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Early Bird Bonus Session:

Register by March 15th for this FREE BONUS

A Gentle Touch: The Unique Breastfeeding Needs of Post Cesarean Mothers

With cesarean rate of 32.2% in the United States, the need for specific breastfeeding support that meets the unique needs of these mothers is imperative. Mothers who have has cesarean section are at risk of edemitized breasts, sedated or sleepy babies, delay in lactogenesis, increased pain, and difficulty moving in early postpartum. This presentation looks at the new concept of family centered cesarean and how this approach changes breastfeeding outcomes and family attitudes about their birth. Additionally, techniques and information for better success post cesarean will be reviewed.

Live Virtual Conference Presentations

Science of the MotherBaby Bond: How Attachment Impacts Epigenetics, Brain Development and Stress

Attachment begins during pregnancy, not in the moments, weeks, and years post birth. This attachment, the motherbaby bond, is forged through an awareness of the biological and emotional connection between mother and child from the very earliest moments of conception. The internal world of the mother and child is now known to be a strong influence in the behavior, health, and personality of a child. This crucial prenatal period is impacted by emotional and nutritional experience of the mother and has a lot to do with who babies turn out to be. The prenatal attachment that occurs, regardless of a mother’s conscious awareness, is changing the brain development, personality, and genetic expression of her baby. At no other time in their child’s life do parents influence who that child will be, both emotionally and physically, than during the 0-3 period of life. We now know that prenatal chronic stress leads to babies who cry more, sleep less, and are anxious. A mother’s thoughts create chemical signals that literally form her baby’s brain and lead to a happy or anxious child. Mothers have the ability to influence healthy brain development and genetic expression during pregnancy through the motherbaby bond. This presentation discusses epigenetics, brain development, molecular messaging between mother and baby, and the impact of stress on the baby’s future health.

Up in Smoke – Using Evidence to Inform Our Practice with Cannabis and Human Milk Feeding

As the recreational and medicinal use of marijuana increases around the world, the concern for families has expanded. Around the world, countries and states have recently legalized or are on the path to legalizing or decriminalizing the consumption of marijuana (cannabis). This trend has led to more lactation support providers and healthcare professionals being faced with the question, “Is it safe to use marijuana during human milk feeding?” The answers given vary widely and this is due largely to myth, bias, and poorly conducted and accessed research. The Medications and Mother’s Milk Guide considers cannabis to be an L4 while Lactnet states that it is preferable for users to continue breastfeeding and yet minimize the baby’s exposure to smoke. Differing recommendations lead healthcare professionals to scratch their heads and face the knowledge that they just don’t know what to say to mothers. Additionally, there are reports of social services removing babies from homes due to parental marijuana use while breastfeeding. An entirely newly discovered system (the endocannabinoid system) within the human interacts with marijuana and is largely responsible for brain development, homeostasis, and much more. Discover how and why cannabis chemicals can potentially change a babies brain development and epigenome. This presentation looks at the most recent research, policies, and equity issues surrounding this controversial herb.


Can a Baby Be Allergic to Breastmilk: Sensitivities, Allergies, Galactosemia, and Lactose Intolerance

Lactation professionals often hear from their clients that their breastfed babies have been diagnosed as lactose intolerance. This lack of understanding regarding types of lactose intolerance and potential issues with breastfeeding involving the newborn gut often lead to a cessation of breastfeeding. This session will cover the three main types of lactose intolerance as well as galactosemia. Maternal gut damage and protein sensitivity and how that can impact the breastfed baby will also be addressed. Attendees will also learn about the most common foods that cause food sensitivity and allergy and what referrals are best made with these issues.

Is Fem Tech our Friend? 

With the rise of the digital era, it was only a matter of time before technology would place a strategic eye on women/people with breasts and uteri. FemTech means anything and everything that involves the technology, diagnostics, software, and services involving menstruation, fertility, adoption, pregnancy, fertility, or women's health. The industry is approaching a $100 Billion market per year. This exploding area of digitized health support has many celebrating, however, just as many people worry about issues such as privacy and surveillance. There are also more profound questions involving intersectionality, equitable access, and exploitation of segments of the population that FemTech can take advantage of or leave out altogether. Join Laurel Wilson, lactivist and avid research reviewer, on this journey through some of the current lactation and perinatal FemTech available, and implications in the world of lactation.

Recorded Bonus Sessions

Available for a limited time following the live conference.

The Times Are A Changing: Discovering Strategies for Effective and Engaging Breastfeeding Education for Today’s Parents

Lactation education has come a long way in the past few decades and yet, the research shows that most of what is offered is not what is advantageous for parents in this day and age. Laurel Wilson has been a lactation educator, faculty, and lactation director in the community, in hospital settings, and for professionals for nearly two decades, and she has seen what works and what clearly fails. It is not uncommon today in classrooms to have dozens of parents listening to hours of lecture and watching endless power points without having the opportunity to step in to their own educational experience and OWN their breastfeeding journey. In fact, some parents are foregoing traditional classroom education all together and learning exclusively on You Tube and other social media sites, which comes at the price of accuracy and connection. Come with me on a journey through today’s classrooms, discussing what is and isn’t successful. Learn what works, not just for early initiation and surviving the hospital breastfeeding experience but to help parents meet their own feeding goals. Research has identified that what is efficacious for some families and situations will not work for others. Discover unique strategies to address the specific learning needs of your families. The session will end with some favorite engaging activities to use in breastfeeding classes and support groups, gleaned from two decades on the job and having had the opportunity to learn from and work with the best of the best educators of our time.

The Milk Sharing – The Grey Area Between Scope and Need

All human babies have the right to breastmilk exclusivity. This can be accomplished in a variety of ways – exclusive feeding at the mother’s breast, exclusive mother’s expressed breastmilk delivered to the baby via a feeding device, or pasteurized donor human milk delivered via a feeding device. However, there has been much attention placed on the traditional, though much frowned upon, practice of informal milk sharing. Milk sharing is when women provide breastmilk directly to another family in need, without going through the donor milk bank process. The increasing popularity of milk sharing via social media, the growing attention on the importance of breastmilk exclusivity, the increasing awareness of the failing and potential dangers of artificial milk, and the inability for donor milk banks to provide donor milk for more than those in critical need has led professionals and families to an impass. While peer to peer milk sharing is gaining popularity among families, finding policy and recommended practices can be difficult. The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine only references mothers own expressed milk, donor human milk, or hydrolyzed or standard infant formulas for breastmilk feeding in regards to supplemental feeds. The World Health Organization, states in its Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, “for those few health situations where infants cannot, or should not, be breastfed, the choice of the best alternative – expressed breast milk from an infant’s own mother, breast milk from a healthy wet-nurse or a human-milk bank, or a breastmilk substitute…depends on individual circumstance.” Most milk share organizations recommend the practice of using The Four Pillars of Safe Milk Sharing. These are informed choice, donor screening, safe handling, and home pasteurization. This presentation will cover in detail the myriad of concerns of professionals, the information all families need to know about milksharing, milk sharing and social media, and lactation professional’s scope of practice issues in regards to this phenomenon.

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