Alisa Sacker MD, IBCLC
I first became interested in ties when my teenage daughter had her braces removed at the end of her orthodontic treatment. Her orthodontist used a laser to remove her upper lip tie as I watched. A light bulb went off in my head and I finally understood why the two of us had such issues breastfeeding. I then checked her tongue and, of course, found a significant posterior tie. That started my journey.
Originally, I was with Kaiser Permanente as a partnered general pediatrician in the outpatient clinic and in the hospital NICU for over 20 years. While there, I started the first laser frenectomy program in San Diego for newborns. I also served as a board member of the International Association of Tongue Tie Professionals, IATP, where I used my passion to further educate other health professionals. After being unable to grow and expand the program, I resigned from Kaiser Permanente in 2017 and opened Team Tongue Tie. I am blessed to own a small medical practice focused on helping families by properly diagnosing and treating ties in babies, children, and adults.
Heather Shabestari, IBCLC
The field of lactation became interesting to me with the birth of my first child. When my second child came along, breastfeeding was successful, but not without struggle. A hospital-based lactation consultant was instrumental in my success during that time.
Having previously graduated from University of California - Irvine in Biological Sciences, I had always wanted to find my niche in a health field where I could make a difference. I continued researching and learning more about the field of lactation for a few years until I took the plunge and entered the UCSD Lactation Program and became an IBCLC. Helping families with lactation is extremely rewarding, not only because I am able to help, but also because I am entrusted with their vulnerability, concerns, and frustrations.
I have worked in my own private practice since 2014, helping families in and around San Diego County. I have also volunteered my time running breastfeeding support groups. I am Certified in Infant Massage, helping babies relax, bond, and feel better through the healing art of touch.
I was born and raised in San Diego (yes! I am a native), have two teenaged children, and a rambunctious German Shepherd mix, named Miss Bentley. I enjoy the outdoors, beach days, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
I cannot wait to meet you at Team Tongue Tie and help you on your journey!
Elizabeth Elizondo, RN, IBCLC
I am a registered nurse, lactation consultant, and educator of infant massage. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan and I am a former Navy nurse, where I worked in maternal child health. It was there, working with new moms and babies that I discovered my love for helping mothers with breastfeeding. I quickly found myself asking my colleagues if their patients needed any extra breastfeeding support and I’d happily pop into a room to check and see how the feedings were going. I became an IBCLC in 2004 and have worked in a variety of settings including the hospital and private practice. I have always been passionate about educating, supporting, and empowering mothers and babies, and desire to help all families succeed with breastfeeding. I am excited to come on board with Team Tongue Tie and look forward to working with you.
I currently live in San Diego with my active-duty husband and my four children. In my free time, I enjoy reading, exercising, and being outdoors in the beautiful San Diego weather.
Candace Hallak, IBCLC
My interest in breastfeeding peaked at a very young age and continued to grow with the excitement of having my own babies someday. While breastfeeding my firstborn child turned out to be quite a simple experience, when I gave birth to my son it was a different story. He was almost ten pounds at birth. He continued to have good weight gain, but while continuing to breastfeed, I developed mastitis three times in my first year and two more times in my second year. I learned that he had significant oral restrictions and my experience as a mother inspired me to learn more to educate patients on how to improve feeding as a whole.
A primary focus of my practice as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is helping families by providing information and helping with feeding techniques, whether breastfeeding or bottle feeding. I am proud to be a member of the San Diego Postpartum Health Alliance where I support families through perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I am able to care for families from the first hour of life where feeding begins, during the breastfeeding journey, and through the end of the weaning process. I look forward to meeting your family, listening to your story, and supporting you with compassionate care.
Jodi Walters BSN, IBCLC
I am a registered nurse and IBCLC. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and have over twenty years of women’s health and infants nursing care working both in outpatient and hospital settings. My journey into women’s health nursing began with the delivery of my son where I found the desire to help new moms through this life changing event. After years of noticing moms struggling with breastfeeding (including my family and myself), I pursued my education in lactation and became an IBCLC. Working in the hospital as a nurse and an IBCLC, I have been blessed to help empower mothers to obtain their breastfeeding goals. I also work as an instructor for student nurses at a local university. I am happy to also provide CST in our office. When I am assisting in the procedure room this provides added relaxation and if you would like to continue then we can set up a longer appointment.
Eight years ago, my husband and I decided to call San Diego home shortly after he retired from the Air Force after 20 years. Together we are blessed with 3 awesome children and 3 beautiful grandchildren.
Melanie Stephenson, Front Office
Hello, I am Melanie! After spending time in the Bay Area for college, I returned home to be near my family. I met my husband, Craig in a ballroom dance class and we now have two young daughters, Clara and Genevieve.
I have a background in teaching, at both the preschool and elementary levels. I also have several years experience in retail management and customer service. I have spent the last ten plus years working in Human Resources.
I was looking for a career change and I recalled the experience I had at Team Tongue Tie when both of my daughters needed revisions. The thoroughness and caring approach of Dr. Sacker and her Team made a tremendous impact on me and my family. I knew that I wanted to be a part of Team Tongue Tie! I am so grateful to be part of this Team and look forward to greeting all who come to our Team Tongue Tie family!
Scott Sacker, COO
I have known this beautiful, intelligent woman for more than 25 years ... and now we get to work together! I am so impressed with all that the amazing women at Team Tongue Tie have done over the last few years. I can honestly say that I am a very lucky man to be spending time alongside all of these talented women!
Whether you end up at Team Tongue Tie or not, I want to be a resource to all who visit with me during our conversation together. It is my wish to make sure that I listen well when you call and share as much information so that the best decision can be made for your loved ones ... and, hopefully, have them come to Team Tongue Tie to be taken care of by our staff. We are all here to help make sure that Mom's and Babies; children of all ages and adults are given the care that is needed! I hope to hear from you soon!