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Michelle L. Leff, MD, IBCLC, FAAP

Michelle L. Leff, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician who specializes in the care of newborns. As a newborn hospitalist, she meets with parents and their babies during their postpartum stay in the hospital, providing family-centered care that includes newborn examinations, screening tests, discharge planning and breastfeeding help. She enjoys helping new mothers and fathers transition into parenthood, and the ability to work with families to achieve optimal health for their infants. Her areas of expertise include breastfeeding, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) and car seat safety. Dr. Leff sees children of all ages at the UCSD Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine clinic in La Jolla on Monday mornings.

As a Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Dr. Leff instructs medical students, pediatric and family medicine residents and neonatology fellows on newborn care. She has authored numerous abstracts and case reports on newborn issues and presented on newborn topics at local and national meetings.  

Dr. Leff completed her residency at UC San Diego School of Medicine and earned her medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. She is board certified in general pediatrics. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and member of the American Pediatric Association. Dr. Leff is also a founding member of the Academic Pediatric Association's BORN (Better Outcomes through Research for Newborns) Network and Medical Director of UC San Diego Medical Center's Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.  Dr. Leff is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and sees mothers and babies for lactation appointments at the UCSD Pediatrics La Jolla office.


Administrative Assistant: 858-249-1702

Clinic Information

UCSD Pediatrics La Jolla office

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Undergraduate Education: Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, Minor in Spanish, Gonzaga University
Medical Education: University of Washington School of Medicine
Residency Training: Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego  
Chief Residency:  Pediatrics, University of California, San Diego

  • AAP California Chapter 3 Child Care Contact/Early Childhood Champion
  • AAP California Chapter 3 Breastfeeding Coordinator
  • UC Health Milk Bank Medical Advisory Board member
  • 09/2013 AAP Special Achievement Award
  • 02/2018 AAP Safety and Injury Prevention Training Course for Early Care and Education Settings Implementation Grant for AAP Chapters and Chapter Early Childhood Champions
  • UC Health Milk Bank Medical Advisory Board member

Research Projects

  • Planning for the HEALthy Early Development Study


  1. Taylor JA, Burgos AE, Flaherman V, Chung EK, Simpson EA, Goyal N, Von Kohorn I, Dhepyasuwan N, BORN Investigators. Utility of Decision Rules for Transcutaneous Bilirubin Measurements. Pediatrics. 2016. 137(5):e20153032.
  2. Leff M. Nasal Dermoid Sinus. Consultant for Pediatricians. 2016;15(12):617-618.
  3. Yeung H, Leff M, Rhee K. Effect of Exclusive Breastfeeding Among Overweight and Obese Mothers on Infant Weight-for-Length Percentile at 1 Year. Breastfeeding Medicine. 2017;12(1):39-47.
  4. Loyal J, Taylor JA, Phillipi CA, Goyal NK, Wood KE, Seashore C, King B, Colson E, Shabanova V, Shapiro ED, BORN Investigators. Factors Associated with Refusal of Intramuscular Vitamin K in Normal Newborns. Pediatrics. 2018;142(2):e20173743.
  5. Pei-Shan L, Leff M. Branchiootorenal Syndrome. Consultant [Internet]. 2018;58(12):350-351.


  1. Leff M, Hubbard E, Johnson-Rolfes J, Stellwagen L. Length of Stay and Readmission Rates for Late Preterm Infants Cared for by Protocol.  Presented at: The Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting; May 6-9, 2017; San Francisco, California. Abstract 2700125. (Abstract)
  2. “The Drug Exposed Infant,” 9th Annual Tri-City Medical Center Perinatal Symposium, October 2017. (Oral)
  3. “Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome,” UCSD NICU Cuddlers, November 2017. (Oral)
  4. Hoh E, O’Brien C, Rice C, Basirico C, Quintana P, Chambers C, Leff M, Hovell M, Aluwihare L. Dietary History and Persistent Organic Pollutants in San Diego Mothers’ Breast Milk.  Presented at: American Public Health Association Annual Meeting and Expo; Nov 10-14, 2018; San Diego, California. Abstract 408557. (Oral)
  5. “Keeping Children Safe in Early Care and Education Settings,” Episcopal Community Services Head Start, March 21, 2019. (Oral)
  6. “The First 5 Years,” UCSD Faculty and Staff Assistance Program Lunch Series, October 15, 2019. (Oral)