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ABA Health Professional Seminar Series – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth

March 7, 2022 - March 12, 2022

LIVE PROGRAM – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth

Live Seminars: 7 to 12 March 2022 – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Perth

Recordings available as part of the Online Program 31 March 2022 to 30 May 2022

Live Seminars Registrations will automatically upgrade to the Online Program at no additional cost.


Registrations Open


Welcome and Introduction

8:45 am

Human milk, the early-life microbiome and life-long health

Dr Lisa Stinson, BSc MMedSci PhD

Though it was once considered sterile, we now understand that human milk contains a multitude of micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi. These act to seed the infant microbiome, which in turn influences infant immune and metabolic development and life-long health. Given the importance of the early-life microbiome in programming risk of non-communicable diseases, there is much research interest in the effect of breastfeeding on the infant microbiome. Beyond microbes, milk also contains a number of non-microbial components that modulate the infant microbiome. Collectively, the microbial and non-microbial aspects of human milk work together to set the trajectory of the early-life microbiome, thereby shaping life-long health.


Pregnant clients with diabetes? Supporting and encouraging breastfeeding pre and post-birth

Gemma MacDonald, BSc (Hons) Cert IV Breastfeeding Education (Counselling)

Women with diabetes in pregnancy are strongly encouraged to breastfeed. Metabolic changes associated with breastfeeding positively affect all types of diabetes. Benefits include improved type 1 diabetes (T1D) and type 2 diabetes (T2D) management and the significant reduction of future gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) risk. Moreover, longer duration and exclusive breastfeeding increase these benefits. This population is growing due to increasing GDM diagnoses and earlier diagnoses of T2D. However, women with diabetes in pregnancy are highly medicalised and often experience great stress.

Health professionals can support women with diabetes in pregnancy by adopting positive attitudes to breastfeeding. Additionally, compassion and empathy are important, as many find diabetes in pregnancy traumatic. Clinical interventions such as prenatal counselling, group consultation and person-centred care have shown promise. Referral to education programs that focus on perceived benefits, self-confidence, and overcoming breastfeeding problems can influence breastfeeding decisions. Looking to evidence-based research and providing reassurance are important factors in alleviating the fears of these mothers.


Morning Tea


Parents and infants facing distress, trauma, or loss: therapeutic interventions to support babies and parents overcome emotional adversity

Assoc Prof Campbell Paul, MBBS FRANZCP CertChAdolPsych

The human infant enters the world with an amazing set of capacities for interaction and engagement with its parents, as we see during breastfeeding. We are learning more about the infant’s capacity for intersubjectivity which allows for their reading and responding to parents’ voice, touch, face, physical holding, and the feeding situation. This capacity for mutual understanding, which includes reflective function, is the basis of a healthy infant-parent relationship. When parents are emotionally troubled, or the infant is born with medical problems or becomes ill, then this crucial infant-parent relationship can be disrupted. In the context of parental trauma, the baby’s mind and development may be impacted. This presentation discusses conceptual and practical ways of addressing the baby’s distress to strengthen the infant-parent relationship.


Lactation care after bereavement: how we can improve support for families following late miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal and infant death

Dr Debbie Noble-Carr, BSW PhD

Dr Katherine Carroll, BPhysio BA (Hons) PhD

Every day in Australia many mothers are faced with the complex task of managing the initial onset, or continuation, of their lactation following a late miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal or infant loss. This presentation explores findings from a multi-year, multi-site study conducted by the Australian National University. Following interviews with bereaved mothers and fathers and hospital-based health professionals, the study confirmed the limited nature and scope of lactation care currently available to bereaved families. Some bereaved mothers return home with little support and are uninformed of impending lactation or how to care for their breasts.

The presentation will provide evidence of the need and benefit of approaching lactation after infant death using a biopsychosocial care framework, so that bereaved families are able to make informed decisions from the full array of lactation management options that may be available. These include suppression, sustained expression, breastmilk donation or using milk as a memento. The challenges involved in providing bereaved lactation care will be acknowledged and discussed. Health professionals will be advised on what information and support bereaved families need and want, how and when this information may be best provided and who may be best placed to offer lactation care to bereaved families.




An approach to triaging and managing medication and vaccine uncertainty in breastfeeding

Dr Treasure McGuire, PhD BPharm BSc GradDipClinHospPharm GCHEd CertIV TAE FACP FPS MSHP

While postpartum mothers often require medication or vaccines, there is considerable maternal and health professional uncertainty regarding their use during breastfeeding. Uncertainty is acknowledged as an integral component of health and illness. It manifests when situations are ambiguous, complex, or unpredictable; when information is inadequate or inconsistent; and when people feel insecure in their own state of knowledge. As their infant’s primary nutritional source, breastfeeding mothers often express concern about medication risks to their infant or milk supply. Some are either advised or decide to discontinue breastfeeding to take specific medicines; others refuse to take needed medication. They are likely to have already received inconsistent information via the media, internet, CMI, health professionals, family or friends. Lack of reliable information often causes an overestimation of medication risk.

Not surprisingly, breastfeeding mothers, as caregivers, increasingly choose to seek information to support their medication decisions, beyond the traditional face-to-face encounter with a health practitioner. In response to societal and technological changes, personal health-seeking for decision-making has transformed as a coping or sense-making strategy when their medicines information needs are unmet or information is conflicting. To support breastfeeding and its benefits, this session will explore medication-related factors that can negatively impact on breastfeeding, information-seeking for decision-making, and strategies to improve triage and support of breastfeeding mothers who are medication or vaccine-hesitant.


Baby it’s cold outside: the effect of cold storage on the viable milk microbiome

Dr Lisa Stinson, BSc MMedSci  PhD

Expression and cold storage of human milk is a common practice. However, the effect of typical cold storage on the human milk microbiome is not well understood. We collected ten freshly expressed milk samples and divided each sample into 10 equal aliquots. Each aliquot was either processed immediately (fresh), or stored at 4⁰C for 4 days, -20⁰C for 2 months, -20⁰C for 6 months, or -80⁰C for 6 months. We analyzed the microbiome of these samples after each storage condition and found that cold storage altered the viable bacterial populations in expressed breast milk. Our findings suggest that infants fed cold stored milk may be exposed to a different profile of bacteria than those fed fresh milk; however, it remains to be determined whether this affects infant gut colonisation. This presentation examines how cold storage of human milk potentially impacts infant gut colonisation.


Closing Remarks

Speaker order and time schedule may change at the Live Seminars due to speaker commitments.


All views and opinions of the speakers are not necessarily the position held by the ABA. To view the ABA’s position statements, visit breastfeeding.asn.au.Speaker order and time schedule may change at the Live Seminars due to speaker commitments. To view our COVID-19 disclaimer, click here.

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March 7, 2022
March 12, 2022
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