Helping Pump-Dependent Families
Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA 

Today, nearly all nursing families express milk, but many rely heavily on their pumps to achieve their long-term infant-feeding goals. This session covers key aspects of pumping for a baby in the NICU, exclusively pumping for other reasons, and regular pumping for work or school. Learn what’s important for establishing milk production without a nursing baby and how to use storage capacity to individualize pumping routines for exclusively pumping and employed families. 

New Directions in Insufficient Milk Research:
Pesky gene mutations and predictive bioreporters of insufficient milk synthesis

Marsha Walker, RN, IBCLC

This session will explore cutting edge research on the origins of insufficient breastmilk synthesis. Breastmilk is synthesized at the cellular level under the control of various mammary genes. Identification of these genes is ongoing with a future promise of the ability to test for selected genes during pregnancy for predicting the risk of insufficient breastmilk and initiate potential interventions. Biomarkers of insufficient breastmilk are also present in breastmilk during very early lactation and may present another mechanism to use these as predictive of future insufficient breastmilk. Potential interventions will also be discussed.                                                       

Breastfeeding Doesn’t Need to Suck: Helping mothers nurture their babies and their own mental health                                                                                 
Kathy Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA

When women do not reach their breastfeeding goals, they are more likely to be depressed. It does not have to be this way. Providers can support both breastfeeding and mothers’ mental health. This session covers topics not typically included in breastfeeding education: such breastfeeding’s changes to mothers’ sleep, and the impact of trauma (birth trauma, adverse childhood experiences, partner violence, and sexual assault). This session also describes how the normal changes of new motherhood (the five “I”s: idleness, isolation, incompetence, identity, and intensity) can make formula-feeding seem attractive—even when breastfeeding is going well. Finally, this session tackles the complex topic of support. Recent studies show that certain types of “support” that completely undermines breastfeeding. This session describes effective support from partners, grandmothers, and healthcare providers. The goal is to help mothers and babies navigate postpartum and be happy, healthy, and securely attached.                       

Lactation Support for PCOS: It’s not all about the ovaries
Megan Dunn, IBCLC, RLC 

This presentation focuses on Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), a leading cause of infertility that affects up to 20% of birthing parents. The symptoms of PCOS, such as insulin resistance, raised levels of androgens, and irregular menses, can also impact lactation outcomes. The presentation will delve into the four types of PCOS and their connection to metabolic function and lactation, as well as provide guidance on interpreting lab results, safe and effective interventions to support milk production, and addressing personal biases that may negatively impact obese parents. The presentation will also examine the impact of ethnicity and socioeconomic status on PCOS risk and explore systemic changes that can improve lactation outcomes for all families, taking into consideration international recommendations and the elimination of explicit and implicit biases.