Health Care Provider Spotlight: Dr. Moira Haggarty Edwards

Dr. Moira Haggarty Edwards is a family physician who finds satisfaction in her varied work as a generalist as well as in her niche work as a breastfeeding specialist. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Lakehead University before pursuing her MD and residency with Northern Ontario School of Medicine University (NOSM U).

Despite multiple opportunities to live elsewhere, high quality of life is why Dr. Haggarty Edwards chooses to make Thunder Bay her home.

“My bike ride to work takes just a few blissful minutes along the McIntyre River. In the summer, I will mountain bike or swim in a lake nearly every day. In the winter, I can ski within a 15-minute drive from work and be home with my family by dinner time.  Here, I have more time to enjoy what matters while being at the helm of innovation of healthcare for the North.”

Dr. Haggarty Edwards works both in outpatient family medicine and as a hospitalist at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC). She is also a breastfeeding medicine physician, a practice inspired by her own experiences as a new mother.

“After having my son and seeing the challenges that can arise, I realized the importance of timely and expert support in breastfeeding. There was no physician locally specializing in breastfeeding, and I felt called to be that physician.”

Dr. Haggarty Edwards has since acquired extensive training in the field, including mentorship with Dr. Jack Newman at Toronto’s International Breastfeeding Centre. Her role as a breastfeeding medicine physician covers that of a lactation consultant, but extends further to include a more comprehensive assessment of the problems at play, and includes a broader scope to prescribe medications for low supply and perform frenectomies for problematic tongue-ties. Dr. Haggarty Edwards works mainly in an outpatient setting, but when needed, she will also provide inpatient consults. When problems are urgent, colleagues can request phone or email consult advice directly. For patients in more rural settings, she can provide blended in-person and virtual-care options. With time, she aspires for her work in breastfeeding medicine to take on more policy, research, education roles.

Most recently, Dr. Haggarty Edwards was selected to be a moderator for Dr. MILK (Doctor Mothers Interested in Lactation Knowledge), an online community of 40,000+ physician mothers from all over the world who ask and answer breastfeeding questions.

“It has been humbling to see how little even doctors know about something as vital as breastfeeding, but also inspiring to see how thirsty these doctors are to know more.  Breastfeeding has, quite wonderfully, become more popular, and I am honoured to be a part of the movement.”

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