LCANZ Member Profile: Dr Yvonne LeFort

Dr. Yvonne LeFort is a Canadian-trained family physician who is based in Auckland, New Zealand. She is a graduate of Dalhousie Medical School and University of Calgary Family Medicine in Canada. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and a member of the Board of Directors. She is a founding member of the Australasian Society for tongue and Lip Ties and a Professional Advisor to La Leche New Zealand.

Dr. LeFort has been involved in helping breastfeeding mothers and babies for the past 19 years.  Her specific interest in tongue tie and its management was nurtured through her association with Dr. Evelyn Jain who was a true pioneer in the recognition of the importance of breastfeeding and the impact that untreated ankyloglossia can cause on the breastfeeding experience.

She has an ongoing interest in Breastfeeding education for physicians and allied health care professionals in New Zealand and overseas. She recently initiated a Breastfeeding Peer Review Group for members of the Royal New Zealand College of GPs throughout the country who meet regularly through an online platform. This has been a very exciting experience as she has brought together these young GPs who desire to know and practice Breastfeeding Medicine in their own communities.

Dr. LeFort has established a private Breastfeeding Clinic on Auckland’s beautiful North Shore where she also lives. The clinic provides comprehensive lactation care for mothers and their infants and receives referrals from midwives, GPs, Obstetricians, Lactation Consultant and by word of mouth. Their service includes the management of tongue tie as she works in conjunction with lactation consultant Theresa Yaroshevich whose expertise is essential for optimal breastfeeding support.

“We are kept very busy with referrals from the Greater Auckland  area, as well as throughout the country. We enjoy every mother/baby dyad whom we have the privilege to help and have a great respect for those who struggle on their journey despite the challenges they face. Many times, referrals are made for assessment of a possible tongue-tie but we take the opportunity to address the many issues facing new parents such as baby-wearing, infant sleep, diet considerations, relationship issues, or anything else they may have become confused about. We also offer bottle feeding mothers instruction on paced bottle feeding and pumping of breastmilk tips. We will help mothers re-establish their breast milk supply or to induce lactation for adoption or same-gender parents who wish to co-feed. We work hard but truly gain so much in the satisfaction of providing help in preserving breast feeding.”

In her spare time, Dr. LeFort and her Kiwi-born husband are avid runners. She and her family have done many of the New Zealand Great Walks over the years. Their two sons are living overseas now but treasure their opportunities to return to New Zealand and enjoy the outdoors.

Yvonne has been a member of LCANZ since its beginnings and is looking forward to being part of the team for the Wellington LCANZ Seminar on October 21. She will be speaking about Breast Milk Sharing and what the IBCLC needs to know.

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