Karen Wambach, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC

Ph.D., University of Arizona
BSN, University of Minnesota
MS, University of Arizona
University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, Summer Research Institute


A faculty member in the School since 1992, Karen Wambach, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC, primarily teaches research-related courses in the graduate programs at the KU School of Nursing. Over the past 18 years she has supervised over 65 BSN honors, masters, and doctoral students in research projects, theses, and dissertations. In 2001, Wambach was honored with the Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Classroom Teaching. When she is not teaching, Wambach devotes her time to breastfeeding research, education, and advocacy activities. Notably, she completed a 4-year NIH/NINR funded intervention trial aimed at promoting and supporting breastfeeding among teenage mothers.

Wambach currently is working with the National Database of Nursing Quality Indicators in development of perinatal indicators, including exclusive breast milk feeding in the hospital post-birth. In 2010, Dr. Wambach and Dr. Jan Riordan, Professor Emeritus of Wichita State University published a popular textbook Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 4th edition. She is sought after by national and international organizations for her research and breastfeeding/lactation expertise. She is currently finishing a term as Director of Research and Special Projects for the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) Board of Directors and is an invited guest to the American Academy of Nursing Expert Panel on Breastfeeding.

At the state level, Wambach serves on the Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition and the Kansas High 5 for Mom and Baby work group, an initiative to support and educate Kansas hospital staff on five evidence based maternity care practices that support breastfeeding success. In recognition of her research accomplishments, Wambach received the KUMC Faculty Investigator Research Award in 2004 and the Midwest Nursing Research Society Honor a Researcher Award in 2008. This summer, Wambach will be inducted as a Fellow in the International Lactation Consultant Association.

Select Publications

  • Rojjanasrirat, W., Wambach, K., & Nelson, E. (2012). A Pilot Study of Home-Based Videoconferencing for Breastfeeding Support. Journal of Human Lactation.
  • Wambach, K., Aaronson, L., Breedlove, G., Domian, E., Rojjanasrirat, W., & Yeh, H. (2011). A randomized controlled trial of breastfeeding support and education for adolescent mothers. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 33,486-505. PMID: 20876551.
  • Rojjanasrirat, W., Wambach, K., Sousa, V., & Gajewski, B. (2010). Psychometric evaluation of the Employer Support for Breastfeeding Questionnaire (ESBQ). Journal of Human Lactation, 26, 286-296.
  • Riordan, J.& Wambach, K. (2010). Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (4th edition). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.
  • Rojjanasrirat, W. & Wambach, K. A. (2010). Employment and Breastfeeding. In J. Riordan & K. Wambach (Ed.), Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (pp. 551-578). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.
  • Riordan, J. & Wambach, K. (2010). Breast Related Problems. In J. Riordan & K. Wambach (Ed.), Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (pp. 291-324). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.
  • Wambach, K. & Riordan, J. (2010). The Cultural Context of Breastfeeding. In J. Riordan & K. Wambach (Ed.), Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (pp. 799-816). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.
  • Wambach, K. & Riordan, J. (2010). Familial and Social Context of Breastfeeding. In J. Riordan & K. Wambach (Ed.), Breastfeeding and Human Lactation (pp. 817-839). Boston: Jones & Bartlett.
  • Wambach, K.A. & Cohen, S.M. (2008). Breastfeeding experiences of urban adolescent mothers. Journal of Pediatric Nursing.
  • Wambach, K., Campbell, S., Gill, S.L., Dodgson, J.E., Abiona, T.C., & Heinig, M.J. (2005). Clinical lactation practice: Twenty years of evidence. Journal of Human Lactation, 21, 245-258.
  • Bonnel, W. & Wambach, K. (2005). A nurse educator teaching with technologies course: More than teaching on the Web. Journal of Professional Nursing, 21, 59-65.
  • Wambach, K. & Koehn, M. (2004). Experiences of infant feeding decision-making among urban economically disadvantaged pregnant adolescents. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 48, 361-370.

Professional Memberships

  • Midwest Nursing Research Society
  • Sigma Theta Tau International
  • International Lactation Consultants Association
  • Association for Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses
  • American Nurses Association 
Last modified: Apr 01, 2015


Karen Wambach, Ph.D., RN, IBCLC

P: (913) 588-1639