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MAVEN:  An expert; someone who is one of the very best in his or her field. A maven is often someone who is a strong influential on others, or who is driven by helping others and sharing knowledge with them. The term is derived from a Yiddish term meaning "one who understands."

Many people over the years have lovingly called me The Boob Fairy and The Breast Whisperer, the Lactition and, indeed, their friend. When someone suggested 'milk maven' (thanks, Sarah!) I liked how it painted me as not a miracle worker or magician but as a responsible person of integrity, helping moms and babies.  Over the past 30+ years, I have been honored to have been included in the beginnings of so many wonderful families of State College and the surrounding Centre County, Pennsylvania locale, providing the support and information needed to help make the adjustment to parenting and breastfeeding as positive  and easy as possible.


When it comes to breastfeeding support and lactation information, being called The Milk Maven is my honor and pleasure. So welcome to my website! I hope you enjoy getting to know me a little, and if there is anything I can help you with, contact me at

The Milk Maven




Brief Bio:

Karen Foard, BS, IBCLC, is a 1979 graduate of Bucknell University with a degree in Elementary Education.  Married in 1979 to her wonderful (supportive, patient, has-her-back) husband Steve, she had her first of four children in 1981; each of the four breastfed for 2 -3.5 years, even though she initially had what she thought was a lofty goal of making it to day 365!  She was able to combine mothering with professional volunteering for 20+ years, returning to formal employment in education in 2003.  Karen received her Master in Education in Teacher Leadership in 2013 and got her Principal's Certification in 2015. In addition to helping moms and babies, currently Karen works for the State College Area School District as an Instructional Support Teacher at Radio Park, loving it when some of  'her' babies enter kindergarten, getting a chance to see how they have grown!

Early experiences of training as a parenting facilitator,  helping set up mothers'  groups, writing/editing for newsletters and creating a volunteer mother to mother breastfeeding support program all combined to lead to her successful passing of the IBLCE exam in 1988, re-certifying by exam and continuing education hours every five years since then.  Karen was an integral part of the formation of the Pennsylvania Mid-state Lactation Coalition in 1995, and maintains her membership in the  International Lactation Consultant Association,  volunteering as a question writer for continuing education modules and is the Treasurer for the Pennsylvania Breastfeeding Coalition.  She has found that, while a little crazy at times, combining full time teaching with her practice as a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, is do-able, often intermeshed, and amazingly satisfying on so many different levels.

 While both of her occupations are truly avocations, outside of those activities, Karen is a musician, playing oboe in the local Municipal Band and singing in Essence 2, a choir performing music from the African and African-American gospel traditions as well as serving as her church's  weekly bulletin creator and prayer list coordinator. She is an avid reader, a mildly green-thumbed gardener, an on-line auction lover, and an NCIS enthusiast.  She laughs a lot and loves to organize things!