#ILCA17 Speakers







Gender Diversity, Language, and Inclusion for Lactation Specialists

Alice Farrow is an IBCLC, writer, speaker, and infant feeding and health equity advocate. Based in Rome, Italy, they have spoken around the world on LGBTQI health inequities, gender diversity, gender inclusive language, lactation support for infants born with a cleft lip and palate, and barriers to entry to the lactation profession (in particular, those experienced by non-US candidates).

Alice participated in the 2014 Lactation Summit and the 2016 LEAC Global Forum, and published a groundbreaking article “Lactation Support and the LGBTQI community” as part of the Journal of Human Lactation’s Special Issue on “Equity.” They write for the “Language of Inclusion” blog and the “Cleft Lip and Palate Breastfeeding” website, run an online support network for LGBTQI health professionals and allies, “Embracing Diversity in Reproductive Health, Birth and Infant Feeding”, and run the "Want to be an IBCLC?" support groups for aspiring lactation consultants.

Alice is currently an undergraduate student with the Open University (UK) completing a bachelor of science with a focus on public health and public health promotion.




Bridging the Research-Practice Gap: Contextual Influences on Evidence-Based Lactation Support

Sonia Semenic is an Associate Professor at the Ingram School of Nursing, McGill University and a Nurse Scientist at the McGill University Health Center. Prior to completing her PhD in Nursing, she worked for 12 years as a hospital-based IBCLC and clinical nurse specialist in maternal child health. Dr. Semenic pursued post-doctoral training in knowledge translation (KT), and her research program focuses on enhancing the uptake of evidence-based care, with a special interest in breastfeeding support.  Her research projects include the study of barriers and facilitators to implementing the Baby-Friendly Initiative in different health care contexts; women’s needs and experiences related to primary care breastfeeding support; and the use of communities of practice (CoPs) to enhance KT capacity in nursing. She is also co-chair for the development of the Registered Nurses of Ontario’s new Best-Practice Guideline on supporting and sustaining breastfeeding.





Advocacy for Breastfeeding and Skilled Lactation Care: Lessons from around the World 

Arun Gupta is a pediatrician with more than 30 years of experience, having earned his MD (Pediatrics) in 1976 and committing to addressing issues related to supporting women to succeed in optimal breastfeeding practices. Motivated by his strong belief, and noticing that problems often started in health systems, he gave up his lucrative private practice, moved to Delhi in 1990, and mobilized a group of pediatricians to found the national network, Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI) in 1991. BPNI is now recognized as a groundbreaking, premier institution that supports governments and others on technical and related issues. His contribution to building this institution has been recognized by other countries also, where he has been able to influence policy and legal frameworks.




The Evidence for Human Donor Milk

Sharon L Unger is a Staff Neonatologist at Mount Sinai Hospital and Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. Together with Dr. Deborah O’Connor, Dr. Unger is the Primary Investigator for the DoMINO, Donor Milk for Improved Neurodevelopmental Outcomes trial and the CIHR funded Programmatic Grant in Food and Nutrition entitled OptiMoM, Optimizing Mother’s Milk for the Very Low Birth Weight Infant. Her research along with support from her chief, Dr. Shoo Lee, has resulted in the opening of the Rogers Hixon Ontario Human Milk Bank where she is the Medical Director and co-chair of the Advisory Committee. She has promoted the use of donor milk and its regulation through her memberships with the Nutrition and Gastroenterology Committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society and the Human Milk Banking Association of North America. She has authored several papers on human donor milk including Position Statement: Human Milk Banking for the Canadian Pediatric Society.




Diabetes and Antenatal Milk Expressing (DAME): A Randomised Controlled Trial

Anita Moorhead has worked in the fields of midwifery, neonatal pediatric nursing, early parenting, lactation services, and nursing management. She is currently a Clinical Midwife Consultant in Lactation at the Royal Women’s Hospital, Melbourne and Trial Coordinator for the DAME (Diabetes and Antenatal Expressing Trial). Her special interest is in the promotion of breastfeeding in the neonatal unit.




Breastfeeding for All in the 21st Century: Achieving the Global Sustainable Development Goals

Rafael Pérez-Escamilla is Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, Director of the Office of Public Health Practice, and Director of the Global Health Concentration at the Yale School of Public Health. His global public health nutrition and food security research program has led to improvements in breastfeeding programs, iron deficiency anemia among infants, household food security measurement and outcomes, and community nutrition education programs. His health disparities research involves assessing the impact of community health workers at improving behavioral and metabolic outcomes among Latinos with type 2 diabetes. He has published over 170 research articles, 2 books, and numerous journal supplements, book chapters, and technical reports. He is a member of the National Research Council Food and Nutrition Board. He has been a senior advisor to maternal-child community nutrition programs as well as household food security measurement projects funded by WHO, PAHO, UNICEF, FAO, UNESCO, UNDP, CDC, USDA, USAID, the World Bank, the Gates Foundation, and the Governments of Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.




Overcoming Barriers in Breastfeeding: A Journey of More Than 30 Years

Doris Fok has been involved in breastfeeding support for more than 32 years. She scored many firsts, as the first Asian International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Ambassador for ILCA, IBLCE country coordinator, board director, and, finally, a Fellow of ILCA. Her publications are extensive, including in booklets, newsletter columns, online columns, peer reviewed journals, and a Chinese book on breastfeeding. She has presented her findings in local and international conferences (Asia, Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States). She regularly trains health professionals in the local university.




Breast Cancer and Its Relationship to Breastfeeding

Fedro Peccatori is Director of the Fertility and Procreation Unit within the Division of Gynecologic Oncology in the Department of Gynecology at the European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy. He is a medical and gynecologic oncologist whose clinical activities mainly include diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer, gynecological malignancies, and tumors of young adults. His main research projects deal with fertility preservation and counselling in young oncological patients, pharmacological protection of ovarian function during chemotherapy, clinical and molecular characterization of pregnancy associated cancers, and research protocols for the treatment of breast and gynecological malignancies.



MARCUS STAHLHOFER, BSc, MSc  (Switzerland)

Protecting Families from Misleading Marketing Practices: Accountability through Human Rights

Marcus Stahlhofer specializes in international human rights protection, child rights, health and human rights, government liaison, advocacy, and training. He currently is Technical Officer on the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes at the World Health Organization. He provides technical assistance to the Director, Department of Nutrition for Health and Development, on facilitating support to WHO Member States in the implementation and monitoring of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. He integrates a human rights perspective in country implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes through systematic application of international and regional human rights principles and standards in national implementation and monitoring processes. He also is Human Rights Adviser, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health at the World Health Organization, providing authoritative technical guidance to, and strengthening the capacity of, WHO and its Member States on the application of human rights standards to maternal, newborn, child, and adolescent health planning and programming. He formerly served as Associate Human Rights Adviser for WHO and UNAIDS.