Arizona Breastfeeding Medicine and Wellness (formerly Central Arizona Lactation) was founded in November of 2015 by two energetic women wanting to provide evidence-based care to families in the Valley of the Sun. Dr. Cara Riek became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2015. Cara has also been very involved in volunteer breastfeeding support, and has spent much time working to educate healthcare providers on the need for lactation-specific skills. Marissa Honey-Jones became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2013. Before sitting for the IBLCE exam, Marissa spent many years working with and counseling moms in peer-to-peer volunteer breastfeeding and babywearing support roles. Cara and Marissa came together with the vision of opening a centralized office that focuses specifically on breastfeeding medicine and holistic care of the mother/baby dyad.
We serve families from all walks of life. Our office – conveniently located in the Scottsdale Airpark – is central meeting ground for parents to come from all over Phoenix, Scottsdale, Cave Creek, Peoria, Glendale, Tempe, and Mesa, and is easily accessible from major freeways. Our office provides a comfortable, welcoming, caring environment to address all of your breastfeeding concerns and provide support for your family. We are in network with Aetna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and TRICARE.
MEET Dr. CARA | DNP, RN, FNP-BC, IBCLC, DABLS
“My journey into lactation started with the birth of my son. Before he was born, I truly thought breastfeeding would be so simple and easy! Once he came earth side, I realized that breastfeeding and babies are complex and very emotional. There were times I felt lost in my journey and there were multiple occasions where I felt that the medical professionals who were supposed to be caring for me and my child were at odds with I felt to be right. Not wanting another a mother to experience the journey, I decided to change my career to working to care for, promote, and preserve the breastfeeding dyad.
“My career, thus far, has been sprinkled with amazing adventures: research, teaching, nursing, and now lactation consultant. I want to provide meaningful, evidence-based care to mother-baby dyads. My mission is to support mothers where they are at and help them journey into the breastfeeding relationship they desire. Each family is unique. I want to make sure that each patient is able to reach their desired goal and have an amazing breastfeeding relationship.”
Dr. Cara graduated from Arizona State University of with Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. She is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner in addition to having her IBCLC certification. Dr. Cara is also a diplomate of the American Board of Laser Surgery, specializing in “Oral Surgery in Infants, Toddler, and Adults.” Dr. Cara very much enjoys helping families to reach their breastfeeding goals.
MEET MARISSA | IBCLC, RLC
“As a first time mom nearly ten years ago, I struggled. Without nearby family and friends who had “been there”, days with my newborn son were filled with a crazy mix of overwhelming joy for my beautiful baby and persistent frustration with our breastfeeding challenges. A visit with an IBCLC steered us in the right direction for solving some of the issues, and soon after I worked up my courage to attend a La Leche League meeting, where we were welcomed with compassion and directed to a variety of excellent resources. Then – whether by sheer luck or divine providence – a friend I had only known online throughout our pregnancies invited me to join her for coffee at a local shop, and it was the beginning of my circle; we continued to meet weekly for the next year, I attended monthly LLL meetings, and I looked for more opportunities to surround myself with other breastfeeding families. My connection with this community was integral in both my breastfeeding and parenting journeys, and I built on it: I made a shift to helping families in a peer-to-peer role, and then pursued the education to become a credentialed professional.
“My mission as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is to be a member of the healthcare team, surround the mother-baby dyad in a circle of support, provide clinical lactation care, excellent education, and evidence-based practice, and remain focused on the unique circumstances for each visit. In nearly a decade of serving mothers and families, I have seen what a profound effect connection has, helping to empower parents to make the best decisions for their own family. Though biologically normal, breastfeeding is a skill, and one often best learned in community with knowledgeable and experienced advocates. I am committed to supporting each family along their journey to meet their goals, whatever those may be.”
MEET CATHY, RN, IBCLC
Cathy joins our team with over 30 years of experience serving families. After becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 1997, she worked in a hospital setting, a children’s hospital setting, and outpatient care. She is passionate about the feeding of mothers and babies and is supportive of the emotions generated during this time in their lives. Her goal is to foster the mother/baby relationship, and help families define their own breastfeeding success.
Cathy moved to Arizona from Ohio in 2015. She and her husband have raised three smart, witty adult children, all of whom were breastfed. Cathy graduated from Providence Hospital School of Nursing in Sandusky, Ohio.
MEET LINA | RN, BSN, CLEC
Lina is a Registered Pediatric and Mother/Baby Nurse (RN) and received her Bachelor’s Degree from Oakland University in Michigan. She has worked as a nurse and health educator, and earned her certification for Montessori teaching (ages 0-3) to prepare for a more holistic understanding of infant and toddler psychology and development. Further, Lina has worked as a health liaison overseas providing medical education and care to teen mothers and orphaned children in Vilnius, Lithuania.
Currently, Lina is working as a Lactation Educator and Counselor (CLEC) and continues to further her skills and experience. It is her hope to become a much-needed point of contact to new moms needing support in their new transition into parenthood.