Agenda, Session Descriptions and Speaker Bios

Click here for more information on 2021 continuing education approvals & disclosures.

**Please note - recordings of this activity will be posted without CE credit on Monday, May 17, 2021.



Monday, April 19, 2021 - Meetings/Preconference Agenda

WIC / Baby-Friendly Designated Hospital Staff Meetings & Preconference Sessions

11:00am - 12:30pm 

WIC Staff Meeting Only 

Aimee Duncan RD, LN, CLC, Montana WIC Breastfeeding
Coordinator Lead


1:00 - 1:25pm 

Baby-Friendly Designated Hospital Staff Meeting Only 

Terry Miller IBCLC, RLC, CLC, PMH-C Senior Breastfeeding Consultant with the MT Nutrition & Physical Activity Program

**Note - Those that are not in the above meetings may also register for the following two sessions.

1:30 - 3:00pm

Caring for Our Community During COVID-19: How Perinatal/Lactation Workers Can Protect Themselves, Their Clients, and Their Business

Laurel Wilson, IBCLC, CLE, BSc, RLC, CLD, CCCE 

3:00 - 3:10pm 


3:10 - 4:20pm 

Does Breastfeeding Protect Maternal Mental Health? The Impact of Oxytocin and Stress 

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., IBCLC, FAPA 

4:20 - 4:30pm

Closing & Evaluation 

Monday Session Descriptions & Speaker Bios

1:30 - 3:00pm - Caring for Our Community During COVID-19: How Perinatal/Lactation Workers Can Protect Themselves, Clients & Business - Laurel Wilson, BSc, IBCLC, RLC, CLE, CLD, CCCE, PPPI

Session Slides - PDF

As the novel Coronavirus, COVID-19 begins to take hold of our international communities, perinatal workers have specific concerns. How will birth and postpartum doulas, childbirth and parenting educators, lactation support professionals, and consultants handle this developing crisis? There are many aspects to consider: keeping oneself and family safe, keeping your clients/families educated, how to provide services safely and robustly if possible, and how to protect your business as much as possible during a crisis. This presentation will briefly review the basics of what is known about COVID and pregnant people and babies and what your clients may need to anticipate in the event of an infection pre-birth or during the postpartum period. We will review some business practicalities for perinatal professionals, such as effective communication with your clients, screening your clients for COVID-19, protecting yourself during home visits and support groups, alternatives to providing privacy protected care and services when in-person care/support is not recommended or allowed, and so much more. We will end with a robust Q and A. This presentation will have a United States centric bias. However, the presenter will do her best to obtain as much data as possible from other international sources. If you have questions prior to this session, please submit them to

Laurel Wilson PictureLaurel Wilson, IBCLC, RLC, BSc, CLE, CCCE, CLD Laurel Wilson has twenty-nine years of experience working with families in the childbearing year and perinatal professional and travels the world (when not experiencing a pandemic) speaking about the importance of human milk and attachment. She is co-author of best-selling books, The Greatest Pregnancy Ever: The Keys to the MotherBaby Bond and The Attachment Pregnancy: The Ultimate Guide to Bonding with Your Baby, original Editor of the CAPPA Lactation Educator Manual, and contributing author to Round the Circle: Doulas Talk About Themselves.  Laurel is a board-certified as a lactation consultant, childbirth educator, labor doula, lactation educator, Prenatal ParentingTM Instructor, and Pre and Postpartum fitness educator. She served as the CAPPA Executive Director of Lactation Programs for 16 years. She served on the Board of Directors for the United States Breastfeeding Committee from 2016-2019. Her current service roles include acting as a Senior Advisor for CAPPA and being on the Advisory Board for InJoy Health and Kindred Media. She also works as the Education Manager for GOLD Learning. Laurel has been joyfully married to her husband for 30 years and has two amazing sons, whose difficult births led her on a path towards helping emerging families create positive experiences. She believes that the journey towards and into parenthood is a life-changing rite of passage that should be deeply honored and celebrated.

3:10 - 4:20pm - Does Breastfeeding Protect Maternal Mental Health? The Impact of Oxytocin and Stress - Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., IBCLC, FAPA

Session Slides - PDF

Breastfeeding and depression have a complicated relationship. On one hand, mothers who are depressed are less likely to initiate or continue breastfeeding. On the other hand, exclusively breastfeeding mothers are less likely to be depressed. To understand this apparent contradiction, it’s important to understand the underlying physiology of the stress vs. oxytocin response. Oxytocin suppresses the stress response, providing protection for the mother. Conversely, stress suppresses oxytocin, which makes both depression and breastfeeding difficulties more likely. Birth interventions also have a role in activating this system. This session describes oxytocin vs. stress and then applies this knowledge to recent studies to understand whether breastfeeding actually protects maternal mental health.

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett pictureKathleen Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., IBCLC, FAPA - Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and the Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Praeclarus Press, a small press specializing in women's health. Dr. Kendall-Tackett is Editor-in-Chief of two peer-reviewed journals: ​​Clinical Lactation and Psychological Trauma. She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association in Health and Trauma Psychology, Past President of the APA Division of Trauma Psychology, and a member of the APA’s Publications and Communications Board. Dr. Kendall-Tackett specializes in women's-health research including breastfeeding, depression, trauma, and health psychology, and has won many awards for her work including the 2017 President’s Award for Outstanding Service to the Field of Trauma Psychology from the American Psychological Association’s Division of Trauma Psychology. Dr. Kendall-Tackett has authored more than 460 articles or chapters and is the author or editor of 38 books. Her most recent books include: Depression in New Mothers, 3rd Edition (2017, Routledge UK), Women’s Mental Health Across the Lifespan (2017, Routledge US, with Lesia Ruglass), and The Phantom of the Opera: A Social History of the World’s Most Popular Musical (2018, Praeclarus).

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - BLC Agenda

Breastfeeding Learning Collaborative (BLC) - All Attendees

9:00 - 9:10am

Welcome & Updates

9:10 - 9:45am

Food Sovereignty, Breastfeeding & the Change in the Blackfeet Food System

Danielle Antelope, Co-Chair FAST Blackfeet

9:45 - 10:50am

Lifting up Indigenous Milk Experiences: An Overview of Native Breastfeeding Week 

Jasha Lyons Echo-Hawk, BA, DONA trained Birth Doula 

10:50 - 11:00am


11:00am - 12:00pm

BreastSide Manner for Lactation Professionals

Nekisha Killings, MPH, IBCLC

12:00 - 12:30pm


12:30 - 1:30pm

How Did I Miss That? Breast Assessment in Non-White Skin Tones

Nekisha Killings, MPH, IBCLC

1:30 - 2:30pm

Infant Food Allergies & Breastfeeding

Summer Monforte, MD

2:30 - 2:40pm


2:40 - 4:00pm

Panel - Native Birth and Breastfeeding Traditions & Practices

April Charlo (Moderator) & (Panelists) Elizabeth Talbert, Amy Stiffarm, Sisi Pete, and Kinsley WalksAlong


4:00 - 4:15pm 

 Closing & Evaluation


Tuesday Session Descriptions & Speaker Bios

9:10 - 9:45am - Food Sovereignty, Breastfeeding & the Change in the Blackfeet Food System - Danielle Antelope, Co-Chair FAST Blackfeet

As the Blackfeet food system changed so did the health of the people. Danielle will use a timeline and her family story to show the change of the Blackfeet food system. By the end of the presentation, you will see how breastfeeding and food sovereignty are acts of resilience. 

Danielle Antelope PictureDanielle Antelope is Co-Chair of a nonprofit called Food Access Sustainability Team (FAST) Blackfeet, which is a group of community members working on grants based on food access and sustainability, food sovereignty, food access, nutrition, traditional ecological knowledge, community wellness, and culture. She graduated from Blackfeet Community College in 2018 with an A.S in Health Science and an A.S. in Math & Science. She is currently in Bozeman, where she is pursuing a B.S. degree in Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems at Montana State University.  Danielle is a full-time student and mother. She has done undergraduate research on behalf of FAST, looking into other Native-ran food pantries and their sustainability, challenges, successes, and advice. In addition to her studies, Danielle was a National Indian Health Board (NIHB) Health Policy Fellow for the 2018-19 year. For this position, she has identified the prevalence of opioid abuse on the Blackfeet Reservation as well as current policies for dealing with the epidemic, followed by a series of policy recommendations and implementation strategies to improve the way the problem is addressed. Danielle is currently MSU's 2020-21 Newman Civic Fellow. She enjoys spending her free time with her little family.   

9:45 - 10:50am - Lifting up Indigenous Milk Experiences: An Overview of Native Breastfeeding Week - Jasha Lyons Echo-Hawk, BA, DONA trained Birth Doula

Native breastfeeding/chestfeeding is an act of defiance to the colonial systems and their imposed norms as well as a resilience of culture and body sovereignty. Native Breastfeeding Week occurs to increase support and resources, promote healing and wellness, to provide stories and knowledge to the limited data regarding Native breast/chestfeeding and lactation.

Jasha Lyons Echo-Hawk pictureJasha Lyons Echo-Hawk is a life-long justice seeker, community builder, and part-time marathoner. She is Two-spirit and a proud tribal citizen of the Seminole Nation, as well as a member of the Pawnee, Iowa, Omaha, and Creek Nations. Jasha has organized in rural Oklahoma on such issues as healthcare access, violence against women, breast/chestfeeding advocacy and birth justice, food sovereignty, gun violence prevention, criminal justice reform, Census & voter outreach, and as a former political candidate. Jasha has also helped to found Native Breastfeeding Week and was an inaugural NDN Collective Changemaker fellow. Recently, she co-led the Oklahoma effort of the national Natives Vote 2020 campaign. Jasha is a DONA-trained Birthworker, a current student midwife, and a grad student at the University of Oklahoma’s College of Law in the Master of Legal Studies Indigenous People’s Law program. She maintains an active lifestyle with her spouse, Bunky, and their four children.

11:00am - 12:00pm - ​BreastSide Manner for Lactation Professionals - Nekisha Killings, MPH, IBCLC

The Breast Assessment session will present an overview of the clinical criteria for assessing breast anatomy and function during lactation. BreastSide Manner for Lactation Professionals. Warm and empathic bedside manner is a lost art in provider-patient interactions. Be it time constraints, systemic limitations, lack of trust or training, the disconnect is apparent and the consequences are grave. In this talk, lactation support providers have an opportunity to learn how to be intentional in their approach to care in a way that honors the patient and their needs while also meeting them where they are. This talk will consider attitude, cultural language, and other factors that might have traditionally impeded communication, or relational connection, in order to get to the heart of drawing a line of trust and respect between patient and provider. 

Nekisha Killings PictureNekisha Killings MPH, IBCLC, RLC is an equity strategist, international board-certified lactation consultant, and maternal and child health advocate. Her life’s work is focused on advancing equity in the field of lactation. Nekisha authored the chapter titled Cultural Humility in the latest Core Curriculum for Interdisciplinary Lactation Care. She acts as Director of Equity, Inclusion and Belonging at Lactation Education Resources, and consults organizations on creating and implementing strategies to better support marginalized communities. Coined the Aha! Moment Maven, Nekisha works to wow audiences with new realizations that will impact their approach to care and connection. Nekisha is on a mission to normalize brown breasts and nipples in health education and marketing, thereby better-equipping healthcare providers to accurately diagnose and treat people of color. She is co-founder of Nikki & Nikki: Lactation Career Consultants, which is dedicated to equipping aspirants of color to sit the IBCLC exam.

At the heart of Nekisha's work is volunteerism. She has been a La Leche League Leader for over a decade, seeding groups in various communities around the US, and earning the distinction of Military Spouse of the Year for her groundbreaking work with military families. Nekisha volunteers her time as an elected Director on the United States Breastfeeding Committee Board and on the Union University Pathway 2 Advisory Board. In addition to being a spouse to an active-duty servicemember, Nekisha also homeschools four little future world changers and enjoys writing and researching on the impact of historical trauma on Black families’ breastfeeding experiences today. 

12:30 - 1:30pm - How Did I Miss That? Breast Assessment in Non-White Skin Tones - Nekisha Killings, MPH, IBCLC                                               

Is a red spot always a key indicator of mastitis? What about the deep purple trademark of vasospasm? How does eczema present on non-white skin? Performing a standard breast assessment may cause clinicians to overlook or misidentify key indicators of maladies in patients that are not fair-skinned. Learn how you can improve your assessments and familiarize yourself with other ways to identify common conditions in patient populations that were not featured in your textbooks.

1:30 - 2:30pm - Infant Food Allergies & Breastfeeding - Summer Monforte, MD 

Session Slides - PDF

Please join us for a discussion about the development of food allergies in infants, and the role of breastfeeding.  Information covered will include classic IgE mediated food allergic reactions like anaphylaxis, as well as food protein-induced proctocolitis, and food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES).

Summer Monforte PictureSummer Monforte, MD is a Pediatric Allergist Immunologist who works with Montana Children's Specialists in Helena, MT. Dr. Monforte received her medical degree from the University of Arizona and completed her Pediatric Residency at the Children's Hospital of Colorado. She completed her Allergy and Immunology Fellowship at National Jewish Health in Denver Colorado. Dr. Monforte has been practicing in Helena since 2012.

2:40 - 4:00pm - Panel - Native Birth and Breastfeeding Traditions & Practices - Moderator, April Iris Charlo, M.Ed & Panelists, Elizabeth Talbert, Amy Stiffarm, Sisi Pete, and Kinsley WalksAlong

An intimate discussion centered around several panelists' experiences on birthing, breastfeeding, traditions, and practices. 

April Charlo PictureApril Iris Charlo comes from the Bitterroot Salish people and is a member of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. April holds several degrees, a master's in Education Leadership, a bachelor's in elementary education, and an associate's in Native American Studies. April was born and raised on the Flathead Reservation in Northwest Montana and is a key player in the arena of community wellness. April has been deeply involved in the revitalization of Indigenous language and has worked in the role of Executive Director of the Salish people’s language immersion school. After a time at home with her son Chief, who is now five years old, April has worked for the Special Olympics, Hopa Mountain, and started an organization to support her community during the pandemic. Somehow, she has still made time for self-healing around her severe case of postpartum depression. April finds peace while running and watching her son exploring nature in the Mission mountains.

Elizabeth TalbertKi’su’k Kyukit - good day. Elizabeth Talbert is a proud member of the Salish and Kootenai Tribes. She is a young adult who with great effort and persistence raised three children. In 2018, she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Today she is currently striving for her next accomplishment, her Master's degree.  Currently, Elizabeth works for Tribal Social Services as the Supervisor of the Foster Care Licensing Department.  She has shown great perseverance in increasing her education, and desire to better her community. Elizabeth has learned that her greatest accomplishment is her family and children.  What she is able to teach them and who they strive to be will be the greatest reflection of all her accomplishments.

Amy Stiffarm PictureAmy Stiffarm is Aaniiih of the Fort Belknap Indian Community and also descends from the Cree and Blackfeet people of Montana. She currently resides on the lands of the Kootenai, Bitterroot Salish, and Pend O'rielle people. She is the mother of two daughters, Tahmya (6) and Kisiah (4). Amy has been involved in research with Tribal communities since her undergrad degree at Salish Kootenai College and found her passion for maternal and child health during her MPH at the University of Montana. She is currently working as a Research Assistant while pursuing a Ph.D. in Indigenous Health through the University of North Dakota. In her spare time, Amy likes to run and write to guide her in her healing journey.

Sisi PeteSisiyus kʷali yućmn, Sisi for short, is a Bitterroot Salish woman who resides on the Flathead Indian reservation. Sisi has had her hand in a handful of teaching positions across Flathead country, focusing on early childhood development and revitalizing the Salish Language. It is her life’s work and long term career plan to work in language. She utilizes her knowledge towards bringing back Salish traditions and values into today’s classrooms. Sisi is a student at Salish Kootenai College and currently working as a Lead Teacher/Cultural Specialist at Eskwalmi Nuwewlštn. However, first, she is a devoted mother. Between her and her partner Anthony they share 3 sons. Sisi’s children are the core of her hard work and love. She and her family spend their days raising the boys harvesting traditional foods, cooking together, traveling, and making YouTube videos.

Kinsley WalksAlong PictureGreetings, My name is Kinsley WalksAlong, I am an enrolled member of the Northern Cheyenne Nation. Born and raised on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation. I attended Lame Deer Public Schools K-12th grade, I graduated from Lame Deer High School, class of 2000.

While residing in my hometown, I worked in various jobs in the community. In the Summer of 2000-2002, I worked as a flagger and co-pilot driver for the state road construction. During that time period, I had obtained a Flagger Trainers certification through ATSSA (American Traffic Safety Services Association). I became a Flagger Instructor to help facilitate training for community members needing a Flagger Certification. I’ve also proudly had the opportunity to coach a local Girls High School Basketball team In the fall/winter months.  I also enjoyed and provided service as a child care provider for the Northern Cheyenne Tribal Child Care program. From 2007 to 2011 I traveled the powwow trail and volunteered as a cultural mentor for a youth drum group honoring a memorial tribute to my late grandfather, Phillip Whiteman Sr., a member of Sweet Medicine’s Chief Council of 44. 

By 2011, I obtained my Associate's degree from Chief Dull Knife Community College. In 2012 I relocated to Billings, Montana to seek better opportunities for my daughter and Myself. I am currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communications at MSU-B. Until recently and before the pandemic, I participated actively in the Urban Native community in Billings hosting an annual round dance promoting an alcohol-free Family event while bringing awareness to the MMIW movement and Native Voter rights.  I’m also a parent-volunteer with the Billings Native Urban Dance youth group and I currently serve as a Vice-Chairman for the Indian Education School District 2 parent committee.

As a single mother of two Beautiful Children, ages 3yrs old, Jaxon James and a 9yr old Sadie Blu. Every day is an adventure and I am thankful. I very much enjoy spending my time with my children doing outdoor activities or staying safe at home in these precious times. My hobbies include hiking, cooking, Beading and Quillwork, and sewing native regalia.

“A Nation is not Conquered until hearts of the women are on the ground, then it is done. No matter how brave its warriors or strong its weapons.” -Cheyenne Proverb