Board Certification: International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners
Internship: Baby Moon Breastfeeding Clinic & Boutique, Monterey, CA
I believe lactation and infant feeding support should be for anyone who wants or needs it. It should reflect the goals, needs, and values of each individual person getting care; nothing in lactation is one-size-fits-all! I believe strongly that the care plans a parent goes home with should take real life into account. There is no “right way” – there is only what is safe and sustainable for each family – and that looks a little different every time. I practice from my core values, which are access to care, trauma-informed practice, and inclusivity. I am committed to constant exploration and learning in this landscape to be the best provider I can be.”– Bryna Hayden, IBCLC
Bryna went to college to study marine chemistry, which is definitely NOT lactation. Somewhere along the way, they learned that human milk has the same specific gravity as sea water, and they were hooked! They’ve been curious about human lactation and infant feeding ever since. They went on to complete an internship with their incredible mentor and lifelong friend, Sonja Massey, in Monterey, CA. They moved to the PNW in 2008 and joined the birth and lactation support communities in Portland and Southwest Washington.
After all this time, Bryna remains captivated by the lactation field and often geeks out on the latest scientific research. They love telling people weird little facts about human milk and infant neurobiology and development. It’s how they express their friendship! At work, they have so much fun sharing information with parents about feeding their babies during pregnancy. Once the baby is born, it’s an honor to be present and offer helpful support to new parents who are feeling vulnerable in the early days when feeding can be so hard. Bryna is also happy to share their expertise with other professionals and providers, speaking at conferences on topics like neurobiology of infant feeding, inclusivity in care for neurodiverse or queer parents, and induction of lactation in trans parents who haven’t given birth.
Over their career, Bryna has gained lots of experience with complex situations – on both the parent and baby’s side. Whether the case is “simple” or more involved, they give it their all because everyone deserves high-quality attention, care, and support. It’s Bryna’s pleasure to serve on the Board of Directors of the United States Lactation Consultant Association, advocating the value of lactation care for all children and families across the country.
Bryna identifies as part of both the neurodivergent and queer communities. They are passionate about serving the LGBTQ2IA+ community and providing every family with a safe, welcoming space to receive breast or chest feeding help. They have also sought additional training and continuing education in the areas of oral function and infant feeding, Rhythmic Movement Training (RMT), primitive reflexes and brain development in infants, cultural humility, trauma-informed care, harm-reduction approaches to clinical care, and other counseling strategies for client-facing care.
An adventurer at heart, Bryna loves to learn new things, go for a hike, craft, bake with their kiddos, or paddle out into some chilly breaks at the coast. Together with their partner, they have four kids and three dogs, Seymour Butts (a dopey and sweet Boxer-Bulldog mix), Chloe (a lovable, but grumpy rescue mutt), and Amelia Earhart (a senior Portuguese Water Dog who follows them everywhere). They like to hike in the woods behind their house and paddleboard on the nearby lake when it’s warm enough. Nerdiness is a strong family trait, and all six members will happily dress up at a renaissance faire or cosplay at Comic Con! When indoors, Bryna loves to read dystopian sci-fi, play board games or D&D with their kids, knit, or play their harp.