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Breastfeeding Conferences - Infant Feeding: In whose interest?

Melbourne: 12-13 October 2017


This conference will bring together some of the world's most respected researchers and thinkers in the field of human lactation and public health.

Aims of this conference:

  • Identify the role of the infant formula and baby food industries in undermining a breastfeeding culture and describe strategies to protect parents and health workers from their influence
  • Raise awareness of potential conflicts of interest involving the baby food industry and how to avoid them
  • Identify strategies in Australia and internationally which have been shown to support breastfeeding rates and increase breastfeeding initiation and duration
  • Identify barriers to the lack of investment into breastfeeding support and promotion
  • Explore the health and economic cost of sub-optimal breastfeeding.
  • Promote policy, social and economic environments that enable parents and caregivers to make well informed infant and young child feeding decisions

Twenty percent of profits from the conference will be used to start a "Breastfeeding Innovation and Promotion Fund" to assist groups who have an innovative approach to supporting breastfeeding.

Melbourne - Thu 12-Oct-2017
07:45 AM Registrations – Tea and Coffee
08:30 AM Reframing the right to breastfeed as a women's health imperative - Dr Alison Stuebe
09:30 AM Putting an End to THE BIG LETDOWN - Kimberly Seals Allers
10:30 AM Morning Tea
11:00 AM Protein in infant formula - Professor Karen Campbell
11:30 AM Beyond the Controversy: Restoring Human Milk as the Human Norm in the 21st Century - Jennifer Grayson
12:30 PM The fine line between pleasure and pain: Infant feeding in the workplace, laws and corporate lactation programs. the intersection of state, corporate and maternal interests - Rachel McDonald
01:15 PM Lunch
02:15 PM Economic perspectives on breastfeeding - Dr Julie Smith
03:00 PM The Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy (2010-2015) - the view from the coalface - Naomi Hull
03:45 PM Afternoon tea
04:00 PM The story behind 'Tigers - Syed Aamir Raza Hussain
04:45 PM 'Myths that matter: ignorance protects the norm - Maureen Minchin
05:30 PM Close


Melbourne - Fri 13-Oct-2017
08:00 AM Arrival Tea and Coffee
08:30 AM Via SKYPE: Conflict of interest in Infant and Young Child - David Lawson Clark
09:15 AM Via SKYPE: A formula for every purpose: How formula companies have tried to confuse regulators with new formulas - David Lawson Clark
10:00 AM Morning tea
10:30 AM Ethics, research, research funding and the challenges ahead for lactology - Professor Peter Hartmann
11:30 AM Mother-child interaction through breastfeeding: impact on immune development and education
12:15 PM Lunch
01:15 PM Re-latching in the modern world: What can we learn from traditional societies? - Jennifer Grayson
02:15 PM No mother left behind: Reducing racial disparities in breastfeeding rates - Kimberly Seals Allers
03:15 PM Afternoon Tea
03:30 PM In whose best interest? The ethics of autonomy, coercion and informed consent in infant feeding - Dr Alison Stuebe
04:30 PM Panel - Q&A
05:00 PM Close
SPEAKERS: Maureen Minchin, Dr Alison Stuebe, Rachel McDonald, Professor Peter Hartmann, David Lawson Clark, Jennifer Grayson, Kimberly Seals Allers, Professor Karen Campbell, Naomi Hull, Dr Julie Smith, Syed Aamir Raza Hussain
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.



Dr Alison Stuebe
Dr Alison Stuebe

Dr. Alison Stuebe is Associate Professor of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine. She has published multiple peer-reviewed articles on the association between lactation and long-term maternal health outcomes. Her current research includes the clinical management of breastfeeding difficulties and the role of oxytocin in women’s health. In the clinical arena she serves as Medical Director of Lactation Services for UNC Healthcare, where she leads an interdisciplinary team of UNC clinicians that is developing new approaches to management of breastfeeding difficulties. Dr. Stuebe is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology Committee on Obstetric Practice, chairs the External Communications Committee of the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, and is a member of the board of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. She has been American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology certified since 2010.




Rachel McDonald
Rachel McDonald
BA LLB(Hons.Class 1) GDLP PhD

Rachel qualified as a Barrister and Solicitor in the ACT in 1995.  After 5 years of practice as a litigation lawyer with the Commonwealth Government, Rachel had her first baby and joined the Australian Breastfeeding Association. Rachel qualified as a Breastfeeding Counsellor in 2003. The legal issues of breastfeeding have interested Rachel since she became a breastfeeding mother, particularly the issues of breastfeeding in public, breastfeeding at work, family law and the regulation of the marketing of artificial breastmilk substitutes.  Rachel’s PhD concerns the regulation and legislation of issues concerning breastfeeding. Rachel aims to publish a book addressing these issues.





Professor Peter Hartmann
Professor Peter Hartmann
BRurSc NE, PhD

Professor Hartmann completed his PhD at the University of Sydney in 1967. After postdoctoral positions at NIRD in the UK, University of Pennsylvania, and University of Sydney, he was appointed to a lectureship in biochemistry at The University of Western Australia in 1972. He has been Head of Department of Biochemistry and Dean of the Faculty of Science at The University of Western Australia. His initial research interest was in lactation in dairy animals, and in 1973 commenced studies on the biochemistry and physiology of lactation in women. He has published extensively on the synthesis and secretion of milk over the entire lactation cycle of women – from conception to weaning. Over the last 48 years he has published 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 21 book chapters, and 62 review papers.


David Lawson Clark

David Clark is an international lawyer working with the Nutrition Section, UNICEF, New York. Prior to that he worked for the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute in Rome, Italy. Since 1995, David has assisted more than 60 countries in drafting legislation to implement the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, and has been instrumental in bringing a human-rights based approach to the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding. He has contributed to the development of international policy guidelines in the area of HIV and infant feeding and infant feeding in emergencies. David has written and contributed to many articles and publications on health and nutrition policy, developed courses and training materials on the implementation of the International Code and maternity protection and has facilitated numerous workshops on the issue.


Jennifer Grayson
Jennifer Grayson

Jennifer Grayson is the award-winning environmental journalist and author of the book Unlatched: The Evolution of Breastfeeding and the Making of a Controversy, which has been widely covered in the media since its HarperCollins release. Her incisive investigative reporting coupled with her deeply personal writing has been lauded by luminaries from Pulitzer Prize – winning journalist Michael Moss to renowned food activist Marion Nestle to Oscar-winning actress and UN Women ambassador Anne Hathaway, and the book was the recipient of a 2016 Nautilus Book Award. Jennifer's lifelong commitment to restoring our time's vanishing connection to the natural world led directly to her research for Unlatched. She lives in Los Angeles with her screenwriter husband and two young daughters — her most important life's work.


Kimberly Seals Allers
Kimberly Seals Allers

Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning journalist, author and a nationally recognized media commentator, consultant and advocate for breastfeeding and infant health. Kimberly’s fifth book, The Big Let Down—How Big Business, Medicine and Feminism Undermine Breastfeeding, was released to high acclaim. Kimberly most recently served project director of the First Food Friendly Community Initiative (3FCI), an innovative pilot project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, designed to understand the impact of “place” as a social determinant of breastfeeding success and to engage multiple stakeholders to create a national accreditation for breastfeeding friendly communities. She currently leads nationwide workshops for health care professionals on cultural competency in breastfeeding support and is a prominent speaker on communitybased strategies to reduce the racial disparities in breastfeeding and infant mortality rates.


Professor Karen Campbell
Professor Karen Campbell

Dr Campbell is the Professor of Population Nutrition in the School of Exercise and Nutrition Science and the Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition (IPAN) at Deakin University. She also co-directs the national Early Prevention of Obesity in Childhood Centre for Research Excellence. She has developed a profile nationally and internationally for her work in early childhood, heading a program of research on early childhood nutrition. Public health utility is a key feature of Professor Campbell’s research and is evidenced by the State level adoption of the largest of her intervention studies, The Infant Program.


Naomi Hull
RN, BN, IBCLC, Grad Cert Nrs (Critical care), Cert IV Breastfeeding Ed (Counselling)

Naomi Hull is a Registered Nurse of many years, and an IBCLC of 7 years. She maintains a small but growing Private Practice in Brisbane and is currently the Qld Branch President of the Australian Breastfeeding Association. She recently attained a Masters of Public Health (Nutrition) where she chose to look at the implementation of the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy (2010-2015) as the topic of her dissertation. Naomi continues to feel strongly about finding a way to improve the breastfeeding experience for families by way of affecting policy change in Australia.


Dr Julie Smith
Dr Julie Smith
BEc (Hons)/BA (Asian Studies), PhD

Julie Smith is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow, and Professor (Associate) at the Australian National University (ANU). She was formerly a senior economist in Australian and New Zealand treasuries and department of finance. Dr Smith has been an expert advisor on economic aspects of breastfeeding to the WHO and the US Department of Health and Human Services, and led a consultancy for WHO on marketing of commercial complementary foods for infants and young children. Her invited expertise has contributed to several parliamentary inquiries on breastfeeding, tax expenditures reporting, and tax policy. She has published on public finance and health issues in journals across several disciplines, with a strong interest in public policy. She has published two books on tax policy (Taxing Popularity and Gambling Taxation in Australia), and is currently researching a book on the economics of mothers’ milk.


Syed Aamir Raza Hussain

Syed Aamir Raza Hussain of Mississaugha is a former Nestlé salesman and whistle blower who spent 17 years railing against the giant food company’s baby milk marketing practices in Pakistan. Toronto International Film Festival’s film 'Tigers' is based on Hussain’s story of personal sacrifice, to defend the health of mothers and babies.


IBLCE CERPs and MidPLUS points have been applied for.


Movie starts at 7.30 Thursday 12 October 2017. Please feel free to bring a friend, you can buy extra tickets when you register.


Movie starts at 7.30. Please feel free to bring a friend, you can buy extra tickets when you register.

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