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Webinar: Infant feeding and Allergy

10 April - 30 August, 2020

Infant Feeding and Allergy - Online Webinar 10 April - 30 August, 2020
The management of infants with allergies and intolerances is a complex area and is poorly understood. This webinar 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 watch 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.  
Early bird prices discount available until 10 April, 2020

Accreditation: CERPs Approval No: C202034 6L & 1 R CERPs

Webinar-Infant Feeding and Allergies 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 Breastfeeding – Human Milk Bioactives and the Developmental Origins of Atopic Disease in the CHILD Cohort - Meghan Azad
12:00 PM Practical considerations for the food sensitive breastfed baby - Joy Anderson
01:00 PM Working with challenging families especially when they are exhausted - Liz Crowe
02:00 PM Feeding, allergy and sleep: Does what you eat matter? - Anna Millichamp
03:00 PM Infant Feeding & Allergy: Myths that matter - Maureen Minchin
03:45 PM Close
SPEAKERS: Liz Crowe, Maureen Minchin, Anna Millichamp, Valerie Verhasselt, Meghan Azad, Joy Anderson, Dr Debbie Palmer
Liz Crowe
Liz Crowe

Liz Crowe graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1992.  Ms Crowe has worked extensively in grief, loss, trauma, crisis and bereavement since 1993 specialising in areas of children and families within tertiary paediatric hospitals from 1995.  She has written several publications for the government on working with children and families impacted by loss, grief, chronic sorrow and trauma and speaks nationally and internationally on these topics. Ms Crowe is currently employed as an Advanced Clinician Social Worker at the Brisbane Mater Children’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit and is the Workforce Development Officer for Allied Health at the Queensland Children’s Cancer Centre at the Royal Children’s Hospital, Brisbane.  She is a Community Educator with the Australian Breastfeeding Association and has two young boys who were both breastfed beyond the age of two.



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.



Anna Millichamp
Anna Millichamp

Anna Millichamp is an Accredited Practising Dietitian and PhD scholar. After graduating with first class honors from Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane in 2009, Anna was awarded the highly sought after graduate placement at Sydney Children's Hospital (SCH) as a Paediatric Dietitian. It was during her work at SCH that Anna discovered her interest in paediatric feeding challenges and completed the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding training. In 2011 Anna departed SCH to move with her husband to Byron Bay where she commenced her private dietetics practice and worked as a Research Assistant at Queensland University of Technology on various projects. Anna commenced her PhD in 2012 but took leave to have her first child. During this leave, Anna rediscovered her passion for paediatric feeding issues. She returned to her PhD in June 2014 with her current research focus: Improving available evidence for feeding children with oral anatomical defects to achieve optimal nutritional outcomes and minimise feeding difficulties.


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.

Meghan Azad: Breastfeeding – Human Milk Bioactives and the Developmental Origins of Atopic Disease in the CHILD Cohort

Breastfeeding – Human Milk Bioactives and the Developmental Origins of Atopic Disease in the CHILD Cohort

Meghan Azad

The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study ( is following 3500 families across Canada, from pregnancy through early childhood. We are exploring the genetic and environmental factors that predispose or protect children from chronic diseases including asthma, allergies and obesity. Research in the Azad Lab focuses on infant feeding practices and breast milk composition in the CHILD Study. Our results show that breastfeeding is associated with reduced risks of asthma and obesity in early childhood, and these effects differ depending on the mode of feeding (direct breastfeeding vs. expressed breast milk) as well as the timing and type of complementary feeding (formula vs. solid foods). To understand the biological mechanisms underlying these associations, we are analyzing breast milk samples from the CHILD cohort to measure multiple bioactive components, including oligosaccharides (with collaborator Dr. Lars Bode from the MoMI CoRE), microbiota, fatty acids and endocrine hormones. Our results to date have identified specific milk bioactives associated with infant body composition and allergic sensitization, and show that both fixed (eg. age, ethnicity) and modifiable (e.g. diet, BMI) maternal characteristics are associated with breast milk composition. Long-term associations are now being studied as the CHILD cohort reaches 5 years of age.


Joy Anderson: Practical considerations for the food-sensitive breastfed infant

Practical considerations for the food-sensitive breastfed infant

 Joy Anderson

 This presentation will focus on the practicalities when a breastfeeding mother embarks on dietary investigation for an infant displaying signs and symptoms of food sensitivity. It will outline the range of possibilities for the causative food and examine the nutritional safety of exclusion diets for mothers. It will also cover the evidence surrounding introducing solids to the food-sensitive infant and current understanding for minimising the development of allergies in infants in general.



Liz Crowe: Responding well to challenging families

Responding well to challenging families

Liz Crowe

We live in a society where expectations of service providers are exceptionally high and expressive gratitude can be quite low. Learning how to moderate your own behaviour and responses when being challenged, threatened or abused is a skill set.  Emotional regulation in these conditions is time critical to ensure relationships are continued and conflict does not escalate. People do not grow skills and resources in a crisis and health professionals sometimes have to look past what is being said and what are the actual goals of the person/family. Fight, Flight or Freeze is a real phenomenon and being able to read cues early and remain empathic and connected to others can save a lot of long term issues.  This talk will explore how to read cues early and communicate in a style and manner that is comfortable for those we are trying to work with.  It will give practical applications for de-escalating conflict and using verbal and non-verbal strategies to successfully work with challenging families and avoid escalating conflict.




Debbie Palmer: Can maternal diet during breastfeeding help the prevention of food allergies in babies?

Can maternal diet during breastfeeding help the prevention of food allergies in babies?  

 Debbie Palmer

Australia has the highest reported incidence of food allergy in children in the world (Osborne NJ, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2011;127:668-76). Food allergy now affects one in ten young Australian children, with egg and peanut being the most common food allergies in early childhood. Serious food allergy reactions have also increased, with rising rates of food anaphylaxis, including increased fatalities (Mullins RJ, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2015;136:367-75). The rate of hospital admissions in Australia for food anaphylaxis in children under four years of age has quadrupled between 1998 and 2012. Having a food allergy is a chronic disease that can reduce health-related quality of life in terms of social, dietary and psychological factors, with flow on implications not only for affected individuals but also for their families, childcare or school, and their general community (Pawankar R, et al. World Allergy Organization; 2011). With this growing burden of food allergies to our Australian community an urgent need to identify early prevention strategies is essential.  Recent trials have shown that regular intake of traditionally allergenic foods, such as peanut, in solid foods during infancy reduces the risk of peanut allergy (Du Toit G, et al. NEJM 2015;372:803-13). However this may be too late for some infantsas we have found that some children are sensitized to egg and peanut in the first months of life, before they start solid foods. Specifically, more than one third of four month old infants with eczema already had established egg sensitization and their first introduction of egg in solid foods resulted in allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis (Palmer DJ, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013;132:387-92).This implies that much earlier preventive interventions will ultimately be needed to reduce the growing impact of food allergies in our community. Through randomized controlled trials, we have discovered that egg protein can pass from the maternal diet into breast milk in a dose-dependent manner and that infant immune responses to egg can be beneficially enhanced during the first six weeks of breastfeeding when mothers eat more eggs. This evidence along with related findings on maternal diet and other food proteins (peanut and cow’s milk) detectable in beast milk will be discussed.




Anna Millichamp: Feeding, allergy and sleep: Does what you eat matter?

Feeding, allergy and sleep: Does what you eat matter? 

 Anna Millichamp

Breastfeeding mothers who have unsettled babies with excessively frequent and persistent night waking may benefit from an exploration of dietary factors that are potentially impacting their baby’s, and their own, sleep quantity and quality. This presentation explores the evidence linking infant food allergy and intolerance with sleep, with a focus on supporting continued breastfeeding and optimal nutrition for both mother and infant through dietary investigation and manipulation.




Maureen Minchin: Infant Feeding & Allergy: Myths that matter

Infant Feeding & Allergy:  Myths that matter

Maureen Minchin

Promoting breastfeeding without tackling artificial feeding has led to the backlash currently silencing many breastfeeding advocates. This presentation argues that ignorance about artificial feeding with infant formula is the largest and most fundamental problem for effective breastfeeding promotion.  Infant formula is the default method of feeding where it is mistakenly believed to be close to breastmilk, safe, convenient, and the choice of advantaged women.  Its role in creating compounding intergenerational damage (via early gut dysbiosis and nutritional deficiencies, excesses, and contaminants) is not widely appreciated. Artificial feeding is sustained by powerful myths about infant formula that are analysed in the presentation. Ignoring scientists working for the infant formula industry is a major tactical mistake. The need is for action not merely to protect promote and support breastfeeding, but also to challenge and undermine formula marketing, while simultaneously providing better alternatives to current formulas, and better educating and supporting those families currently reliant on formula. In WEIRD societies that depend on formula feeding,  such change requires a social revolution. Ignoring complex formula feeding issues is a powerful form of tacit support for a risky and harmful activity that damages future children, families, and the environment.  




Valerie Verhasselt: Breastfeeding: a Personalised Medicine for Long Term Immune Health

Breastfeeding: a Personalised Medicine for Long Term Immune Health

Valerie Verhasselt

As compared to adulthood, early post-natal life is a period that is characterised by rapid changes. The neonates’ tissues are constantly changing due to the growth process and are exposed to multiple new antigens, which are found in the environment, are present in the diet or are associated with gut microbiota colonisation. The neonatal immune system has its own reactivity, which profoundly differs from the adult. It is not a “small adult” nor an immature immune system nor a tolerant prone immune system. Neonatal immune system is a different one with specific requirements for activation and regulation. Breastmilk is most probably a key condition for physiological, and optimal, function and imprinting of immune system in early life. Alike the immune system and environment that are constantly changing in early life, breastmilk composition is constantly evolving. Volume, macronutrients, micronutrients, immunological factors, microbiota and microbiota shaping molecules are changing with lactation stages, which follow infant growth, and with environmental immune challenges. In this talk, we present how breastmilk composition constantly adapt to microbial challenges and provides each infant with the most efficient, and personalised, way to prevent infectious disease. While there is no consistent evidence that breastfeeding is preventing allergy, we will also show data indicating that breastmilk has the potential to actively influence immune trajectory and promote tolerance to allergens. These discoveries will guide interventions among breastfeeding mothers to increase the levels of breastmilk factors associated with long term allergy prevention.

We are starting to decipher the specific requirements for the neonatal immune system to function optimally and we are discovering how breastmilk fulfils these requirements and guides immune trajectories from early life. Answering these questions will provide the infant with preventive and curative approaches that are tailored to this very specific period of life and will ensure long-term immune health. 



IBCLC CERPs Approval Number C202034 6 L CERPs & 1 R CERPs

PRICE: Regular Full Price $169 (inc gst)