Ontario Best Start Grant

“Breastfeeding Our Children for the Health of Our Nation” - Stephanie MacDonald -Aboriginal Midwife, IBCLC is an Oneida Nation, Aboriginal Midwife and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She is an active member of the International Lactation Consultants Association, the National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, BFI Resource Team for Ontario, and the BFI Strategy Implementation Committee.


“Building Peer Breastfeeding Support with LLLC Prenatal Breastfeeding Classes” - Catherine Pestl is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant working with high risk pregnant women and new mothers at Flemingdon Community Health Centre in Toronto’s east end. She is also a client consultant for the Association of Ontario Midwives.


“What Are We Doing?" to engage more women in mother to mother breastfeeding support and what could strengthen efforts in the future. Shannon McLennon, LLLC, IBCLC; Nikki Bell, LLLC; Sabrina Hope, LLLC and Tej Parmer, Parents for Better Beginnings join speakers from other sessions to discuss the status of present support and look into the future of breastfeeding support.


“Empowering Mothers: information not advice” - Deborah Mesher and Karen Derrah are both Communications Skills Development Facilitators with La Leche League Canada. Deborah actively facilitates a variety of communication focused workshops on topics from problem solving to communicating with children. Karen facilities communication skills workshops on assertiveness, empathetic active listening, providing information in a respectful manner, communicating with children and dealing with difficult situations.


“Collaborating to Support Racialized Women in Breastfeeding” - Monika Goodluck, is the Programs and Communications Manager with Women’s Health in Women’s Hands CHC, a community health centre serving racialized women of African, Black, Caribbean, Latin American, and South Asian identities living in the Greater Toronto Area. Renée I.A. mercuri, is currently an interfaith/interspiritual seminarian and practices as a birth and postpartum doula, spiritual mentor and support to all families in their journeys and life transitions.



“Why Do Mothers Need Peer Support?” - Teresa Pitman, LLLC is an award winning author whose articles on parenting and maternal infant health have appeared in Today’s Parent, Great Expectations, Mothering, Chatelaine, Leaven and New Beginnings. Teresa is also the author and co-author of 15 books on parenting and breastfeeding related topics, including the newly updated 8th edition of the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and LLLI’s new book, Sweet Sleep.