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Breastfeeding Conferences Broken Sleep? Insights into biology, culture and parenting

Brisbane: 3-4 August 2018


This conference will explore issues relevant to any professional health worker or volunteer working with new families in the first years of their baby’s life. Topics include practical strategies for supporting parents with infant sleep and breastfeeding including effective communication with parents around infant sleep,factors influencing family sleep arrangements; and sleep patterns in breast & formula fed babies as well as reviewing the research around the biology of infant sleep in the context of modern culture.

Broken Sleep Day 1
07:45 AM Registrations – Tea and coffee served.
08:30 AM Welcome and introductions
08:45 AM Breastsleeping: The return of humankind’s oldest and most successful infant sleep and feeding arrangement - Dr James McKenna
09:45 AM The power of culture in breastsleeping - Cecilia Tomori
10:45 AM Morning Tea
11:15 AM Focus on attachment: Working with families struggling with sleep - Tracy Cassels
12:15 PM Sleep training twenty years on: Understanding the longevity of the subjugation of infant needs to‘parenting choice’ - Dr Annie Gethin
01:15 PM Lunch
02:15 PM Feeding for sleep: Does what you eat matter? - Anna Millichamp
03:15 PM A slip of the tongue – Talking with tired parents so they tell you what matters - Pinky McKay
04:15 PM Close


Broken Sleep Day 2
07:45 AM Registrations – Tea and coffee served.
08:30 AM Welcome and introductions
08:45 AM What does a dyad really mean? What research on first time mothers of premature babies can tell us about supporting mothers, hospitalisation, and breastfeeding - Lauren Porter
09:45 AM Bio-cultural origins of inconsolable crying and SIDS: What is the connection? - Dr James McKenna
10:45 AM Morning Tea
11:15 AM Working with challenging families especially when they are exhausted - Liz Crowe
12:15 PM The fragmentation and re-integration of breastfeeding and infant sleep - Cecilia Tomori
01:15 PM Lunch
02:15 PM Night-time breastfeeding beyond babyhood... Do we know what is normal? - Meg Nagle
03:15 PM The myth of bad habits - Tracy Cassels
04:15 PM Final address/Question time
04:30 PM Close
SPEAKERS: Dr James McKenna, Liz Crowe, Lauren Porter, Anna Millichamp, Meg Nagle, Pinky McKay, Cecilia Tomori, Tracy Cassels, Dr Annie Gethin
Dr James McKenna
Dr James McKenna

James is the author of Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent's Guide to Co-sleeping. He received his undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and his PhD from the University of Oregon, again in Anthropology, specialising in the evolution of human parenting systems and human development. Teaching for two years at the University of California, Berkeley, James accepted a tenure track position at Pomona College in Claremont, California, where he taught for 20 years and won several teaching awards. He was recruited by the University of Notre Dame in 1997 where he is currently a Professor and the Director of the University of Notre Dame Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory. He also contributes to the blog Neuroanthropology.

Dr McKenna is best known for his pioneering studies of the differences between the physiology and behaviour of solitary and co-sleeping mothers and infants and the connection this data may have in addressing SIDS risks. He has published three books, the most recent one entitled Evolutionary Medicine. In addition, he has published well over 50 peer-reviewed papers on SIDS and co-sleeping.



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.



Lauren Porter
Lauren Porter

Lauren Porter is the Co-Director of the Centre for Attachment (, the Secretary of the Infant Mental Health Association Aotearoa New Zealand (IMHAANZ) the Presentation Advisory Committee of the Brainwave Trust and a family therapist and consultant.  She began her clinical work in 1993 with a focus on trauma.  She has since worked elsewhere in the USA and Germany before immigrating to New Zealand in 2002.  her current professional focus is on the merging of attachment theory with neuroscientfic data, with an eye towards the practical applications of everyday life.  She is the mother of two children and lives in Christchurch.





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.


Meg Nagle
BA Psychology, IBCLC

In between breastfeeding her youngest boy, chasing after her oldest two boys, blogging and occasionally sleeping; Meg works with women to help them reach their breastfeeding goals. Meg has a degree in Psychology and was a La Leche League Leader (breastfeeding counsellor) for seven years before becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She writes frequently on her website about all things breastfeeding, is a guest blogger and has published articles in “Nurture Parenting Magazine” and “Natural Mother Magazine”. Needless to say she passionate about helping women reach their breastfeeding goals and loves helping to get the word out about how women can do this! She places a huge emphasis on sharing evidenced based research without the sugary coating.


Pinky McKay
Pinky McKay

Pinky McKay is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and best-selling author of 4 titles including Parenting By Heart, Sleeping Like a Baby and Toddler Tactics (Penguin Random House), Pinky specializes in gentle parenting styles that honour mothers’ natural instincts to respond to their babies. Her books are endorsed by The Australian Breastfeeding Association and La Leche League International and recommended by The Australian Association of Infant Mental Health in their policy statement on Controlled Crying.

A sought after guest and keynote speaker at seminars for Health Professionals and parents, Pinky has spoken across Australia, New Zealand and the United states and has presented a popular Tedx talk, ‘Surrender is Not a Dirty Word’. Her reach extends worldwide through her books, e-programs, blogs and highly engaged facebook pages – Pinky McKay’s blogs, books, Baby Massage DVD, and ePrograms are available on her website


Cecilia Tomori
Cecilia Tomori

Cecilia Tomori is a Hungarian American anthropologist with postdoctoral training in public health. She is the author of “Nighttime Breastfeeding: An American Cultural Dilemma” (Berghahn, 2014) and a second book, with Aunchalee Palmquist and EA Quinn, “Breastfeeding: New Anthropological Approaches” (Routledge 2018). She is an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Durham University, U.K., specializing in research on breastfeeding and nighttime infant care in a comparative biocultural perspective.


Tracy Cassels
Tracy Cassels

Tracy is the founder of Evolutionary Parenting, a site dedicated to disseminating research surrounding parenting. She works one-on-one with individual families while also serving as Program Director for a local non-profit program for young, at-risk girls. Tracy obtained her BA in Cognitive Science at the University of California at Berkeley and her MA in Clinical


Dr Annie Gethin

Dr Anni Gethin is co-author of ‘Helping your baby to sleep: why gentle techniques work best’ - now in its 3rd edition. She also runs a research company, and works with not for profits to evaluate the impact of their programs. Anni lives in the Blue Mountains, NSW, with her 6 year old daughter (and has 3 adults sons).


6 L CERPS & 5 R CERPs. Midplus: 10.5 CPDs

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