2024 Healthcare Professional Conference

Registration for the 2024 HCP Conference Information

Session Information

Supporting Families in the 2SLGBTQIA+ Community
This session will provide understanding what the acronym means and what the “+” encompasses. There will be discussion about why it is so important to be conscious of the language used and identifying pronouns. There will be explanation on donor gametes and what that may mean. Some of the legal considerations for the Queer community members who must rely on the uterus of someone outside of their relationship (ie surrogacy) will be touched on. Learn about some of the things that Queer people would love their care team to take into consideration. Hear more about what some of Sam's clients have said their care team did exceptionally well. We will share resources for care teams to share with their Queer clients/patients. We will allow for time for questions.

Compassionate Care
Supporting women is the main goal, whether it is holding space during birth, holding the mother with mother centered care during postpartum or just being a listening ear through it all. Bringing traditional postpartum practices back into society is very important to Humairah. This is where caring for the mother over the baby comes in! Preparing herbal infusion / teas, cooking nourishing warming meals, belly binding or womb steaming for aiding in healing and more holistic options for postpartum care.

Parental Perinatal Anxiety Support
This presentation will focus on how to identify and support parents who are experiencing perinatal anxiety. Specifically, it will address the impact of peer support, such as the support parents gain through involvement in groups like La Leche League. It will reference the current literature on perinatal anxiety and what helps.

What is The WHO Code?
Canada is behind the rest of the world in exclusive breastfeeding rate targets of 6 months. Learn more about the WHO Code and why it is intended to support infant health and prevent predatory and unethical practices in the sale of breastmilk substitutes which interferes with families decisions about breastfeeding and providing human milk

Communication Skills
 This interactive course will give IBCLCs, health providers, community workers, and peer supporters an opportunity to learn about and practise effective, empathetic, and empowering communication skills.  


Regular fee - $40 
LLLC Alumni and non-LLLC Leaders - $30 
Active LLLC Leaders - $20
*Scholarships will be available. Please reach out to office@LLLC.ca for more info or to donate towards a scholarship.*

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Sam Leeson
Sam started on the path of supporting families and birth work in 1998, following the birth of her eldest child. Through that process (including a PIH and 10 weeks of bedrest), she was left feeling unsupported and unheard. That’s when Sam vowed to do what she could to help people have the experience they dream of. Unsurprisingly, she found that the people who offered her the most support were her Leaders and peers at my local La Leche League Canada (LLLC) Group. As soon as her eldest was 12 months old, Sam began the process of becoming an LLLC Leader and was gifted with the chance to Lead with a variety of groups around Southern Ontario as well as volunteering at the Area, National and International level. She finally found the courage to come out at 39 (although have been knowingly closeted since she was a young teen). It has ALWAYS been Sam's mission to support ALL people, especially members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community as they both start, and/or grow their families through parenthood as well as throughout their lives as parents. To date, Sam has had the honour of attending the births of, providing coaching to and educating thousands of parents and their families.

Humairah Abowath
Humairah is a mom of 5 and in her ‘home’ era; homesteading, homemaking, homeschooling and homebirthing! She is a doula/birth keeper in her local community where she supports mothers and families through their beautiful journey of pregnancy & postpartum!

Alyssa Warmland
Alyssa Warmland is an interdisciplinary artist and activist. Her work utilizes elements of radical vulnerability, restorative justice, mindfulness, compassion, performance, and direct action. She is a mother, La Leche League Leader, Board member of La Leche League Canada, writer, podcaster, producer, director, performer, content creator, not-for-profit administrator, and abstract visual artist. Lyss is a strong advocate for fumbling towards an ethic of care, especially when it comes to the topics of birth, matresence, and grief. Most of all, she’s interested in the way people choose to tell their stories and how that keeps them well. Lyss is currently pursuing her Masters of Counselling Psychology and plans to specialize in perinatal mental health. In her spare time, you can find her in the forest. Lyss is a 33 year old white, queer, disabled woman who lives with her partner and their sons on Robinson-Huron (Treaty 61, 1850) land stolen from Omàmìwininìwag (Algonquin) and Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ Cree peoples.

Mel Neal
Mel is an expert in her chosen field of pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. Her experience started with the births of her own babies over 45 years ago and becoming a La Leche League Leader, then a childbirth educator, doula, and subsequently an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and cranio sacral therapist. She has been instrumental in re-writing all the resource handouts for LLL Canada and contributes to many LLL project and trains LLL Leaders. She has a special interest in the International WHO Code and has taken international training in it. She also is member of the La Leche League International Board of Directors. Mel works in private practice and for a local child and family agency in her role as IBCLC and spends many hours volunteering for LLL.

Denise Martin
Denise has been a Le Leche League Canada Leader for 20 years facilitating and providing peer volunteer breastfeeding support with the International Organization in Newmarket, Ontario. In this time she has supported hundreds of parents and families in group facilitation (series meetings and prenatal classes) and one on one support in her community. In 2015 Denise was a Regional lead in a Grant Funded from Best Start Health Nexus implementing 3 new LLLC Groups in York Region including Georgina Island and the training of additional La Leche League Canada Leaders. Georgina Island is a Native reserve populated by the Chippewas of Georgina Island First Nation, a band of Ojibwa people.

As a York Region Coalition Member for approximately 22 years she has supported and been an active participate supporting community breastfeeding events including Breastfeeding Week Celebrations, and the MILK Documentary viewing in 2016.

In 2023 Denise became a facilitator for the La Leche League Canada Communication Skills to Empower Breastfeeding, Chestfeeding, and Human Milk Feeding Families. Enjoying the connection and witnessing the growth of Health Professionals and Community partners supporting families with the tools learned in the program.

Denise is the mother to 3 grown breastfed children, 29, 27 and 22 years. Work and family life keep her busy including her passion of supporting parents and families in York Region, Ontario.

Sonja Martin
Sonja is a Yoga & Meditation Teacher (500YTT), Core Confidence Specialist, a La Leche League Leader, and communication facilitator for La Leche League Canada. She sits on the Global La Leche League international. She is a mother of three and surrogate of two. She has a background in mental health and is a practicing Behaviour/family therapist and consultant. Sonja is trained in birth, postpartum and prenatal yoga . Sonja is trained in trauma death and loss. She is a regular participant of Non Violent Communication training and practices.