Alison Hazelbaker, PhD, IBCLC, FILCA, CST-T, RCST (614) 326-3504

Dr. Hazelbaker specializes in cross-disciplinary treatment and to that end has taken training in several modalities to best assist her clients. She is a certified Craniosacral Therapist, a Lymph Drainage Therapy practitioner, and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.


Dr. Hazelbaker is pleased to provide presentations on the following topics to professional and parenting conferences. Presentations on other topics may be available upon request and subject to sufficient development lead-time. (For CERP topics, required paperwork will be provided promptly to meet CERP deadlines.)

Fill out the form below to schedule a presentation. 


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lactation education resources - Hazelbaker online conference

This conference is offered through Lactation Education Resources for 8 L-CERPs.

Video Conference Topics 

  • Classifying Infant Sucking Problems Part 1
  • Classifying Infant Sucking Problems Part 2
  • HATLFF - Hazelbaker Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function
  • Faux Tie: When "Tongue-Tie" is NOT a Tongue-Tie
  • Plagiocephaly
  • Torticollis

Click here for more information and to register

Using the Hazelbaker Assessment Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function™

90 - 120 minutes

Dr. Hazelbaker authored the Assessment Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function™ (ATLFF) during her Master's program. Her research on assessment and screening for tongue-tie has set a worldwide standard and forms the basis for many of the other proposed and yet-to-be researched assessment processes. The ATLFF remains the only research-based tongue-tie screening and assessment tool for infants under 3 months of age. In this presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker uses multiple video segments to illustrate the proper use of the ATLFF and provides practice time with guidance in longer versions of this presentation. Participants come away with a better understanding of the ATLFF and its application in clincial settings.


This presentation can be paired with To Clip or Not to Clip for a half, full or two day workshop on tongue-tie. It can also be extended to one day for the purpose of training personnel in hospital settings where the ATLFF is established as the policy-based tongue-tie screening and assessment procedure. For this version of training actual babies are used as models.  

To Clip or Not to Clip: Assessing and Treating Tongue-tie

75 - 180

For decades, assessing and treating tongue-tie has been a controversial subject. Although lactation consultants have a keen appreciation for the need to treat this relatively uncommon structural abnormality, other health care providers do not share their level of concern. Parents often get caught or trapped between the recommendations of their LC and their primary health care provider. In this presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker presents the most up-to-date research on definition, assessment, treatment, and treatment outcome. She examines the on-going controversy and provides research based guidelines for the clinical decision-making process. Dr. Hazelbaker presents her own screening process, the Assessment Tool for Lingual Frenulum Function (ATLFF) and teaches participants how to use it properly (in longer versions of this presentation.) She also suggests ideas for cultivating a supportive team approach in communities where the practitioners remain ignorant of the pertinent research.


This session can be expanded to a one or two day workshop depending on the needs of the audience and the sponsor. A workshop includes a video detailing the use of the ATLFF and may include monitored assessments on model infants. A completion certificate is provided to two day workshop participants.

The Faux Tie: When is a Tongue-tie NOT a Tongue-tie?

75 - 180 minutes

Has the incidence of tongue-tie gone up or are we seeing more cases of “tongue-tie” because of poor differential diagnosis? In this presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker describes the differences between actual tongue-tie and sucking issues that can appear to be tongue-tie due to structural issues that pull the tongue back in the throat. She provides the conceptual framework for such an occurrence and shows both pictures and video that help the participant grasp the differences between the two and how to distinguish a true tie from a faux tie in his or her clinical setting.

Two Ears and One Mouth: Effective Communication Skills for Breastfeeding Counselors and Lactation Consultants

60 - 120 minutes

The therapeutic relationship between the breastfeeding mother and her helper depends upon the establishment of a positive rapport through the use of effective communication strategies. Application of these skills in clinical practice enhances the relationship between the helper and her client. These same skills can be used to establish trust and rapport in professional relationships increasing the ability for lactation consultants to make positive change in their work environments.

This presentation focuses on the set of skills necessary to get mothers talking and keep them talking about the joys and challenges they face in their breastfeeding relationship. From active listening to negotiation and conflict resolution, this session will provide information on the conceptual basis underlying good communication and teaches the proper way to establish rapport and trust in therapeutic relationships using various proven communication strategies.


Longer formats of this presentation with guided practice of skills available.

The Hazelbaker™ FingerFeeder

30 - 180 minutes

The Hazelbaker™ FingerFeeder remains the only device approved by the FDA for finger feeding. In this presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker briefly reminisces about the history of the FingerFeeder’s development. She presents and discusses its therapeutic power as a training tool, a proper-suck maintenance tool, and as a device used to support other forms of therapy like cranio-sacral. She then covers and demonstrates assembly, cleaning and proper use. Participants will get to handle the FingerFeeder thereby creating muscle memory for assembling, disassembling and using the product. As desired, case histories will illustrate the FingerFeeder’s efficacy as an alternative feeding device that ultimately supports the establishment of optimal breastfeeding.


To enhance the clinical component, this presentation can incorporate demonstration on live baby models. Please discuss this with Dr. Hazelbaker.

Finger Feeding: What do we know?  What should we know?

75 - 120 minutes

Although an alternative feeding method, such as bottle, cup or finger feeding, represents a less than ideal way to feed infants, at times introducing one of these methods may ultimately save the breastfeeding relationship. In this session, Dr. Hazelbaker presents the research on and the theory of finger feeding. She then proposes areas for further research. She includes a sub-lecture on the physiology of finger feeding and compares finger feeding against bottle and cup from the physiological perspective. Participants come away with a new understanding of finger feeding, enabling them to make sound clinical decisions regarding a therapeutic choice when a baby must be fed away from the breast.

Why Johnny Can’t Suck: Perinatal Influences on Normal Term Infants’ Ability to Suck and Strategies to Prevent and Correct Sucking Problems.

150 - 180 minutes

Originally a day-long workshop presented by Lact-Ed, Inc. and Lact-Ed, LLC, this presentation focuses on the most dramatic presentation of breastfeeding problems: the baby who has significant sucking problems associated with US childbirth management. Dr. Hazelbaker covers all the potential pitfalls of childbirth as business and the possible negative impact this approach has on infant sucking. She covers the differential lactation diagnosis process, the decision tree for choosing level and type of intervention, and the various treatment modalities used to correct sucking problems both in and out of hospital. Dr. Hazelbaker takes the participants on a journey through the normal physiological sucking process to aid participants in their understanding of normal vs. abnormal thereby enhancing the assessment skills of the audience. She also suggests ways to “stack the deck in the baby’s favor” to prevent sucking problems from developing. This workshop touches on but does not cover assessing and treating sucking problems that are associated with structural abnormalities or neurological causes.


A clinical component can be added to this workshop by adding an extra half-or full day. Case histories, models and DVD presentation of babies with sucking issues presented in this portion can deepen and broaden the clinical skills of participants. This session is actually listed at 360 minutes.

Treating Infant Sucking Problems with Craniosacral Therapy

75 - 180 minutes

It unfortunately has become commonplace for newborns to refuse to latch or have tremendous difficulty latching-to the breast. A non-latching baby or a baby with significant sucking issues presents a unique and frustrating challenge to the lactation consultant. Several studies have shown the benefit of craniosacral therapy as a treatment approach to correct disorganized and dysfunctional sucking. In this exciting presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker details the anatomy and physiology of the craniosacral system, linking it to the anatomy and physiology of infant suck. She describes the multiple structural and physiological deficits of newborn sucking caused by intrauterine and intrapartum influences. She explains and demonstrates craniosacral therapy, and presents case histories of actual clients whose situations responded well to this form of therapy. Along with the benefits, Dr. Hazelbaker suggests a clinical decision-making algorithm that aids the clinician to determine if a particular infant could be helped by craniosacral therapy. This session also covers indications for treating the breastfeeding mother with CST.


The sponsor may choose to have an infant model whose parents desire a craniosacral treatment as a live demonstration of this exciting and non-invasive form of therapy. Additionally, mothers who have had epidurals, spinals and/or cesarean sections can benefit from this modality. A demonstration may include treatment of a mother or member of the audience who experienced these interventions. Dr. Hazelbaker shows ample video footage of actual craniosacral treatments that depict the change in infant sucking during or directly after the treatment.

Assessing and Treating Infant Sucking Problems

75 - 180 minutes

In this presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker examines the different types of sucking problems and their various causes. She presents a conceptual framework for working with these problems that includes a detailed assessment protocol; guidelines for making a differential diagnosis; and a decision tree for determining the clinical intervention pathway to meet the specific needs of the breastfeeding dyad.


This presentation does not include training in any treatment modality, e.g. suck training or cranio-sacral therapy.

Classifying Infant Sucking Problems

75 - 120 minutes

Regrettably, infant sucking problems are on the rise due to a variety of influences. Lactation consultants often find themselves unable to assist a breastfeeding dyad with sucking issues, sometimes because the sucking problem is too complex, but also because their ability to assess and determine the type of sucking problem is not well developed. Dr. Hazelbaker reviews normal suck physiology then describes in detail the ways in which disorganized and dysfunctionally sucking babies deviate from this norm. As well, Dr. Hazelbaker describes the differences between oral-motor sucking issues and sensory sucking issues. An accurate assessment leads to appropriate and timely interventions. The participant will come away from this presentation with a better understanding of infant sucking pathology that will enable them to address the sucking problem quickly and effectively.


This presentation includes ample video footage showing both oral-motor and sensory based sucking problems.

Failure to Launch: Working with the Baby who has Difficulty Latching, Latches but Won’t Suck or Who Won’t Latch at All.

75 - 180 minutes

Guiding principles of treatment follow profiles of dysfunctionally sucking babies in this presentation. Dr. Hazelbaker presents and discusses the various treatment approaches to address this specific form of infant sucking dysfunction including ways to maintain the milk supply and support the mother while the suck problem is being addressed. She further examines selection criteria for these various treatment approaches while framing the breastfeeding goals for babies who have anomalies like tongue-tie, clefts and syndromes. A clinical case review that includes an assessment and treatment element rounds out this presentation. At the end of this presentation, the participant will be better able to assist the breastfeeding mother whose baby cannot or will not latch for whatever reason.

Perinatal, Labor and Delivery, and Postpartum Influences on the Infant’s Ability to Breastfeed

75 - 180 minutes

From intrauterine lie and intra-partum narcotic pain-relief to circumcision, multiple factors influence the preservation of the Suck/Swallow/Breathe developmental reflex that sets the stage for optimal breastfeeding. In this presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker examines the ways in which infant suck can be undermined from a psychological and structural perspective. She discusses both intrauterine and intra-partum cranial molding and the influence of obstructions and interventions on the normal molding process. She discusses aversive behaviors and pre-birth and birth trauma as negative influences on breastfeeding. Dr. Hazelbaker presents treatment suggestions for both the psychological and physiological components with emphasis on body-mind and transpersonal therapies.


This presentation can be tailored to focus on physiological or psychological aspects depending on the needs of the sponsor and the audience.

Establishing Flow: Using Lymphatic Drainage Therapy to Treat Lactation Related Issues

75 - 180 minutes

Surprisingly, lymphatic congestion forms the foundation of some lactation problems like chronic plugged ducts and un-resolving nipple and breast pain. In this cutting-edge presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker covers the anatomy and physiology of the lymphatic system (especially as it pertains to the breast) and discusses the most common presentations and causes of lymphatic breast congestion. She demonstrates the Lymphatic Drainage Therapy technique (the Chikly method) either on a model or volunteer from the audience and gives pointers on how to determine if lymphatic congestion is playing a role in a breastfeeding problem. Dr. Hazelbaker leaves the audience with a brief breast self-care regimen that can enhance the breast health of every participant when used consistently.


This presentation can be offered in a one-day workshop format wherein the participants get hands-on experience assessing the lymphatic system and doing basic lymphatic drainage techniques that can resolve lymphatic breast congestion.

Getting Down to the Details: Anatomy and Physiology of Infant Suck (a series in five parts)

60-75 minutes for each segment

Segment 1: Embryological and fetal development of infant suck

This presentation focuses on the embryological formation of the structures that are used for infant sucking and suck-swallow-breathe coordination. It further presents the fetal maturation of these structures and the physiology that arises from their normal development. The participant will have a better understanding of suck-swallow-breathe as a developmental reflex.

Segment 2: Cranial nerves, brain stem nuclei and the cranial bowl

This presentation focuses on the cranial bowl and the cranial nerves that create infant suck-swallow-breathe coordination giving the participant insight into how to optimally support infant suck physiology. Dr. Hazelbaker concentrates on the six cranial nerves that directly generate suck-swallow-breathe, discusses their pathways and their brain stem nuclei. The participant will be better able to understand the role cranial nerves play in coordinating suck-swallow-breathe and how disruptions can create sucking problems.

Segment 3: Cervical Nerves and cervical structures

This presentation focuses on the cervical nerves and their vertebrae that support the cranial nerve function. Particpants will have a better understanding of the role that proper cervical nerve function has in producing optimal suck-swallow-breathe physiology. Dr. Hazelbaker also discusses how to assess this area for proper function and what methods to use to produce optimal function when compromises occur in this area.

Segment 4: Muscles and Fascia of the neck, cranium and thoracic inlet

Muscles and fascia play a significant role in suck-swallow-breathe coordination. Dr. Hazelbaker covers the anatomy of these tissues and how they inter-relate to produce infant suck-swallow-breathe coordination. The participant will better understand the detailed muscular and fascial aspects of infant feeding.

Segment 5: Putting it all together: how these various tissues create suck-swallow-breathe coordination and how disturbances to alignment can create sucking problems.

In this presentation Dr. Hazelbaker brings together the various aspects of infant suck-swallow-breathe anatomy and physiology and discusses the way in which coordination of physiological functioning of these various tissues produces proper infant suck. Dr. Hazelbaker also addresses ways in which structural mis-alignment of these various tissues can produce suck physiology compromise helping participants better understand how to properly identify and correct adverse influences on infant suck.

The Psychoneurobiology of Infant Attachment

75-90 minutes

Multiple brain structures and processes are involved in the process of attachment, the foundation of optimal mental and physical health. Breastfeeding assists the formation of attachment by maximizing the signaling that establishes a solid bond via crucial brain pathways. Dr. Hazelbaker explains the psychoneurobiology of infant attachment and its vital importance to mental and physical health.

Trauma and Breastfeeding: From the Infant’s Perspective

75-90 minutes

The birth process presents specific eustress challenges to the infant, who can benefit from these challenges when he or she remains an active participant in the birthing process. When the birthing passage creates abnormal levels of stress either due to uncontrollable events or to iatrogenic causes, trauma can result. In this presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker discusses birth trauma from the infant’s perspective, explains the manifestations of trauma in an infant and presents various strategies for helping an infant to release from the trauma state.

Trauma and Breastfeeding: From the Mother’s Perspective

75-90 minutes

The birth process presents specific eustress challenges to the mother, who can benefit from these challenges when she remains an active participant in the birthing process. When the birthing passage creates abnormal levels of stress either due to uncontrollable events or to iatrogenic causes, trauma can result. In this presentation, Dr. Hazelbaker discusses birth trauma from the mother’s perspective, explains the manifestations of trauma in a mother and presents various strategies for helping her to release from the trauma state.

Torticollis: Causes, Solutions and Impact on Breastfeeding

75-90 minutes

Torticollis, an abnormal foreshortening of the fascia of the neck that causes a head tilt, presents unique challenges to breastfeeding. Unfortunately, the incidence of this formally rare condition is on the rise. Dr. Hazelbaker discusses the causes of the condition, explains the assessment process and presents multiple therapeutic strategies for resolving torticollis in infants. She uses video to show both the assessment and treatment process in action.

Plagiocephaly: Causes, Solutions and Impact on Breastfeeding

75-90 minutes

Plagiocephaly, an abnormal asymmetrical molding of the cranial bones, can casue multiple functional issues in infants including compromising breastfeeding. Unfortunately, the incidence of this formally rare condition is on the rise affecting as many as 45% of all infants. Dr. Hazelbaker discusses the causes of the condition, explains the assessment process and presents multiple therapeutic strategies for resolving plagiocephaly derived breastfeeding problems in infants. She uses video to show both the assessment and treatment process in action.

Primitive Reflexes: The Motor Plan Supporting Suck-swallow-breathe Coordination.

75-90 minutes

Most professionals know of only a few of the primitive reflexes that underlie motor planning in humans. In this presentation Dr. Hazelbaker discusses the long list of primitive reflexes and their influence on breastfeeding. The various reflexes are shown assisting the participant to recognize them in her or his clinical setting. Dr. Hazelbaker discusses the ways in which compromised reflexes interfere with breastfeeding and provides various methods to bring the reflex back to full emergence as a method for supporting optimal breastfeeding.

The Therapeutic Use of Tummy Time™

75-90 minutes

The Back to Sleep Campaign has created developmental problems in infants, including plagiocephaly, sleep disorders and cognitive and motor delays. The incidence of plagiocephaly has risen to 45% and many babies refuse to be on their tummies to generate the proper sequence of motor development. These issues can create cognitive and learning deficits. Dr. Hazelbaker describes the therapeutic use of Michelle Emanuelle’s Tummy Time™ as a means to mitigate the adverse developmental impact of infant back sleeping. She uses video to demonstrate the technique and show the therapeutic use as an adjunct to other forms of therapy for babies who have breastfeeding difficulties.


Dr. Hazelbaker is a certified Tummy Time™ trainer. This presentation can be lengthened to include hands on instruction on how to perform Tummy Time™.

Using Craniosacral Therapy Before and After surgical Treatment of Tongue-tie