Understanding Infant Reflux and Related Conditions in Lactation Practice

Catherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC

Early Bird Pricing through 5/16/24

Starts 5/16/24 with access through 5/15/2025

Course description
Excessive regurgitation, feeding resistance and fussiness in infants are often attributed to gastroesophageal reflux disease and overtreated with medication. Additionally, parents are more likely to stop breastfeeding if their infant is diagnosed with reflux. This course takes a deep dive into the research on GERD and related conditions that can cause these symptoms, to help lactation consultants correctly assess and assist with feeding related difficulties and provide appropriate referrals for medical diagnosis and care when reflux is unphysiologic.

Meet your instructor

Catherine Watson Genna, BS, IBCLC

Catherine Watson Genna BS, IBCLC 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. She loves to teach, locally mentoring clinical interns and traveling to educate healthcare professionals around the world on assisting breastfeeding babies with anatomical, genetic or neurological problems. Her presentations and her writing are enriched by her clinical photographs and videos. 

All learners will get feedback from Cathy!

"My brain loves to piece together information from different strands of science and research."
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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 2016) and Supporting Sucking Skills in Breastfeeding Infants (Jones and Bartlett Learning 2008, 2013, 2017, 2023) 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. 

Cathy is one of our most popular Deeper Dive guests!

Learners say 

Thank you for having Catherine Watson Genna on your deeper dives. What an absolute expert in the field.

Michelle Buckley, IBCLC

Catherine Watson is so knowledgeable and easy to learn from. 

Tonja Carpenter, IBCLC, RLC, PCD(DONA)

Cathy does an amazing job of making these concepts make sense in a plain way.

Deidra Washington, IBCLC

Start learning now!

Knowledge Gap
Reflux is overdiagnosed and treated, and lactation consultant knowledge of dysphagia has been shown to be deficient. Referral to the incorrect professional helps cement anchoring and other cognitive errors and leads the family down a potentially damaging and unhelpful road. Allergy can also cause excessive regurgitation. Additionally, overdiagnosis of cow milk allergy is promoted by infant formula manufacturers.


Discuss parent education strategies for physiological reflux.


Identify non-pharmacological treatments for reflux and GERD.


List 5 confounding conditions that either exacerbate physiologic reflux or predispose to GERD.


Differentiate feeding related symptoms of these conditions and appropriate interventions and referrals.


Detail breastfeeding modifications that improve infant swallowing safety.

IBLCE Content Outline
I A1. Feeding behaviors at different ages
I A2. Food intolerances/allergies
I A3. Infant anatomy and anatomical/oral challenges
III A4. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), reflux
III A13. Infant GI anomalies
VII B2. Anticipatory Guidance
VII B3. Care Plan Development and Sharing
VII D1. Apply evidence-based research
VII D2. Interpret research results

Course Lessons

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