We Are Unique. Our providers hold advanced degrees in Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology. Which means we have spent hundreds upon hundreds of hours getting trained and certified in the diagnosis and treatment of infant feeding and swallowing problems. Feeding Therapists are experts on the structure and function of the mouth and the swallow. Our expertise can help babies become more efficient and coordinated feeders fast.
Meredith Pollaro, OTR/L, IBCLC
Meredith began her career as an Occupational Therapist in 2000 at The Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Virginia working in NICU and rehab settings, specializing in feeding and swallowing disorders, failure to thrive, cleft lip and palate, and administering swallow studies.
She later moved to Colorado and worked as the Director of Occupational Therapy at Vail Valley Medical Center. She started her training in lactation counseling in 2005 while working in a high altitude NICU, helping with bottle and breastfeeding. To further enhance her lactation skills she worked at a well baby hospital, Summit Medical Center, seeing inpatient and outpatient mothers/babies. Both hospitals participate in the Baby Friendly Initiative.
Meredith has some additional unique training and experiences: She has completed NOMAS training (Neonatal Oral-Motor Assessment Scale), Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative hospital training, various training in pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders, various training in perinatal mental health, and completed UC Davis’ Baby Behaviors train the trainer course. Meredith attends annual education events such as the International Lactation Consultant Association Conference. She also speaks at various conferences around Nevada to spread knowledge and awareness about these topics. She has spent time volunteering in Romania at a failure to thrive clinic.
Meredith has volunteered her time with the Northern Nevada Breastfeeding Coalition since moving to Nevada in 2012 and has held many roles. She is currently the Big Latch On Host. The coalition is where she met Emily and formed a partnership to help enhance the services she provides.
Meredith teaches our All About Starting Solids and Cup Drinking and All About Tummy Time classes.
Emily Chappell, CCC-SLP, IBCLC
Emily is a Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in infant feeding and swallowing disorders. She received her master’s degree from the University of Nevada, Reno in Speech-Language Pathology in 2014. She has extensive training and experience working with infants and parents to meet their feeding goals. She has worked in pediatric inpatient units and in NICUs at both Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center and Renown Children’s Hospital here in Reno and at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, OR. She worked for Nevada Early Intervention Services for 7 years as a Feeding Specialist providing services to the most fragile and medically complex infants, supporting families in their homes. She has been a Community Faculty Member for the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Speech Pathology, mentoring graduate students in infant feeding and occasionally lecturing on the topic.
After completing her Certified Lactation Counselor training in 2017, Emily realized just how important breastfeeding is to both the breastfeeding parent and the infant. She decided to pursue her passion and become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, the GOLD standard in lactation care. She received 3 years of mentorship from Meredith and in July 2022 received the certification of IBCLC.
Emily is a mother of two girls and is currently breastfeeding.
Emily teaches our All About Breastfeeding class for expecting parents.
Serena Bough, IBCLC
Serena started out working in Senior life enrichment and End-of-life care. After her own first breastfeeding experience in 2012 she refocused her passion toward birth, breastfeeding and infant care. She became a birth and postpartum doula, as well as co-founded a babywearing group that held frequent gatherings. She has since supported hundreds of parents and caregivers in finding a comfortable and safe fit in a variety of different wearing positions and carrier styles to best fit their individual needs.
Her interest in supporting breastfeeding families grew, and in 2015 she became a La Leche League Leader. In her 7 years as an LLL leader, she has served on state and regional boards and committees as well as on the board of directors for La Leche League USA. She continues to serve as a Leader and an Equity Advocate for La Leche League, to improve access to peer support for all who want to provide human milk to their babies.
Serena qualified an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant at the start of 2019 and worked in private practice in Northwest Washington, before moving to Northern Nevada at the start of 2022.
Serena teaches our All About Babywearing and our All About Pumping, Bottle Feeding, and Return to Work classes.
Kaitlin Cocard, ND, CLE
Kaitlin is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and Certified Lactation Educator, with a strong background in pediatric care and women’s health. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State University in 2014, majoring in Biology with a minor in Holistic Health. Kaitlin then pursued her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University, graduating in 2020. During her studies, she completed additional training to obtain a specialty track in pediatric primary care.
Throughout her primary care clinical rotations, Kaitlin gained extensive experience treating a broad range of conditions using a combination of alternative and conventional medicine. However, she felt her calling was helping to establish the foundations of health from a very early age. She feels strongly that prevention is the best medicine!
Her own breastfeeding journey began with both of her kids during medical school as she nursed almost five years, with two of those years spent tandem nursing. Her own persistence and family support kept her going through multiple bouts of mastitis, clogged ducts, and time spent pumping on shifts. She felt the immense lack of awareness in appropriate breastfeeding management in the medical field and decided to get her Certified Lactation Educator training in 2019 to bridge that gap. She feels honored to now be able to help other families meet their unique breastfeeding goals.
Kaitlin is currently pursuing her 500 hours to become a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, with a goal to specialize in breastfeeding medicine and offer consultation services to support the health and well-being of the whole family from prenatal and beyond!