN) and the Audrey Hepburn Award for Contributions to International Infant Health (Sigma Theta Tau). A first-year inductee in the International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame, she has received the Oration of Honor from the International Network for Kangaroo Mother Care. View Guest page

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Judy Masucci

Judy Masucci overcame many obstacles in her career as a successful biotech executive, but as a first-time mother at the age of 38, she found herself facing a host of new challenges. For the first time, Judy was on the receiving end of jabs in the workplace, and targeted with comments about her reduced (still full-time) schedule and the closed-doors that resulted from breast pumping in the workplace. After negotiating a severance package that gave her some flexibility, Judy began to look for a new career. As a new mother nursing “everywhere,” Judy wanted clothing that would help her breastfeed in public comfortably. Her unmet need proved to be the inspiration for “A Mother’s Boutique,” her online and brick-and-mortar one-stop shop for new mothers. View Guest page

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Sascha Mayer

Sascha Mayer is the Co-Founday, CEO Brand Strategy Director at JDK Design (where Mamava was born). She has 20 years of branding and communication experience with both Fortune 500 companies and start-up businesses. Sascha earned a degree in sociology with a minor in women’s studies from the University of Vermont, and she has worked on social justice issues her whole life. Her career start was as an aid to Congressman (now Senator) Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sascha is a breastfeeding/pumping veteran and mother of two. View Guest page

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Kathleen McCue

Kathleen McCue, DNP, FNP-BC, IBCLC is a nurse practitioner and lactation consultant with more than 30 years of experience helping parents with breastfeeding, infant care, nutrition, and other health issues. Kathleen has written three books: Start Here: Breastfeeding and Infant Care with Humor and Common Sense (Hale Publishing, 2011), Mother to Mother (Hale, 2012), and Father to Father (Hale, 2013). In addition to her IBCLC credential, Kathleen has earned a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. The mother of two grown children, she currently lives in Bethesda, MD and works as both a nurse practitioner at a pediatric practice and as a lactation consultant in privater practice. Online, she is at View Guest page

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Dia L. Michels

Dia is an award-winning internationally published science and parenting writer. She has written, coauthored or edited over a dozen books. Her titles include Nurtured and Nuzzled (new for 2015); Milk, Money & Madness: The Culture and Politics of Breastfeeding; Breastfeeding at a Glance: Facts, Figures and Trivia About Lactation; Breastfeeding Facts for Fathers; and the book we will be talking about today, If My Mom Were A Platypus Mammal Babies and their Mothers. Dia is founder and president of Platypus Media, an independent press in Washington, DC, dedicated to promoting breastfeeding, safe infant sleep and attachment parenting, A popular speaker, she appears regularly healthcare, parenting and education conferences. She also teaches classes at children’s, natural history and science museums and leads professional development workshops for teachers on using mammal stories to teach science concepts. Dia lives in Washington, DC, with her husband and their three children. View Guest page

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Nancy Mohrbacher

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA has written several books for professionals and parents, including Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple; its pocket guide edition Breastfeeding Solutions; and Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers (with Kathleen Kendall-Tackett). Her go-everywhere “Breastfeeding Solutions” smartphone app is available for Android and iPhones. 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 care. Nancy blogs at View Guest page

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Darcia Narvaez

Darcia Narvaez, PhD is Professor of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. She publishes extensively on moral development and education. Her most recent book is Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture and Wisdom (2014, Norton). She is executive editor of the Journal of Moral Education and also writes a popular blog for Psychology Today (“Moral Landscapes”) where she tackles such issues as sleep training, “grit” training, and the importance of play. View Guest page

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Jackie Novatt

Jackie Novatt speaks from personal experience about anorexia nervosa, which she has been working to recover from for 18 years. She also has personal experience with parenting, as the mother of almost-5-year-old twins living on Long Island. Jackie is an active member of the Nassau County Mothers of Twins Club, and she leads Tot Shabbat and plays cello at her local synagogue. Professionally, she works as a scientist, conducting cancer research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, and teaching at local colleges. She has written several articles about mothering for the online publication Kveller, which can be found here: // View Guest page

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Joan Ortiz

Joan Ortiz is co-founder of Limerick, Inc. and President of the award-winning Limerick Workplace Lactation Program, overseeing the organization’s Lactation Consultants and Registered Nurses. Joan earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Mount Saint Mary's College (Los Angeles, CA) and certificates for Lactation Consultant (CLC) and Management Development for Entrepreneurs (MDE) from UCLA. She is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who developed one of the most comprehensive workplace breastfeeding support models available proven effective in a study published in the Journal of Pediatric Nursing (2004).

Her goals are to provide scientific information and viable options to families, enable them to make informed decisions about breastfeeding, and support those decisions. She has won several awards, including Burbank’s Women of the Year, Business Life Magazine’s Women Achievers, and Special Congressional Recognition for Women in Science & Technology. View Guest page

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V. Kuroji Patrick

V. Kuroji Patrick is an artist who focuses on illustration and photography. He is the co-publisher and illustrator of two children’s books: a breastfeeding nursery rhyme “This Milk Tastes Good!” (written by wife Chenniah Patrick) and “I Won’t Eat That!” about an extremely picky eater. Kuroji is also the father of five and a community activist whose educational efforts reach everyone from expectant teenage parents to healthcare providers. Mr. Patrick is working with the Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association, Breastfeeding Mothers Unite and W. K. Kellogg Foundation to develop short videos about involving fathers more in the breastfeeding process, an extension of his outreach efforts to support and promote breastfeeding in all communities. In 2013, Mr. Patrick received the Liberated Muse ‘heART’ Award and was inducted into the Medela Breastfeeding Hall of Excellence as a Community Breastfeeding Advocate. View Guest page

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Vicki Penwell

Vicki Penwell is an international humanitarian aid worker, licensed midwife and CPM. Vicki is the founder and director of Mercy In Action, Inc., a Philipines-based nonprofit organization dedicated to Safe Mothergood and Newborn Survival through midwifery education and the establishment of free birth clinics for impoverished women in developing countries. Her work at the Mercy In Action birth center uses the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative (IMBCI) model of maternity care. Prior to her work with Mercy in Action, Vicki headed Via Vita Health Projects. Vicki, the author of many midwifery publications and an experienced midwife educator, holds graduate degrees in Intercultural Studies and Midwifery. For more, see View Guest page

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Michelle Peterson

Michelle Peterson is the founder of "The Seven Sisters Postpartum Care Program" and author of "Seven Sisters for Seven Days: A Mother's Manual for Community-Based Postartum Care" (Praeclarus Press, 2016). Profound feelings of isolation during her first postpartum period led Michelle to develop the postpartum plan that formed the basis for "Seven Sisters." Michelle is available online at Her book is widely available, including through the store at View Guest page

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Dr. Mike Poulin

Dr. Mike Poulin, D.C., earned his doctorate degree from Parker Chiropractic College (Dallas, Texas) before setting up private practice in northern Virginia. Mike is the owner and operator of Poulin Chiropractic, which has offices in both Ashburn and Herndon. He has more than twenty years of experience in chiropractic care, and is one of just fifteen chiropractors statewide certified and active in the Cox Disc Decompression Technique. With Dr. Michael Seery, D.C. (also Cox Technique certified), Dr. Poulin treats patients of all ages for a variety of conditions. They specialize in chronic and difficult back and neck conditions, including disc herniations, degenerative discs, sciatica, scoliosis, headaches, arm numbness, and tingling. Drs. Poulin and Seery have used chiropractic techniques in the treatment of infants and children with torticollis, ear infections, and colic. Dr. Poulin can be found online at View Guest page

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Dr. Gill Rapley

Gill trained as a nurse and health visitor (similar to a public health nurse) in the mid-1970s and practised as a health visitor for around 20 years. She branched off briefly in the late 1980s to train and practise as a midwife, subsequently returning to health visiting. Her abiding areas of interest are breastfeeding and the introduction of solid foods.
Gill became a voluntary breastfeeding counsellor in 1986 and qualified as a lactation consultant in 1994. From 1996 to 2010 she worked for the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, throughout which she pursued her interest in the introduction of solid foods in her spare time.
For her Master’s degree in 2001/2, Gill undertook a small piece of research, which showed that babies of six months could feed themselves with solid foods, rather than needing to be spoon fed. She subsequently pioneered the approach known as baby-led weaning (BLW) – not inventing it, but giving it a name. View Guest page

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Sandra Reich

Sandra Reich M.Ed. is the Clinical Director of The Montreal Center for Anxiety and Depression, Co-Director of Empowered Women Workshops, Co-Director of Anxiety Videos, Founder of Sandra Reich’s Couple Retreats, and a Licensed Psychotherapist.
Sandra is also the best-selling author of “Once upon a Time: How Cinderella Grew Up and Became a Happy Empowered Woman,” a TV and radio personality, and a well-known expert on anxiety, family issues, relationships and more.
Sandra’s extraordinary ability to combine real-life application and scientific knowledge to get to the root of a problem and solve it has led to her recognition as an expert in the field of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and “Life Strategy.”
Through the years, Sandra has applied her own strategies and changed her own life immensely. “My life is filled with a clear vision, joy, excitement, success and feeling great in my own skin.” Sandra turned her own lemons into lemonade and now that is what she teaches others to do. View Guest page

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Robyn Roche-Paull

Robyn Roche-Paull is the award-winning author of Breastfeeding in Combat Boots: A Survival Guide to Successful Breastfeeding While Serving in the Military, and the Founder of the website ‘Breastfeeding in Combat Boots’. She is a LLL Leader, RN and IBCLC and a US Navy Veteran. She began her breastfeeding career while still on active duty. Robyn wrote her book due to the difficulties she experienced breastfeeding her son while on active duty, and her desire to help other military mothers enjoy all that breastfeeding has to offer both mother and child. Currently, Robyn works as a RN/IBCLC at Naval Medical Center Portsmouth and is active with her local LLL Group in Virginia Beach. Robyn is the Executive Director of Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, Inc. a non-profit organization committed to advocating, informing and supporting breastfeeding mothers serving in the military. Robyn lives in Virginia Beach, Virginia with her husband of 23 years and her three children. View Guest page

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Nancy Sands

Nancy Sands is the single mother of a 19-month-old daughter named Sophie. Sophie was born with a congenital heart defect (hypoplastic left heart syndrome) that is usually corrected in a series of three surgeries. Having undergone two of the planned procedures as well as an additional surgery, Nancy’s daughter is a thriving and active toddler, although she continues to face some developmental challenges. Nancy has a background in counseling but is currently working to attend to Sophie’s needs for therapy (OT/PT/ST), medical follow-up, and more. View Guest page

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Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka

Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka writes and speaks about breastfeeding, maternal health, motherhood, personal empowerment, and the use of social media to create social change. Ms. Sangodele-Ayoka is a co-founder of Black Breastfeeding Week, co-editor of Free to Breastfeed: Voices from Black Mothers (Praeclarus Press, 2014), a graduate student in the Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program at Yale University School of Nursing, and a program associate with, where she works on issues related to breastfeeding and family economic security. Ms. Sangodele-Ayoka is a mother of two, wife, and former public school teacher. View Guest page

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Alyssa Schnell

Alyssa Schnell, MS, IBCLC has been helping parents and babies with breastfeeding for the past 14 years. Her private practice, Sweet Pea Breastfeeding Support, provides individual lactation consultations, either in person or by phone for parents around the country. Alyssa is the co-host (with Hope Lien) of the Breastfeeding Outside the Box podcasts for families breastfeeding in extraordinary situations. Alyssa enjoys working with all parents and babies, but she has a special place in her heart for helping mothers to breastfeed their babies after adoption and surrogacy. Author of Breastfeeding Without Birthing: A Breastfeeding Guide for Mothers Through Adoption, Surrogacy, and Other Special Circumstances, Alyssa is the proud mother of three breastfed children, two by birth and one by adoption. View Guest page

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Mae Scott

Mae Scott is a woman of many talents. A board-certified lactation consultant and infant massage educator (International Association of Infant Massage), Mae is also a certified life coach, and currently practices in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since earning a bachelor's in psychology with concentrations in child development and communications (University of Delaware), Mae has worked as a massage therapist and a dental hygenist, as well as a health educator for two health care providers. View Guest page

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Melanie Silverman

Melanie Silverman, MS RD IBCLC is a pediatric registered dietitian nutritionist and board certified lactation consultant with more than 15 years of experience in pediatric nutrition. For seven years, Melanie worked as a clinical dietitian at The University of Chicago Medical Center in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, adult and pediatric burn units, and high risk pediatric follow-up clinic. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago. Melanie is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, California Dietetic Association, Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group, Women’s Health Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs and an active member of the International Lactation Consultant Association, and she has presented at several state and national meetings. Melanie is the Chief Clinical Officer for Pacify, an app that provides nutrition advice to parents of babies and toddlers 24/7. View Guest page

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Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch has written nineteen books for children and young adults. Her most recent YA novel, Dance of The Banished, was a Junior Library Guild selection in April 2015. The first edition of The Best Gifts was published in 1998. Marsha's books have received more than 60 awards and nominations including the SCBWI inaugural Crystal Kite for Stolen Child, and the Order of Princess Olha, in recognition of her outstanding achievement in the development of the culture of Ukraine, in particular for her picture book, Enough (Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2001). View Guest page

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Linda J. Smith

Linda J. Smith is a lactation consultant, childbirth educator, author, and internationally-known consultant on breastfeeding and birthing. She is ILCA’s liaison to the World Health Organization’s Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative and consultant to INFACT Canada/IBFAN North America. A former La Leche League Leader and Lamaze-certified Childbirth Educator, she provided education and support to diverse families over 35 years in 9 cities of North America. Linda has worked in a 3-hospital system in TX, a public health agency in VA, and as breastfeeding coordinator for the OH Dept. of Health. A founder of IBLCE, founder and past board member of ILCA, she is a delegate to the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee from the American Breastfeeding Institute. Linda earned her Master’s in Public Health at Wright State University in 2011 and owns the Bright Future Lactation Resource Center with the mission of “Supporting the People who Support Breastfeeding.” View Guest page

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Mary Kay Smith

Mary Kay Smith, RN, IBCLC, FILCA, has been assisting breastfeeding women since 1982. Initially a La Leche League Leader, she opened a breast pump rental depot in 1985. Working with moms and babies in unique medical situations led to deeper interest in the science of lactation, and she pursued the IBCLC credential in 1988. After spending the last eight years as Lactation Consultant at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit MI, she has returned to her home state of Illinois, and is employed at Edward Hospital in Naperville IL. An active member of the International Lactation Consultant Association, Mary Kay was honored with the designation of “Fellow of the International Lactation Consultant Association” in the inaugural year of the award, 2008. She is a member of the Michigan Breastfeeding Network (A Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies affiliate); BirthNetwork, an organization supportive of natural childbirth and attachment parenting; AHWONN; and the Michigan Lactation Consultant Association, currently serving as that group’s Past President. She is also a registered nurse and certified childbirth educator. View Guest page

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Linda J. Smith MPH, IBCLC, FACCE, FILCA (a.k.a. "Coach Smith") has been helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding for more than 20 years. A private practice lactation consultant in Dayton, Ohio, Linda is the founder and educator for Bright Future Lactation Resource Center, which she operates with her husband Denny. An active member of the Greater Miami Valley Breastfeeding Coalition, Linda was one of he founders of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) and the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA). Linda has served on ILCA's Professional Education Council and the United States Breastfeeding Committee. A Lamaze-certified childbirth educator, Linda provides education for expectant parents, and serves on the steeering committee for the Coalition to Improve Maternity Services (CIMS) to work to link the birthing and breastfeeding professional communities. She can be found online at View Guest page

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Aletha Solter

Aletha Solter, PhD, is a developmental psychologist, author, international speaker, consultant, and founder of the Aware Parenting Institute ( She studied with Dr. Jean Piaget in Switzerland before earning her Ph.D. in psychology at the University of California. Her five books have been translated into many languages, and she is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline. The titles of her books are The Aware Baby, Helping Young Children Flourish, Tears and Tantrums, Raising Drug-Free Kids, and Attachment Play. View Guest page

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Sherry Spacco

Sherry Spacco has been a breastfeeding advocate for over 25 years. She received her nursing degree in 1999 and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2005. She currently works full time as a lactation consultant at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass. and per diem at Norwood Hospital in Norwood, Mass. She runs an outpatient lactation clinic, one on one support for moms and babies and a breastfeeding support group at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. Sherry is a board member of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition and one of the Massachusetts Representatives to the United States Breastfeeding Committee. Sherry has lectured and trained staff on the 10 Steps to successful breastfeeding at various hospitals as they journey towards Baby Friendly Certification. View Guest page

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Julie Stefanski

Julie Stefanski, MEd, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CDE is the owner of Stefanski Nutrition Services (York, PA) as well as the registered dietitian for Leg Up Farm and Leg Up Farmer's Market. She helps others with food, nutrition and health, and she provides personal nutrition counseling and classes to adults and children. Julie holds board certifications as a sports dietitian and certified diabetes educator. The author of a textbook chapter o pediatric nutrition for "Nutrition and Diet Therapy for Nurses," she is an editor/writer for Nutrition Dimension, a division of OnCourse Learning, one of the largest providers of CEU courses for healthcare professionals and a blogging coordinator & PR/Social Media chair for PA Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She can be found online at View Guest page

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Erin Swartz

Erin Swartz is the Director of Brand & Creative for the Minnesota Vikings. For the past nine seasons, she has overseen the team's brand expression, advertising campaigns and creative department. She has also lead social media efforts - including innovative ways to engage fans through Facebook, Twitter and multiple online platforms. Erin's experience, leadership and creative talent has helped the Vikings win several advertising awards including four Regional Emmys and national recognition with several ADchievement Awards from the National Sports Forum. Erin holds a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from Drake University. Before the big leagues, Erin worked in the advertising world, executing campaigns for several national brands. She got her start in branding working for one of the world's best, the Walt Disney Company and Radio Disney. When not running marathons, she's running a household filled with two energetic children and one exhausted Police Officer. View Guest page

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Melanie Tarr

Melanie Tarr, BS, IBCLC is a private practice lactation consultant and La Leche League leader who understands the importance of mother-to-mother breastfeeding support. Melanie graduated from Salisbury State College University with a Bachelor's degree in elementary education and worked in early childhood education and family literacy before turning her attention to breastfeeding support. A La Leche League leader for 7 years, she earned her IBCLC credential in 2015. Melanie lives with her husband and three children on a small farm in Unicorn, Maryland. View Guest page

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Jenny Thomas

Jenny Thomas, MD MPH IBCLC FAAP FABM, is a pediatrician and breastfeeding medicine specialist at Lakeshore Medical Clinic in Franklin, Wis. and is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Community and Family Medicine and Pediatrics at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She is serving on the AAP Section on Breastfeeding Executive Board after serving as the Chief of the Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinators. She serves on the Executive Board, Wisconsin Chapter of the AAP and is a founder and past Chairperson of the Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition. She is the author of Dr. Jen’s Guide to Breastfeeding and has received awards for teaching, advocacy for children, and innovation with in her practice and community. She is one of only a few physicians internationally to be recognized as a FABM for her expertise on breastfeeding. Her interests and research have focused on issues related to the use of social media to support breastfeeding mothers. View Guest page

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Kim Thompson

Kimberly Thompson, PhD is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. Dr. Thompson is the author of “Perfect Mothers Get Depressed: Why Trying to be Perfect and Please Everyone Increases Your Risk of Postpartum Depression” and “The Mommy Mentor” blog. After earning a bachelor’s degree in music and a PhD in clinical psychology, Dr. Thompson completed a postdoctoral residency at Greenville Ob-Gyn Clinic. In addition to her counseling and mentoring practice, she serves as a member of the faculty of Fielding Graduate University’s Infant and Early Childhood Development doctoral program. Dr. Thompson lives in Texas with her husband of more than 30 years. They are the parents of four children. She can be found online at View Guest page

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Cecilia Tomori

Cecilia Tomori, PhD, MA, is a Hungarian American anthropologist, with postdoctoral training in public health. Dr. Tomori’s recent book, Nighttime Breastfeeding: An American Cultural Dilemma (Berghahn Books, 2014; paperback 2016) investigates cultural controversies surrounding breastfeeding and infant sleep. She is currently a Research Associate at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is also the mom of two wonderful kids who were breastfed. View Guest page

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Marian Tompson

Marian Tompson, one of the Founders of La Leche League International and served as its president for 24 years. She was the first editor of the LLL newsletter (now Breastfeeding Today) and started the library of breastfeeding research that became the Center for Breastfeeding Information. Marian also launched breastfeeding seminars for physicians (yearly 1973-2008) and founded AnotherLook, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to gathering information, raising questions, and stimulating research about breastfeeding and HIV/AIDS. Marian serves on the International Advisory Council for WABA (World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action) and LLLI Board of Directors and is a popular speaker worldwide. Mothering magazine has named Marian its first Living Treasure, and the NY Society for Ethical Culture recognized her work with its Ethical Humanist Award (1999). Her memoir is Passionate Journey: My Unexpected Life (Hale Publishing, 2011). View Guest page

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Heather Townsend

Heather Townsend, RMSR is the Executive Director for education and health care design for Creche Innovations (Stilwell, KS) and chair of the Educational Advisory Committee of the Institute for Patient-Centered Design (Summerville, SC). Since childhood, Heather has been interested in working to support physicians, nurses, educators, hospital administrators, co-workers, and others in providing the best health care, in line with her philosophy that “We are One Team with One Dream.” Through her work with Creche, Heather advises hospitals on latest research and engages in problem-solving based on evidence-based design practices. Heather is a mother of two who enjoys spending time with family and friends. View Guest page

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Leslie Turner

Leslie Turner earned her nursing degree from the University of Miama School of Nursing. From there, she went on to work in the NICU of the Children’s Mercy Hospital (Kansas City, MO) as both a staff nurse and lactation consultant and, later, as a member of the craniofacial team as a lactation consultant and feeding specialist. A 3-year stay in China found her advocating for Chinese orphans, many with craniofacial anomalies. Leslie is now in Tampa, working with Dr. Pat Ricalde, founder of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Children’s Craniofacial Center. Leslie advocates for families affected by facial differences, and says she has “learned so much from [her] own journey with a facial cleft and raising five wonderfully adventurous breastfed children.” View Guest page

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Kim Updegrove

Kim is the Executive Director of the Mother’s Milk Bank at Austin and the President of the Executive Committee of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). In her role at the Mothers’ Milk Bank, Kim is responsible for all mission-related activities, financial and personnel management, and fundraising, as well as oversight of milk donor screening, milk processing and nutritional analysis, and recipient programs. A popular speaker on the topic of donor breast milk for premature and fragile infants, Kim provides educational and outreach to hospitals, community and professional organizations and collaborates with I.S. and international researchers on the nutritional effects of human donor milk. A Certified Nurse Midwife, Kim has earned graduate degrees in both Public Health and Nursing. As a Nurse-Midwife in New Haven, CT, she delivered 532 babies, provided well woman care, and served on the graduate faculty of the Yale University School of Nursing. View Guest page

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Michele Vancour

Michele Vancour is a professor of public health and co-director of Faculty Development at Southern Connecticut State University. Her recent research highlights academic women’s struggles with breastfeeding once they return to their positions after the birth of their children. Her findings resulted in changes in several university lactation support programs, and led her to co-edit with Michele Griswold, Breastfeeding Best Practices in Higher Education (Praeclarus Press, 2014). Michele serves as Chair of the Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition and is committed to building the future capacity of breastfeeding public health experts through her work in the state and mentorship of public health students. She received her PhD in Health Education from New York University. View Guest page

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Dr. Bryan Vartabedian

Bryan Vartabedian, M.D. is a pediatric gastroenterologist at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, America’s largest children’s hospital. Beyond examining thousands of dirty diapers, he has made a life shaping practical solutions to the digestive health problems of children. He is the author of Colic Solved and Looking Out for Number Two: A Slightly Irreverent Guide to Poo, Gas, and Other Things That Come Out of Your Baby. He lives in The Woodlands, Texas with his wife, two children, and an Australian labradoodle. Find his new book here: View Guest page

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Vicki Vertich

Sheila Watkins

Sheila Watkins, MLSci. E-RYT, RPYT (Founder and National Program Director) is a is a perinatal fitness specialist with over 25 years of experience training 2000+ pregnant and new moms, and educating hundreds of fitness instructors, health professionals, and childbirth educators on the rapidly changing field of perinatal fitness. In 1987, she created Healthy Moms® Fitness Programs to provide safe and effective group exercise classes and personal training for new and expectant moms as well as education and training in the field of perinatal exercise for fitness professionals, childbirth educators and other health professionals. Sheila holds a Master of Life Sciences degree in Human Physiology and Nutrition and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT 200) with Yoga Alliance. She has been certified as a perinatal fitness instructor by Moms on the Move®, Positive Pregnancy and Parenting Fitness®, Dancing Thru Pregnancy® (Basic), Maternity Fitness, Inc®. and Moms in Motion®. She holds prenatal and postpartum yoga certifications through Baby Om®, Yoga for Two®, Janice Clarfield’s Prenatal Yoga and YogaFit®. She is a former instructor in the Division of Nursing at Winston-Salem State University (University of North Carolina System) and the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Sheila holds “Gold” Group Fitness Instructor and “Gold” Personal Trainer certifications from the American Council on Exercise (ACE), and a Personal Trainer certification from the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). She is also certified by the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) as an aquatic fitness instructor and is a Resist-A-Ball CORE “Circle of Excellence” Master Trainer. Additionally, Sheila holds a Certificate in Exercise and Pregnancy from The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research and is an “ASPO-Lamaze Breastfeeding Support Specialist.” View Guest page

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Noemi Weis

Noemi Weis is the award-winning director, producer, and writer of MILK: Born Into This World, filmed over the course of four years. She is well-respected in the entertainment industry as promoting awareness and giving a voice to the voiceless. In addition to MILK, some of her other films include: The Forgotten Woman, Desert Riders, Let’s Talk About It, Gloriously Free, and Abuelas. Born in Buenos Aries and educated in Argentina and Canada, the multilingual Noemi Weis brings her skills and love for humanity to MILK, as well as all of her film projects. View Guest page

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Diana West

Diana West is an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) and co-owner of Mahala Lactation and Perinatal Services, LLC (New Jersey). She is the author of Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction Surgery and co-author of Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family; the 8th edition of La Leche League International’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding; The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk; the clinical monograph Breastfeeding After Breast and Nipple Procedures, and ILCA’s popular Clinician’s Breastfeeding Triage Tool. Diana is on the Editorial Review Board for the Journal of Clinical Education, a La Leche League Leader, and the Director of Media Relations for La Leche League International. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and is the administrator of the,, and web sites. She lives with her three sons and one husband in the picturesque mountains of western NJ. View Guest page

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Robin Williams

Robin Williams, MA, JD, IBCLC, knows about breasts, bras, and breastfeeding. A certified lactation consultant, Robin has since 1994 worked on and off with Bosom Buddies, which started that year with a single store in Denver and has grown to include two Denver stores and online sales. Robin has fitted more than 8,000 women with bras over the years, finding that perfect fit for women at all stages of pregnancy, breastfeeding, life. The women she cares for have breasts in every size, from band sizes 30 to 48, cup sizes AA to M—and beyond. She was recently involved in conducting a small study of 20 women, measuring breast and band changes from 11 weeks of pregnancy through 9 weeks postpartum; the leading finding: changes start very early and continue throughout, sometimes with surprisingly quickly. Robin is the mother of three boys, twins (age 6) and a toddler (19 months). Bosom Buddies is online at; use the coupon code MARIE to save 10% until the end of 2013. View Guest page

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Cheryl Zauderer

Cheryl Zauderer, PhD, CNM, NPP, IBCLC’s has worked as a labor and delivery nurse in hospitals and birthing centers, a nurse-midwife is an inner city hospital, an OB/GYN nurse practitioner, and as a Lamaze instructor. As a result of her work with postpartum mothers, during which she encountered several with anxiety and depression due to difficult birth experiences, Dr. Zauderer decided to pursue a psychiatric nurse practitioner degree. A doctorate in psychotherapy skills follows, so she could help these women recover and enjoy their babies and families. A private practice psychotherapist and tenured assistant professor in the department of nursing at the New York Institute of Technology, Dr. Zauderer is the author of several articles about maternal newborn health and psychiatric mental health. A researcher in postpartum/perinatal mood disorders and skin-to-skin contact, Cheryl has served on the board of Postpartum Support International and blogs at View Guest page

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