Meredith Pollaro, OTR/L, IBCLC, RLC
Meredith is our breastfeeding specialist at the Nurturing Nest. Meredith began her career as an Occupational Therapist in 2000 at Children’s Hospital working in NICU setting, 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 in NICU helping with bottle and breastfeeding. To further her lactation skills she worked at a well baby hospital Summit Medical Center seeing inpatient and outpatient mothers/babies weekly. Both hospitals participating 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 initiative hospital training, training in pediatric swallowing disorders, attends the International Lactation Consultant Association Conferences and volunteered her time in Romania at a failure to thrive clinic.
You may wonder how OT/Feeding Therapy relates to Lactation: An Infants oral motor skills play an important role in the success of breastfeeding. In many cases, minor refinement in the infant’s oral motor skills can make an immediate difference to the success of the breastfeeding pair, as well as providing long term benefits and preventing more serious problems (mobimotherhood.org). Feeding Therapists are experts on the structure and function of the mouth and the swallow. Their expertise can lend to help babies become more efficient and coordinated feeders. OT’s practice in setting such as NICU, home health, outpatient pediatrics, feeding teams and Early intervention. They can specialize in feeding among many other areas.
Meredith has worked in all these practice settings. She currently provides occupational therapy services in the community, coordinates the state’s WIC Peer Counseling Program and volunteers her time as the Co-Chair of The Northern Nevada Breastfeeding Coalition. She also meets moms for breastfeeding circle every Monday at noon and private consultations by appointment here at The Nurturing Nest.