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Comprehensive Review of Infant Suck


Normal infant suckling, suckling challenges, and how to help

Picture of Cathy Watson-Genna
Price: $129.00 USD

Infant suckling—how babies attach to the breast, withdraw milk, and swallow—is at the heart of nearly every challenge lactation professionals see. Get ready to spend more than 5 hours in the company of one of the greatest minds in lactation science and lactation support today, and come away with a comprehensive, holistic understanding of this topic that will serve you well … on the IBCLC exam and as you assist babies and their breastfeeding parents. 

Your instructor, Catherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC, RLC, is a published researcher, author, and renown clinician who speaks to healthcare professionals around the world on assisting breastfeeding babies with anatomical, genetic or neurological problems. Each of the 10 modules in this course are enriched with outstanding videos from her own practice. By the end of module 10, you will feel as if you’ve stood alongside Watson Genna as she conducted consult after consult, clearly explaining what she’s seeing, what she’s doing, and why. 

Included in this course

The Importance of Latch. Go beyond a surface understanding of latch and position, and learn how the baby’s latch determines facial activation muscles, and how the way the baby’s body is supported determines whether those muscles can do their job. By the end of this module, you will know how to bring a baby to the breast in the best possible way to release the reflexes and sequences that lead to a deep, effective latch, and you’ll know how to teach parents this crucial information. 

Anatomy Review. Take a deep dive into the current understanding of how the infant’s oral motor structures work together to produce suckling and swallowing. Then put this information together into a full understanding of how this affects breastfeeding and breastfeeding challenges. 

How Latch Works. Building on what you learned in the Anatomy Review, deepen your understanding of why a good latch is essential to allowing effective feeding, by understanding how the latch affects the ability of the muscles to do their jobs. Understand the normal sequence involved in effective suckling and safe swallowing.  

Assessing Suck and Swallow. Putting these concepts together, learn how to assess an infant’s oral anatomy and function through observation and digital exam. This module covers a wide range of causes for suckling problems, from poor latch to oral anatomical variations and tongue tie, to neurological dysfunction, prematurity, and more. 

Assessing Tongue-Tie. This module covers a variety of tools available to help practitioners evaluate tongue tie and explains how to assess both appearance and function for a complete, individualized clinical picture. It also explains more than a dozen effects of symptomatic tongue-tie observable during breastfeeding, shows videos of each, and explains other possible causes to rule out for each observable effect. 

Strategies to Assist Tongue-Tied Infants. Learn techniques to help tongue-tied babies optimize their success at the breast, including special approaches to latch and positioning. Learn how to approach helping parents decide whether their baby might benefit from a frenotomy, see how frenotomies are performed, and understand current controversies around post-frenotomy care. 

Other Medical Issues. Many other medical issues are frequently mistaken for tongue-tie, such as torticollis, micrognathia, and cardiovascular disorders. Become familiar with the most common non-tongue-tie conditions that present as suckling difficulties, as well as how to help. 

Nipple Shields. Myths and misconceptions about this common intervention abound. With the comprehensive information in this module, including a thorough review of the nipple shield literature, you’ll feel confident in when and how to recommend them. 

Improving Sucking. Oral motor exercises and “suck training” can be an effective way to help babies improve their ability to feed at the breast, but they need to be specific. With the videos and explanations Watson Genna provides in this module, you’ll be well on your way to offering effective strategies parents can implement to help their baby. 

About Catherine Watson Genna

Instructor: Cathy Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC, RL is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in private practice in New York City. Certified in 1992, Catherine is particularly interested in helping moms and babies breastfeed when they have medical challenges and is an active clinical mentor. Catherine collaborates with Columbia University and Tel Aviv University Departments of Biomedical Engineering on research projects investigating the biomechanics of the lactating nipple and various aspects of sucking and swallowing in breastfeeding infants. She is the author of Selecting and Using Breastfeeding Tools: Improving Care and Outcomes (Praeclarus Press 2009) and Supporting Sucking Skills in Breastfeeding Infants (Jones and Bartlett Learning 2008, 2013, 2017) as well as professional journal articles and chapters in the Core Curriculum for Lactation Consultant Practice and Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. Catherine served as Associate Editor of the United States Lactation Consultant Association’s official journal Clinical Lactation for its first seven years. She is still a La Leche League Leader.

This Course Awards:
  • 5.5 L-CERPs
  • 5.5 Nursing Contact Hours
Price: $129.00
Primary Topics Covered
All Topics Covered
Development and Nutrition
Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology
Clinical Skills