Diane Wiessinger, MS, IBCLC, holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Biology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. Her first La Leche League meeting in 1980 made her extremely uncomfortable. “I had a shiny new master’s degree and here was this roomful of women all focused on their children. I thought to myself: “There is more to me than this.” However, she went on to become a La Leche League Leader in 1985 and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 1990. The owner of a private lactation consultant practice in Ithaca, NY, she has written many breastfeeding handouts and self-publishes them on CD. She has also published articles and commentaries on numerous breastfeeding topics, most recently co-authoring a chapter on infant latch in “Supporting Sucking Skills in Breastfeeding Infants”. Diane has spoken across the United States and in Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand on her favorite topics: “How babies attach to the breast”; “How the language we use reflects our unconscious views of breastfeeding”; and, going back to her La Leche League roots, “The critical importance of mother-to-mother support for successful breastfeeding.” Her animal behavior background from nearly 30 years ago has finally sunk in and she is developing an old but new interest: “The mammal in all of us,” and the implications of our mammalian ancestry when we give birth and learn to breastfeed in a modern obstetric facility. After more than twenty years helping mothers with breastfeeding, Diane says, “Apparently there isn’t any more to me than this!” Her website encourages mothers to listen to their babies and follow their own instincts. She is the mother of two breastfed sons and mother-in-law of two wonderful young women.
What Would Mammals Do?
Diane was an animal behaviorist before she became a renowned lactation consultant and La Leche League Leader. Because of this background, Diane was invited to prepare a talk on the breastfeeding and mothering lessons we can learn from other mammals. Intended to be a light, amusing talk about how other mammal babies find the nipple on their own, find solid food when they are ready, and wean without an organized plan, the subject matter took an unexpected and dark turn, all of its own accord. Diane began to discover:
- What happens when other mammal mothers are deprived of their chosen place, time, and sensations of birth?
- What if the resulting birth is too hard… or too easy?
- To what extent might this information shed light on our own mothering experiences?
What Would Mammals Do? is a surprising journey with our mammalian counterparts through labor, birth, lactation, and beyond. Through the presentation of fascinating photographs and videos, discover for yourselves the implications our mammalian ancestry has for the way we give birth and begin the process of mothering in the modern world.
This presentation is 90 minutes in length.
Certificate of Completion: $7.50 (completion of post-session questionnaire required).
Continuing Education Units are available for some professional groups. To view a listing of CEU opportunities, click here.