2021 Health Professional Conference

Join us for our Virtual Conference focused on the dynamic family situations in Canada. Brought to you by a speaker panel that predominately resides in Canada. 15.75 L CERPs allocated by IBLCE.

Regular ticket price is $175. Tickets are non-refundable/transferable.

Special rate for LLLC Leaders, LLLC Leader Applicants, LLLC Alumnae and students. Please reach out to the National Office if you have not received the Discount Code.

Limited Scholarships available. Racialized, LGBTQ2S+, those with disabilities and lower income individuals encouraged to apply. Please contact office@LLLC.ca for more information.

All sessions will be recorded and available a week after the conference is finished. Recordings will be available until the end of August, 2021.


Monday May 17, 12PM EDT

Dr. Suzanne Hetzel Campbell

Improving Breastfeeding in Canada – a Health Promotion Approach

This session will examine the role of health care providers in promoting, supporting, and advocating for families around their infant feeding goals. Taking a socio-ecological approach and reflecting  some of the current theories of health promotion, the presenter will identify ways forward using an interprofessional lens. Lactation will be situated as a foundational strategy for health promotion  and will identify some of the social, political, and cultural structures within Canadian life and health care systems that can negatively impact parents meeting their infant feeding goals. A focus on  systemic inequities, relational practice, and trauma-informed care will be the anchor of the discussion.

Dr. Suzanne Hetzel Campbell began her passion for working with breastfeeding families her third year of nursing school while attending a La Leche League conference in her state, and solidified it with the birth of her first child and by becoming a La Leche League Leader in 1989. She continued her work with LLLI, WIC, and raising children while pursuing her PhD at the University of Rhode Island examining breastfeeding self-efficacy. Involvement in state breastfeeding coalition and WIC work, becoming an IBCLC (2002) and Women’s health nurse practitioner (2003), she later serving on the ILCA BOD she continued this passion BFHI (US), BFI (Canada), and Neo-BFHI (Brazil). She continues to focus her passion and expertise on positioning lactation as a foundational strategy for health promotion and the responsibility of all health care providers to have foundational knowledge in lactation to support breastfeeding families at every stage.

Immigrating to Canada in 2012 she is now Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia School of Nursing, Vancouver, Canada, serving on the BCLCA BOD and BC Baby Friendly Network. She is a seasoned global educator with clinical expertise in obstetrics, lactation, and women's health, and serves on LEAARCs board of directors (2020-2022). Her blended program of scholarly activity is focused around reproductive social justice, specifically the provision of equitable intimate care during pregnancy, delivery, and lactation. Co-editor and author of award winning texts in lactation and simulation, articles in nursing, education, lactation, and innovative teaching, she enjoys interprofessional teaching, research and practice that bring classrooms to life and help to bridge the gap between education and practice. Her new skills lie in the development of open educational resources and virtual simulations-gaming specific to interprofessional education for lactation and health communication. She loves to travel and connect with midwives, nurses, and IBCLCs globally, and lives for time with her grown children and grandchild.

Monday May 17, 3PM EDT

Nancy Mohrbacher

What’s New in Lactation

Of the thousands of lactation studies published during the past decade, some have the potential to make us more effective as we help nursing families. This session provides an overview of the cutting-edge knowledge and skills supported by recent evidence. It includes new science on the impact of early formula use on allergy, the dynamics of mammary dysbiosis, the effects of parental obesity on lactation, new approaches to preventing jaundice and excess weight loss after birth, novel treatments for mastitis and hypoglycemia, LGBTQ nursing and how it affects our language, new ways of understanding and explaining early positioning and milk production, picture-based tongue-tie assessment tools, nursing the early term baby, and more.

Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA began helping nursing families in 1982 as a volunteer peer supporter. She became a board-certified lactation consultant in 1991 and spent 10 years growing a large private lactation practice in the Chicago area, where she worked one-on-one with thousands of families. Nancy has three current books for nursing families and two for lactation specialists, including her 2020 comprehensive, evidence-based-based resource, Breastfeeding Answers, Second Edition. Her Breastfeeding Solutions app is used worldwide and her YouTube channel has nearly 2 million views. She currently contracts with hospitals to improve lactation practices. She created and presents a 90-hour training course in China to prepare aspiring lactation consultants for the IBLCE exam, and speaks at events around the world. Nancy was in the first group of 16 to be honored for their contributions to breastfeeding with the designation FILCA, Fellow of the International Lactation Consultant Association.


Tuesday May 18, 12PM EDT

Heather Heinrichs

nihtâwikihew / ᓂᐦᑖᐃᐧᑭᐦᐁᐤ/ she gives birth - Filmmaking to support reconciliation in healthcare

nihtâwikihew / ᓂᐦᑖᐃᐧᑭᐦᐁᐤ/ she gives birth is a short film about Sâkowêw, a young Métis woman planning to birth in a remote community. Sâkowêw seeks support from her Aunty Mary, a traditional midwife to birth at home. When she experiences an emergency during labour, she must seek help at the local nursing station. This presentation explores the development of this film and the larger art project which will create opportunities for settlers and Indigenous people to come together to discuss systemic racism and work together towards reconciliation in birthing.

Heather Heinrichs is a Métis Registered Midwife and IBCLC. Originally from Winnipeg, MB, she has lived in the NWT for over 6 years and was one of two midwives who founded the Midwifery Program in Hay River, NT. Heather was a member of the Territorial Infant Feeding Working Group which was established to provide guidance on best practices in infant feeding and support work towards BFI designation for health facilities in the NWT. Heather is currently working as a Lactation Consultant in Yellowknife, NT.




Tuesday May 18, 3PM EDT

Miranda Lesperance

We are Stories Not Labels Anishinaabekweg Child-rearing Experiences

This presentation will focus on the PhD research project of Miranda Lesperance, in partnership with her home community, Red Rock First Nation.  The fundamentals of Indigenous maternal health research will be discussed, as well as the methodology and preliminary results from this specific project. 

Miranda Lesperance (pronouns: she/her) is an Anishinaabekwe (Ojibwe woman) from Opwaaganisiniing (Red Rock First Nation) in Ontario, Canada.  She is a Ph.D. candidate at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto.  Her research interests include Indigenous Peoples’ health, social justice, health labels and behaviours, and the social determinants of health.  She has worked with the Public Health Agency of Canada for over 14 years and in her most recent contract, she was an Evaluator at the First Nation and Inuit Health Branch working on decolonizing health program evaluation.  After 15 years in Toronto, Miranda has recently returned home to the Thunder Bay region to complete her Ph.D. research, titled "We are stories, not labels: Anishinaabekweg Child-rearing Experiences.”  After lecturing at Lakehead University, she spends as much time as possible at her home on Oliver Lake with her partner and her two children, Nodin and Waseya.


Wednesday May 19, 12PM EDT

Stacia Stewart and Liana Salvador-Watts

Infants Need Food Security Too: Redefining Infant Feeding Goals and Success

Exploring and discussing how parental stress, socio-economic factors, and family experience can impact the infant feeding journey. Stacia will also explore how to work across disciplines to support those we work with.

Stacia Stewart (she/her) is the Program Coordinator for the 5Ps perinatal program, at Parkdale Queen West Community Health Center and a Bebo Mia trained labour, postpartum and fertility doula. The 5Ps program is a large multi-service perinatal and parenting program for families with children aged 0-6 living with multiple socio-economic stressors. She has initiated and launched the first free breast pump and infant feeding support program focused on low income families in Canada and along with her team supports over 400 families annually. Stacia is also a mother of 3 children – two almost 10 year old twins and an almost  17 year old. Stacia has a particular passion for allying with and working within communities on the margins and supporting families in their transition to parenthood.

Liana Salvador-Watts is a Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She worked as a labour nurse for 5 years at a downtown Toronto hospital where she now teaches childbirth education classes. In 2016, she founded Rumina Lactation, her private lactation consultant practice, through which she has been privileged to work with the 5Ps Program at Parkdale Community Health Centre, providing private, in-home and virtual lactation support to families from diverse cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds. Liana is also a founding member of Ocama Collective, a community-directed group of birth workers of colour who provide free full-circle doula care and lactation support to families who identify as Indigenous, Black and People of Colour, in a manner that supports the reclamation of traditional and holistic birthing practices. Ocama Collective seeks to facilitate a safe space for racialized 2S, trans, queer, non-binary, genderqueer, and agender folx, to fully engage in pregnancy and birth care that is self-directed, holistic, and satisfactory.

Wednesday May 20, 3PM EDT

Haley Vaz

Adapting Support in Virtual Times

Since early 2020 we have seen an immense shift in how we interact within our communities.  One thing that has remained constant is the need for reliable, engaging, high-quality support for breastfeeding/ chestfeeding families. Haley Vaz will speak about what she, and fellow La Leche League Leaders have done to adapt the way they offer support, virtually.  Use of technology, industry specific props, and the importance of tone and language in the absence of face-to-face interactions will be points of conversation throughout this presentation.The past 15 months have shaped both the way we offer support as La Leche League leaders, and also how we communicate in our personal lives.  Haley looks forward to highlighting some of the positive aspects that have grown during this time.  These positive shifts range from improved and developing communication skills to the physical autonomy of human milk feeding parents.  Perhaps delivery of information without the physical assistance many of us have grown accustomed to can shift us toward an even higher level of support.

Haley enjoys her family-focused life in Fall River, Nova Scotia.  She is a proud mother of her two children who share her love for nature.  Haley studied International Development Studies at Dalhousie University where she learned to question societal 'norms' and dove deeper into the world of critical thinking.  

Haley's hobbies consist of photography, embroidery, gardening, raising chickens, and hiking.  Haley is particularly passionate about the long term psychological benefits of breastfeeding and having one's needs met during early development.  

During and prior to her time as a La Leche League Leader Haley has taken a great interest in prenatal breastfeeding/chest feeding support, strongly believing that setting realistic expectations and collecting accurate information can help parents reach their personal human milk feeding goals. 

Thursday May 20, 12PM EDT

Dr. Karen Campbell

Adolescent Parents and Lactation: Understanding Developmental Stages to Develop Appropriate Support Strategies.

Adolescent parents and their children are at risk for suboptimal health outcomes creating public health concerns. Many of these negative effects may be exacerbated by the health risks associated with low socioeconomic status. However, providing effective lactation support for young parents can facilitate their transitions and support healthy development of their infant. Objectives for this presentation include: 1) understanding how developmental stages influence the approach to lactation support; 2) acknowledging the importance of language in providing health messaging; and, 3) recognizing the tenets of strength-based and trauma and violence informed approaches and how they impact lactation experiences for young parents.

Dr. Karen Campbell is a post-doctoral scholar at Western University, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing. She completed her Master of Nursing at Ryerson University and received a PhD in Nursing from McMaster University. Dr. Campbell has over 20 years experience as a Registered Nurse. Her clinical background is in public health nursing, with a focus on reproductive and child health. Dr. Campbell’s program of research is at the intersection of women's health and physical and social geography. She is interested in how community health nursing intervention programs can improve health and quality of life for women experiencing health inequities across diverse geographical settings, including rural communities, young parents, and women with disabilities.

Thursday May 20, 3PM EDT

Warda Abdulsamed

Breastfeeding Needs and Practices of Immigrant Families

The demographics of immigrants in Canada will be demonstrated in addition to a general overview of the stages of settlement and what that means for breastfeeding families and new parents.   Immigrant parents and families are faced with unique challenges and barriers when it comes to breastfeeding and support.  We will explore how healthcare professionals can support their patients/clients in a respectful knowledgeable manner. 

Warda Abdulsamed is a settlement and newcomer needs specialist, an award winning career strategist and a writer. She is a first-generation Canadian who has immigrated to Canada as a teen. She has devoted her career, working with newcomers, assisting them overcome barriers and reach their full potential. 

Recognizing the economic and systemic barriers faced by marginalized individuals and communities, Warda serves on many community leadership roles, championing economic equity, and supporting community institutions authentically engage and affirm marginalized communities. She is the Co-Chair of the Dismantling AntiBlack Racism committee within the PDSB's Parent Involvement Committee, she is also a board member with Annisaa Organization of Canada, and Deeply Care. 

Warda was first connected with Le Leche League in Saudi Arabia, when she encountered breastfeeding challenges with her eldest, now 7 years old. Warda owes Le Leche League for saving  her breastfeeding experiences with both of her children.

Warda lives in Mississauga with her two boys, 5 and 7, and her husband.  

Friday May 21, 12PM EDT

Erin Northrup

Breastfeeding After Birth Trauma: How can we support parents?

For some parents childbirth is a traumatic experience. While the health effects of breastfeeding are well -known, there is little understanding of the impact of birth trauma on the breastfeeding experience. For her Master’s thesis Erin conducted phenomenological research to better understand the lived experience of breastfeeding after birth trauma. Erin will discuss the meaning of breastfeeding after Birth trauma as described by the lived experience of participants. The unique support needs of lactating Parents who experienced birth trauma will be considered. Attention will be paid to the ways in which Health professionals can become mindful of what is important in supporting these individuals in the postPartum period. Included will be guidance on how a trauma informed approach can be utilized in caring For lactating parents after birth trauma.

Erin Northrup (she/her) holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and recently

Completed a Masters degree in Health Services Research, where she researched the lived experience of breastfeeding experience after birth trauma. Erin became interested in birth trauma After the traumatic birth of her first child in 2009 and since then has been involved in advocating for maternal infant health and supporting parents through pregnancy, breastfeeding and beyond.  After finding support at La Leche League meetings while pregnant with her second child in 2011, Erin became a La Leche League Leader in 2016 and joined their Professional Liaison Department in 2018. Erin is the mother to four precious humans who all possess their mother’s Insatiable curiosity and love of reading.

Friday May 21, 3PM EDT

Amanda Jetté Knox

The Art of UnLearning 

As both a parent and professional, author, speaker and human rights advocate Amanda Jette Knox has had to make room for plenty of unexpected change and the learning curve that comes along with it. In this candid conversation, she shares the importance of unlearning old beliefs and prejudices in order to make room for new ones. Discover the importance of nurturing self-awareness, making mistakes, letting go of shame, and leading with curiosity.

Amanda Jetté Knox is an award-winning journalist, writer and human rights advocate from Ottawa, Canada. She, along with her family, share their story about the power of acceptance, understanding, vulnerability and unconditional love, in the hopes of normalizing the existence of LGBTQ+ families.

Amanda’s work has been featured by several national and international media outlets, including the BBC, CBC, The Today Show, O Magazine, The Social, The Marilyn Denis Show and Upworthy. She is a 2019 Chatelaine Woman of the Year and a 2020 Top 25 Woman of Influence.

Amanda is the author of Love Lives Here: A Story of Thriving in a Transgender Family which is a #1 bestseller, an Indigo Best Books of the Year and Staff Pick of the Month, and was chosen as a 2020 Canada Reads Longlist finalist. She lives in Ottawa, Canada with her wife, four children, too many pets and a coffee maker that never quits. 

Pre-Recorded Session

Glynnis Dubois

When a Diagnosis Challenges Breastfeeding

This presentation will review some of the challenges we face when mum and baby must modify  plan A and move to plan B for breastfeeding due to circumstances related to a diagnosis. Numerous diagnoses impact breastfeeding both short-term and long-term and this presentation  will focus on those that impact: structural, positional, and tone challenges as they relate to  breastfeeding. Strategies to support breastfeeding or the provision of breastmilk will be discussed.

Glynnis DuBois PhD is a registered nurse and a speech-language pathologist. She has also been a Board-Certified Lactation Consultant for 25 years and has had the privilege of working with families for almost 40 years both in hospital and community settings.