top of page

Fri, Oct 19


3737 Seminary Rd

Oral Habilitation of the Breastfeeding Dyad: Alexandria, VA (Washington DC area)

Join us for a 3-day intensive master class as we present, discuss and explore the various tricks, tools, resources, interventions and innovative techniques that we can utilize as IBCLCs in supporting the habilitation of the breastfeeding dyad in overcoming oral dysfunction.

Registration is Closed
See other events
Oral Habilitation of the Breastfeeding Dyad: Alexandria, VA (Washington DC area)
Oral Habilitation of the Breastfeeding Dyad: Alexandria, VA (Washington DC area)

Time & Location

Oct 19, 2018, 8:00 AM – Oct 21, 2018, 2:30 PM

3737 Seminary Rd, 3737 Seminary Rd, Alexandria, VA 22304, USA

About the event

The Oral Habilitation of the Breastfeeding Dyad: A Master Class for IBCLCs. Presented by: Sandra Coulson, MS, ST, ED, COM, Lisa Lahey, RN, BSN, IBCLC, RLC, OMT, Bryna Sampey, IBCLC, RLC, Jennifer Tow, MA, IBCLC, RLC, CSOM, Sharon Vallone, DC, FICCP

Join us for a 3-day intensive Master Class as we present, discuss and explore the various tricks, tools, resources, interventions and innovative techniques that we can utilize as IBCLCs in supporting the habilitation of the breastfeeding dyad in overcoming oral dysfunction.

Friday 8am-6:30 pm

Saturday 8am-7:30pm

Sunday 8am-2:30pm


Lactation support is very €œhands on€ for both the IBCLC and Manual Therapist. Saturday's workshop is an invitation to the Manual Therapists on the breastfeeding dyad's team! This is your opportunity to learn to effectively collaborate with the IBCLC to optimize breastfeeding success for your patients/clients. Attendees will join their IBCLC colleagues for the Saturday morning program (see below), then will join Dr Vallone in a small group setting to learn more about the biomechanics of competent breastfeeding, structural impediments to functional breastfeeding and the compensations that invariably ensue, as well the intervention and support we can offer the dyad with our unique and varied manual skills. Beginners and experienced individuals in any of the healing arts that provide manual therapies are welcome to attend by invitation of one of the attending IBCLC€™s that they partner with or would like to partner with in this very rewarding work. fee: $125.00 limit: 10. Instructors: Jennifer Tow, MA, IBCLC, CSOM, Sandra Coulson, MS, ST, ED, COM Sharon Vallone, DC, FICCP


Virginia Theological Seminary, Addison Hall, 3737 Seminary Rd. Alexandria, Va 22304

Visitors may park in any parking space designated for visitors or in any undesignated space on the VTS campus. No parking pass is required. Handicap accessible parking spots are available throughout campus including next to Addison hall.

Travel: Reagan National Airport is approx 10 minutes.

Amtrak Alexandria train station is 2.6 mi

Nearest metro stop is King Street Metro (yellow and blue metro lines) is 3 miles

Spring Hill Suites

2950 Eisenhower Avenue Alexandria, VA 22314-4557 Phone: (301) 529-5433

Room Block: Thursday, 10/18/2018 -Monday 10/22/2018

There is free breakfast daily

Reservations need to be made by Thursday, 9/20/2018. Must call hotel after that and/or seek alternate housing for the event

Rate is $139 for 2 double beds

Email: or for questions with booking rooms

Payment: IBCLCs

EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION: $550 until July 28, 2018

$600 from July 29, 2018.

$275 for PREVIOUS ATTENDEES reviewing the course.

Payment: Manual Therapists/Bodyworkers


Lunch on your own, light breakfast, snacks and beverages will be served.

Contact Jennifer Tow at with any questions about the course

Comments from our previous courses:

"This was one of the best conferences I've attended. I learned so much from each of you, and from many of the participants as well. I knew I would learn things to help with the babies, I didn't know that I would learn things to help myself as well! Thank you all for such a well put-together program. Everything flowed appropriately, the hands on was great, sharing your slides was generous. I would totally recommend this conference, and might even have to repeat it because you taught us so much I can't imagine retaining it all!"...Gail Dittes RNC IBCLC

"This was the capstone educational piece for my profession. It was wonderful to be around professionals who are the top performers in what we do. To be with a tribe of people who "get it" rekindled my passion for helping moms and babies. I have a love of learning and I didn't want to miss a single second of the lectures. I honestly don't know how any IBCLC can practice without taking this course. Without the critical skills taught in this course, we are not doing enough to help our communities."..Jacqueline Kincer, IBCLC


By the successful completion of the three-day course, the experienced IBCLC will be able to define the steps involved in functional habilitation of the breastfeeding dyad, educate the family in the steps to accomplish such, create a sustainable and achievable care plan, and be able to share such information with colleagues with the intent and goal of collaboration and enhanced knowledge in the field of advanced lactation.

The experienced IBCLC will be familiar with the anatomy and mechanics of infant facial structure, its role in feeding, and the ability to identify structural dysfunction. The experienced IBCLC will also be able to identify dysfunction in the lactating parent including: milk supply, subconscious feeding compensations made for ineffective nurslings and positioning. The learner will be able to offer various strategies to implement in a sustainable and achievable care plan for the parent to overcome these dysfunctions in their feeding journey. In addition, the learner will be able to competently identify dysfunction in the maternal or infant gut, and explain the role of the microbiome and its significance to the family. They will be able to refer to an appropriate care provider for additional assistance in such cases.

After the training, the experienced IBCLC will be able to reference a compendium of effective exercises and tools for facilitating oral habilitation, sucking and body movement.They will be capable and competent in demonstration for the families and their child(ren). The learner will be able to use multiple strategies to confidently educate families on the use and reasoning behind the care plan developed for infants with complex feeding difficulties.

The learner will be able to assess the knowledge base of their client, develop understandable and digestible explanations of the identified problems, create sustainable care plans outlining achievable goals, and will be able to help the families in their care to feel informed and empowered in their decision-making.


Day One:

8am registration

8:30-9:30 Learning to See Babies Jennifer Tow

9:30-10:00 Integration Session

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-11:30 Introduction: the Role of the Primitive Reflex in Oral Function: Bryna Sampey

11:30-12:00 Integration Session

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-3:00 Functional Assessment of the Breastfed Baby: Lisa Lahey

3:00-3:30-Integration Session

3:30-3:45 Break

3:45-4:45 Maternal History and Its Role in Functional Habilitation: Jennifer Tow

4:45-5:15 Integration Session

5:15-6:15 Hands on: Tools for Oral Habilitation of the Breastfed Baby, Part 1: Bryna, Jennifer, Lisa

Day Two:

8:00-9:45 Breastfeeding: the Architect of the Human Airway: Jennifer Tow

9:45-10:00 Break

10:00-11:15 The Role of Bodywork in Normalizing Function: Part One: Sharon Vallone

11:15-1:00 Myofunctional Disorders: Origination in Infancy, Long-term Impact on Human Health: Sandra Coulson

1:00-2:00 Lunch

2:00-3:00 Visual Documentation for the IBCLC: Lisa Lahey

3:00-3:15 Break

3:15-4:30 Supporting Healing Post-Release Jennifer Tow

4:30-5:30 Hands on: Tools for Oral Habilitation of the Breastfed Baby, Part 2: Bryna, Jen, Lisa

5:30-6:00 Break

6-7:30pm Rhythmic Movement for Function: Bryna Sampey

Day Three

8:00-8:45 Find Your Spot, Sandra Coulson

8:45-10:00 The Role of Bodywork in Normalizing Function: Part Two: Sharon Vallone

10:00-10:15 Break

10:15-11:30 Brunch (provided) & Breakout: The Steps to Habilitation: Applying Our Tools in Normalizing Function While Keeping the Dyad Intact: Jennifer, Lisa, Sandy, Sharon and Bryna

11:30-1:00 Observation of Hands-on Functional Assessment of the Breastfeeding Dyad: Sharon Vallone and Bryna Sampey

1:00-2:00 Breakout: Effectively & Ethically Communicating With & Teaching Parents, Professionals, Colleagues: Bryna, Lisa, Jen Sharon & Sandra

2:00-2:30 Q & A


Sandra Coulson, MS, ST, ED, COM (AKA "The Thumb Whisperer") is an innovator, a leader, an entrepreneur, an International speaker and a compassionate therapist.

Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, raised by a single mother, her career has been remarkable. She is included in the Hall of Fame at Palmer High School, where she graduated with honors and is recognized by the Alumni Association as one of fifty outstanding alumni.

After graduating from the University of Northern Colorado with degrees in Speech Therapy and Education, she also holds a Masters’ Degree in Health Sciences. She ventured to Washington State where she was an itinerant speech therapist, then therapy director for a Special Education Division of Tacoma Public Schools. When she returned to Colorado she worked for Home Health Services as a therapist serving a population of victims of stroke and Down syndrome, and, with her education degree, she became a substitute teacher during which time she developed her private practice in Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy.

She has been interviewed on 9 News, 2 News, 7 News and various media in the Denver metro area as well as on VIMEO and YOUTUBE and on Cross Link Radio. She continues to lecture and teach internationally.

Known as the “Thumb Whisperer”, she has a 99.7% ‘cure’ rate in ONE DAY with thumb and finger suckers and with patients who have trichotillomania (hair pulling). She has worked with thousands of patients locally and internationally and is now seeing ‘second generation’ patients and she has trained many therapists who are practicing in the US and abroad.

She is a past President of the International Association of Orofacial Myology, past Co-Chair of “CHAPS” a holistic practitioner association in Denver, and is a member of many other professional associations including the Down syndrome Association, the Post- Polio Association and the Association for Essential Tremor. She also serves on the Advisory Board of Heritage College where she is a frequent Commencement speaker.

Lisa Lahey RN, IBCLC, CSOM has been a nurse in maternal child health for 21 years and for 18 years worked in L/D, postpartum, NICU, and perinatal education at hospitals in Indianapolis, Indiana. An IBCLC for 18 years, she was pleased to open her private practice Advanced Breastfeeding Care 3 years ago to offer lactation consults for complex and joyful Breastfeeding. Lisa's excellent assessment skills of breast feeding, expertise with tethered oral tissues, and other suck dysfunction helps to build feeding care plans that bring rehabilitation and support to the Breastfeeding dyad. Lisa also provides myofunctional therapy to children and adults in a local Orthodontic office that focuses on holistic treatment approach. Lisa is active in the Indiana Perinatal Educator Association teaching and helping with conference planning. Lisa educates and promote TOTs in her area by being an admin to several Facebook pages and lecturing at local hospitals and coalitions. She is a member of IATP and the AAMS. Lisa enjoys attending conferences to develop more skills, and travels with her family in free time. Her 5 children helped her fall in love with Breastfeeding and the optimal way it fosters health and relationships.

Bryna Sampey became IBCLC-certified in 2010 after a 4500+ hour internship with Sonja Massey, BSN, RN, IBCLC at BabyMoon in Monterey, CA, USA Prior to her certification as an IBCLC and Doula, she worked in Marine Chemistry in the Monterey Bay. Bryna owns a private practice in the Portland, Oregon metro area, offering home-visiting birth and lactation care, postpartum care, and education for parents and professionals. Bryna has specialized in her birth work focus on high-risk and surgical birth and the subsequent lactation issues that can arise from interventive birth. In her lactation work, she has additional areas of expertise in ankyloglossia assessment and recovery for the breastfeeding dyad, working with LGBTQIA+ families, and Rhythmic Movement Training for babies and parents with birth and surgical trauma as well as breastfeeding difficulties. Bryna has worked as an adjunct professor at Birthingway College of Midwifery, teaching students about complex parental situations in lactation, breast assessment and evaluation, hand expression and breast massage. She also teaches parents in prenatal breastfeeding education and newborn care at Oregon Health & Sciences University. When not teaching, working with clients, or learning more about breastfeeding and early parenting care, she can be found at home with her family in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

Jennifer Tow, BFA, MA, IBCLC, RLC, CSOM has practiced holistic lactation and guided parents in raising their children holistically for over 25 years. A fascination with the physiology of wellness has led her on a 30-year journey exploring the influences on infant well-being that come to define long-term human well-being. She has come to focus her interest in the areas of epigenetics and the microbiome, gut-brain health, airway function and oral functional competency, exploring the profoundly far-reaching implications of this work for breastfeeding dyads.

While residing between the USA & France, Jennifer established an international client base and now sees most of her clients on-line, specializing in helping dyads with complex breastfeeding issues. Her reputation for guiding parents through these issues stems from her ability to integrate holistic modalities and an expanded skill-set, such as myofunctional therapy, into her practice.

She is a writer and lecturer, offering workshops internationally and via webinar on breastfeeding & epigenetics, gut health & healing, tongue-tie & airway development and holistic breastfeeding practices. After a decade in development, she now offers a year-long advanced course in Integrative and Holistic Lactation. She is a founding member of IATP (the International Affiliation of Tongue-tie Professionals) and is the Breastfeeding Section Leader of the AAPMD (American Academy of Physiological Medicine and Dentistry) and founder of the Holistic Lactation Institute. Jennifer is the mother of three children born at home in 1988, 1992 and 1998 and a granddaughter born at home in 2009. Contact: or

Sharon Vallone, DC, FICCP (Fellow in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics) Sharon’s clinical practice is in a multidiscipline environment and brings 25+ years of pediatric experience with a primary interest in pregnancy, birth trauma, breastfeeding and problems with infant /toddler neurodevelopment. She finds her role frequently to be a member of a support team for infants and children providing assessment, treatment and healthcare advocacy, as well as individualized treatment for children with functional challenges. She is the editor of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics and teaches internationally in the International Chiropractor’s Association’s postgraduate program in pediatric chiropractic.


Cancellation up to one month in advance. $75 cancellation fee applies.




    Sold Out

    Sold Out

    Limited to those who have previously taken the course.

    Sold Out


    Sale ended



Share this event

bottom of page