GOLD Learning Speakers

United States

Alia Macrina Heise, IBCLC

  • Speaker Type: Complex Medical Issues in the Lactating Parent Lecture Pack 2020
  • Country: United States
Biography:

Alia Macrina Heise has worked in the field of lactation since 2004. She is considered the international authority on the topic of dysphoric milk ejection reflex (D-MER). She has been the forerunner in identifying, naming and investigating the anomaly of dysphoria with milk ejection reflex since 2007. She has spoken on the subject at many notable conferences, including GOLD, has given several interviews on the subject for both print and podcasts and has been published through her work on a case study about D-MER for The International Breastfeeding Journal. In 2017 she released the first book on the subject. Alia's passion and enthusiasm for the topic of D-MER are evident in the energy that she demonstrates in her presentations and the novelty of new information on a subject that is not yet well known or understood by many makes for an engaging and interesting presentation. Alia is not only a former sufferer of the lactation anomaly herself, she is also the webmaster of d-mer.org and she works closely with mothers around the world who are suffering with the condition in order to support them and to better understand the variance of the experience. She is also in frequent contact with other professionals in order to spread awareness and to support further research and investigation into the subject. Outside of her work with D-MER, she is also in private practice as an IBCLC in the Finger Lakes region of New York. She lives in a small rural town where she enjoys country living with her three children.

CE Library Presentation(s) Available Online:
Watch Today!
View Lecture
Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
Beyond the Letdown: Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex and the Breastfeeding Mother
Dysphoric milk ejection reflex (D-MER), is not a new phenomenon. In the past, it was almost like Voldemort, the Problem That Must Not Be Named. But for over 10 years now, it has had a name and been brought into daylight. Though still not widely known or understood by many, the hypothesis of the mechanism and possible sustainable solutions are becoming better documented all the time. D-MER has been the subject of two case studies, one case series, and a qualitative research study. Two other studies as also in process at this time. Mothers with D-MER feel, as a reflexive response with every single milk release, a wave of negative emotions ranging (depending on severity) from homesickness to hopelessness and despair, perhaps even anger and suicidal ideation. These emotions dissipate shortly after milk release and reoccur with the start of every MER, whether with breastfeeding, expressing or with spontaneous releases. Many sufferers keep the problem to themselves preferring the weaning of their baby to being incorrectly labeled as depressed or victims of abuse. Upon experiencing D-MER mothers are initially convinced the problem is physiological and not psychological, and they are correct. As both a lactation consultant and a sufferer of D-MER, I first named and identified D-MER over 10 years ago. Now, through the case studies that have been done, collaboration with other medical and breastfeeding care providers, and the collection of information from the anecdotal reports from over 1,000 mothers, there is now a foundation of understanding of D-MER. Though the evidence base for D-MER is still mainly unestablished at this time, there are many professionals always working to bring evidenced-based information to the study of human lactation. This is exactly what the slow work and understanding of D-MER is about; the process of bringing new information into the light for further research and understanding. In the PowerPoint presentation that I have to present, I discuss how D-MER presents, its tell-tale manifestation, and its spectrum and intensities. The presentation also explains the currently proposed mechanism of the MER anomaly, how health care providers can identify a mother it D-MER and how to help and support mothers with the condition.
Presentations: 6  |  Hours / CE Credits: 6  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks
Hours / CE Credits: 1 (details)  |  Categories: Breastfeeding and Lactation