HUG Country Representatives


Barb Glare, IBCLC, is a lactation consultant with decades of experience at a large rural hospital in Victoria, Australia. She was one of the early leaders of the Australian Breastfeeding Association and is currently Director of Breastfeeding Conferences, a company that produces conferences for midwives, lactation consultants, and nurses in Australia and New Zealand. Having hosted many international leaders in the field of lactation, Barb has a pulse on issues that impact breastfeeding mothers around the world. She has brought HUG Your Baby to numerous cities in Asia-Pacific and is a distributor for HUG resources. Contact Barb at about The HUG in Australia.


Elly Krijnen, RN, IBCLC, has decades of experience caring for young families and training nurses, midwives, lactation consultants and kraamverzorgenden (similar to postpartum doulas) in Holland. As a mother of three (now grown and thriving) NICU babies, she is especially attentive to the concerns of families with premature babies. Formerly the owner of a maternity center in Amsterdam, Elly now works as a private lactation consultant and is co-owner of “Baby en Borst” (Baby and Breast), a charming store and educational center in Almere. Read about The HUG in Holland.


Maryam Mozafarinia, RN, MSN,  became the first Certified HUG Teacher in Iran. Read about how she translated The HUG materials into Farsi and published research on using The HUG to teach fathers of infants in a NICU. In the process she developed the HUG for Iran website. She currently works as a NICU nurse in Montreal, Canada, and serves as HUG’s Research Advisor.



Benedetta Costa, founder of the Italian Association of Infant Massage (A.I.M.I.), distributes the Italian HUG DVD through Infant Massage srl. Benedetta founded the A.I.M.I. decades ago to help parents learn the power of infant massage to connect with their newborn. She has worked tirelessly to grow this program to its current 4,000-person membership. Contact Benedetta at benecost@gmail.comRead about The HUG in Italy!


Yoko Shimpuku, RN, CNM, PHN, PhD, CHT, has worked clinically as a nurse midwife in both hospitals and birth centers in Japan. She earned her PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Yoko’s work has been published in peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. She conducts research in Tanzania for the education of pregnant women, adolescent girls, and local midwives. A former intern with the WHO, Yoko’s international efforts have been recognized with multiple research grants and awards. She is an Assistant Professor at St. Luke’s College of Nursing, Tokyo, and created the Japanese HUG website and Facebook page. Contact Yoko at  Read about The HUG in Japan.


Ning Desiyanti Soehartojo, MD, IBCLC, is a physician in Shah Alam, Malaysia, and has provided primary care to families there for many years. Since becoming an IBCLC in 2009 Ning has focused her practice on supporting breastfeeding women. She volunteers as a Peer Counselor Program Administrator responsible for training breastfeeding peer counselors throughout Malaysia. Ning, a mother of four, is a Certified HUG Teacher and incorporates HUG information into the care and teaching she provides. Contact Ning at Read about The HUG in Malaysia.

South Korea:

Min Sung Kwon, RN, MSN, received her Master’s degree in mental health nursing from the University of Sydney in 2013 with a thesis focusing on postpartum depression. (Click here to see an interview about this work). Min is currently studying and working in Australia at breastfeeding clinics as she prepares to become an IBCLC. Contact Min at  Read about The HUG in South Korea.


Meena Sobsamai, CNM, IBCLC is a nurse-midwife and lactation consultant in Bangkok. She has decades of experience providing prenatal, delivery, and antenatal care in Thailand and has contributed to the leadership team for the Childbirth and Breastfeeding Foundation of Thailand and Thailand’s WHO Baby-Friendly Initiative. She developed “BirthaBaby,” a company that educates parents and professionals and markets beautiful, hand-made childbirth teaching materials. Meena will soon be distributing the Thai HUG Your Baby DVD. Contact Meena at  Read about The HUG in Thailand.