440 Victoria Building
3500 Victoria Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
My research focuses on diverse aspects of human lactation, with an emphasis on behavioral interventions to address uptake, duration, and intensity of breastfeeding. I am specifically interested in psychological and perceptual barriers to exclusive breastfeeding, design and implementation of health communication related to infant feeding practices, lactation management in special populations, and etiology, prevention and treatment of perceived insufficient milk. I have received NIH, foundation, and institutional funding in the following areas: breastfeeding patterns among mothers of late preterm infants, complementary and alternative therapies to address perceived insufficient milk, technology-based breastfeeding support for primiparous women (development and testing of a semi-automated text message system), and antenatal milk expression among mothers of healthy and surgical infants. I have additional methodological expertise in qualitative methods, including grounded theory.
I was formerly employed as a postpartum staff nurse at Magee Women’s Hospital of UPMC. I currently practice as a board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) in Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Primary Care Clinic.
I have served as a teaching fellow in the undergraduate courses NUR 1050/NUR 1052- Nursing Care of Mothers, Newborns and Families and NUR 0067 Nursing Research: Introduction to Critical Appraisal & Evidence Based Practice. I mentor students as part of the URMP program and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC Summer Research Internship Program.
I am a member of the International Lactation Consultant Association, United States Lactation Consultant Association, American Academy on Communication in Healthcare, Society of Behavioral Medicine, American Nurses Association, and Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN). I have held leadership positions within AWHONN, including serving as a representative on the Editorial Advisory Board, Nominating Committee, and Research Advisory Panel. I currently serve as the co-chair of Magee Womens Hospital Nursing Research Council. I co-lead a writing group in the Department of Pediatrics.