The 2019 RVA Breastfeeding Symposium

The 2019 RVA Breastfeeding Symposium
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Thu 26 September 2019
Thursday 26 September 2019
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

The 2019 RVA Breastfeeding Symposium brings parents, healthcare and social service providers, and community members together to:

  1. Provide training on  Ready, Set, BABY (RSB), an educational program developed by Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute designed to counsel prenatal women about maternity care best practices and the benefits and management of breastfeeding, incorporating other important information to help women achieve their goals. This tool is now available in English, Spanish, Arabic, and French. 

  2. Encourage community members, organizations, hospitals and healthcare providers across the Richmond Metro Area to identify a shared vision for supporting breastfeeding and maternal health, particularly with regard to marginalized communities.

  3. Promote policy, systems, and environmental change regarding lactation and maternal health in our community.

  1. Implementing the Ready, Set, BABY tool in clinical settings
  2. Transcending Our Silos: Creating a shared vision for maternal/infant health in RVA
  3. Boobs and Bongs: A blunt discussion about cannabis use in pregnancy and breastfeeding

We have applied for CERPS through the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners. 

Continental Breakfast and Boxed Lunch provided.

A Note About Our Registration Process

When you register, you will be asked a few questions about your perceptions of maternal health in your community, however you define community. This aggregated information will be used to guide one of the breakout sessions at the symposium. Please allow several minutes to complete the registration form. 

The 2019 RVA Breastfeeding Symposium is supported in part by funding from Virginia Department of Health, VCU Health, Virginia Premier, Richmond CIty Health District, and The Women's Center at Henrico Doctors' Hospital. We are grateful for the support of our sponsors. 

This Symposium is offered at no charge to facilitate full participation from stakeholders at all income levels and across multiple sectors. When you register you will have two options:

  • Regular Registration, which is free
  • Supporting Registration, which allows you to make a donation that supports this event. 

If it is within your or your organization's capacity, please consider a Supporting Registration in an amount of your choosing. Your gift helps ensure that we can continue to offer this and other community focused programs in the future. 

The RVA Breastfeeding Symposia are designed to convene stakeholders from multiple sectors in order to expand our community's capacity to create a breastfeeding friendly ecosystem. 

“…an awesome opportunity to network and brainstorm with interdisciplinary professionals and lay teams. Thanks for an awesome event!” 

“…the symposium... gave me a wealth of knowledge about breastfeeding, as well as ideas about how to support and encourage prenatal and postnatal mothers.” 

“…very engaging and informative symposium. The speakers were dynamic!”    

“… re-energized my passion for breastfeeding advocacy… I really enjoyed being in an environment where we all had the same barriers and goals of improving the breastfeeding rates in Richmond and around our state.”        

 -- 2016 and 2017 Symposia participants                   


Kathy Parry, MPH, IBCLC, LMBT, CEIM is a social clinical research specialist at the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the Gillings School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill. At CGBI, Kathy is the Director of Prenatal Breastfeeding Education and management team member for the EMPower Initiative, a CDC-funded effort to increase the number of Baby-Friendly designated maternity-care facilities. Her previous work at CGBI includes the development of an adaptable Responsive Feeding curriculum for low-income countries fighting malnutrition and stunting, as well as published research on women’s perception of infant formula advertising. Kathy is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), Licensed Massage and Bodywork Therapist (LMBT), a Certified Educator of Infant Massage and a former DONA-certified birth doula.

Julia Bourg, BSN, RN, IBCLC is a social clinical research specialist with the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) in the department of Maternal and Child Health at the Gilling’s School of Public Health, UNC-Chapel Hill. Julia served as Breastfeeding Coach assisting over 40 hospitals nationwide implement the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeedingand achieve Baby Friendly Designation. She is an elected member of the steering committee of the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition and has previously served as co-leader of the statewide clinical task force for The Gift Breastfeeding Project for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals-Bureau of Family Health. Julia is a Registered Nurse and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She began her nursing career in maternity services specializing in Maternal-Newborn and Neonatal Intensive Care. She and has led multiple change and quality improvement projects to progress breastfeeding awareness and outcomes. She has served on various expert panels as well as participated in professional speaking engagements to provide education and motivation related to Ten Step implementation. Julia’s efforts have gained national recognition including being featured in the CDC’s 2014 Breastfeeding Report Card as well as being recognized professionally as Excellence as Nurse Educator by the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Louisiana State University.

Leslie Lytle, MS, ERTY500, LCCE is the Executive Director of Nurture, through which #RVAbreastfeeds activities  are coordinated. Leslie has worked with pregnant and postpartum people since 1992 in various direct service roles including massage therapist, doula, perinatal yoga instructor, and Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. She holds an MS in Sociology where her area of focus was the sociology of health and illness, with additional coursework in public health. A graduate of the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program, Leslie has completed a Certificate in Non-Profit Management, is the 2016 recipient of the Pat Asch Fellowship for Social Justice and a graduate of Initiatives of Change’s Community Trustbuilding Fellowship. Leslie is fascinated by the intersection of biology and culture that is ever present in childbirth and early parenting, and looks forward to the day when Richmond will be known far and wide as a mother/baby/family friendly city.

Tricia Smith, PhD is a faculty member in the Biology Department of Virginia Commonwealth University and loves drugs!  She is the creator and instructor of the ‘Biology of Drugs’ course which has received rave student reviews since its inception in 2014. In addition, Tricia is the director of the Molecular Capstone Laboratory couse and teaches Cellular and Molecular Biology. Dr. Smith’s previous research focused primarily on drugs of abuse and has included the electrophysiological effects of morphine on enteric neurons and the effects of protein interactions on the cannabinoid (CB1) receptor.


What about bringing my baby or my pump? 

Parents with babes in arms are welcome. We appreciate the time our speakers have given to preparing their presentations and we want all to share in what they have to say. If you have a baby in arms who gets fussy or chooses to “talk,” remember that some people may not be able to hear over baby’s sounds as well as you can. Please respect the needs of other registrants and care for your child outside the lecture hall if they become disruptive or need your focused attention. We will also have a dedicated private area for folks that need to pump. Thank you! 

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, but please make sure you RSVP to the Eventbrite using your First and Last Name, your Organization's name, your Title, and your pronouns so your name tag will be accurate. 

Is it possible to share my organization's information with other attendees? 

The symposium will feature a community table wherein area organizations can share information related to breastfeeding, social justice, health equity and social services. You will be prompted to specify what handouts you would like to bring during registration checkout. 

Can I update my registration information?

You may update information in your registration at any time. Select "Tickets" on the top right corner of the Eventbrite page.  Select "2019 RVA Breastfeeding Symposium." Select "Edit" to change any information. Save your changes.  

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?

Please be sure that your Eventbrite registration matches the full name and title of attendee (s). We will use this information to create event name badges.


This event typically sells out. f for any reason you cannot attend, please contact us to cancel your registration so we may make this space available for someone else. 


Nurture is a Richmond area nonprofit focused on improving the health and wellbeing of childbearing families through fitness, education, social support, and community engagement. 

#RVAbreastfeeds is a Healthy Communities Action Team administered through Nurture and supported by funding and in-kind support from Nurture, the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth, Richmond City Health District, Richmond CIty WIC, and cBe Consulting. #RVAbreastfeeds seeks to reduce childhood obesity through policy, infrastructure, and environmental changes that promote a breastfeeding friendly community.

For further information please visit and 

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