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Breastfeeding: Infant Feeding and Allergy

Perth: Monday 17 February 2020

Infant Feeding and Allergy - Monday February 17th, 2020
The management of infants with allergies and intolerances is a complex area and is poorly understood. This conference brings together eminent researchers in the field as well as experts in the practical management of allergies and intolerances in the breastfed baby.
Who should attend this conference?
With allergies in the population rising this is a conference for everyone who works with mothers and babies, Medical doctors, paediatric nurses, midwives, child health nurses, lactation consultants, dieticians speech pathologies, manual therapists and breastfeeding counsellors.  
Student prices and early bird prices available.
Perth - Mon 17-Feb-2020
09:00 AM Breastfeeding: Personalised medicine with long term influence on immune health - Valerie Verhasselt
10:00 AM Can maternal diet during breastfeeding help the prevention of food allergies in babies? - Dr Debbie Palmer
11:00 AM Morning Tea
11:30 AM Breastfeeding – Human Milk Bioactives and the Developmental Origins of Atopic Disease in the CHILD Cohort - Meghan Azad
12:30 PM Lunch
01:30 PM Practical considerations for the food sensitive breastfed baby - Joy Anderson
02:30 PM Allergy: Myths and mistakes - Maureen Minchin
03:30 PM Panel Discussion
04:00 PM Close
SPEAKERS: Maureen Minchin, Valerie Verhasselt, Meghan Azad, Joy Anderson, Dr Debbie Palmer
Maureen Minchin
Maureen Minchin

Maureen Minchin is a medical historian and pioneer lactation consultant who has been involved globally at the highest levels with infant feeding issues since the 1970s. Her books Food for Thought (1982-1992) and Breastfeeding Matters (1985-1998) have been influential world-wide. Her latest book is Milk Matters: infant feeding and immune disorder. This multi-disciplinary text argues that a milk hypothesis encompasses the hygiene hypothesis, and documents the many risks and harms of artificial feeding, while also providing practical strategies for parents struggling with the unhappy food-hypersensitive babies common in communities where formula feeding is entrenched.



Valerie Verhasselt
Valerie Verhasselt

Professor, Chair in Human Lactology, Valerie Verhasselt is a full time academic in the School of Molecular Science at the University of Western Australia (UWA). She leads a team performing translational and multi-disciplinary research aimed at understanding the mechanisms driving immune ontogeny and long-term health. She was trained as a Medical Doctor (1992), pursued a specialisation in Internal Medicine (2000) and gained a PhD in Immunology (1999), from the Universite Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium. In 2008, she obtained a tenured researcher position at Institut National de la Santé Et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM, France) and founded a team on Immune Tolerance at the Hopital de l’Archet (Nice, France) in 2012. In 2017, she was appointed the Larsson-Rosenquist Chair in Human Lactology at the University of Western Australia, the first in the world.

Valérie Verhasselt has pioneered the field of translational research on the prevention of Allergy by breastfeeding and extended this to the understanding of the influence of early nutrition on mucosal immune ontogeny and long-term immune health. The excellence of her research expertise in this field has been acknowledged by the appointment as Chair, as well as by prestigious awards by the French Academy of Science, the French Academy of Medicine and the French government institute INSERM. Her research has resulted in > 65 publications in prestigious journals such as in Nature Medicine, Lancet Infectious Disase, Gut, JACI, JAMAPed ( > 2,500 citations). Importantly, ethics, respect, generosity and humanity are the drivers of her scientific career.


Meghan Azad
Meghan Azad
PhD and MSc

Dr Meghan Azad holds a Canada Research Chair in Developmental Origins of Chronic Disease. She is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Child Health at the University of Manitoba. Her research program ( is focused on the role of infant nutrition and gut microbiota in the development of asthma, allergies and obesity. Dr. Azad co-leads the Manitoba site of the CHILD Study (, a national pregnancy cohort following 3500 children to understand how early life experiences shape lifelong health. She is directing multiple projects related to lactation and infant feeding practices in the CHILD cohort, including integrated studies linking human milk composition and gut microbiota with epigenetic profiles and clinical phenotypes. Dr. Azad is an active member of the Breastfeeding Committee of Canada and the Winnipeg Breastfeeding Network, and she serves on the Executive Council for the International Society for Research in Human Milk and Lactation.


Joy Anderson
Joy Anderson
AM Dietitian IBCLC

Joy has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 1991 and an active volunteer Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) counsellor since 1987. In 2008, she qualified as an Accredited Practising Dietitian from Curtin University of Technology, WA. In 2013, Joy was awarded Member of the Order of Australia for her service to the community through work for the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

Joy has a special interest in adverse food reactions in breastfed babies. In2016, Joy retired from a part-time private practice in Perth, WA. In this role, she was unique, being the only dietitian and IBCLC in private practice in Australia focusing on adverse food reactions in breastfed infants. In 2016 she also published a book about food-sensitive babies, which she recently updated with a second edition.


Dr Debbie Palmer
Dr Debbie Palmer

Dr Debbie Palmer is head of the Childhood Allergy and Immunology Research Group at the Telethon Kids Institute, Perth, Western Australia. The primary research focus for this research group is investigating nutritional and environmental strategies for allergic disease prevention. The research group conducts randomized controlled clinical trials, mechanistic studies, and translatable research activities, all with the goal of reducing the rising burden of early-life allergic diseases in our Australian community. Current trials focus on the immunomodulatory nutrients of vitamin D and prebiotics, and on maternal and infant food allergen consumption of eggs, peanuts and cashew nuts.


5 CPD Hours - Australian College of Midwives CPD Recognised Activity. CERPs Approval Number: C202009

LOCATION: PERTH - Fraser Suites

10 Adelaide Terrace
East Perth, WA, 6004


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