Online Seminars

Access all 6 recordings from the Live Seminars as well as these 5 pre-recorded presentations.

Online Program is available to view 31 March 2022 to 31 May 2022.

Selling Second Best  

Marketing breast-milk substitutes in a digital world: implications for policy, advocacy and practice

Dr Nina Chad, PhD BA/BEd(Hons1) GradDipArts(Phil) CertIV TAE40110 CertIV 10280NAT

Digital marketing of breast-milk substitutes is ubiquitous and effective. Digital platforms enable companies to promote breast-milk substitutes using innovative strategies that were not envisioned when the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes was adopted by the Thirty Fourth World Health Assembly in 1981. Digital ecosystems enable advertisers to target pregnant women and mothers with remarkable accuracy, respond in real-time to women and mothers’ concerns, and use influencers to disguise and amplify promotional content. They enlist health professionals by embedding promotional content in ‘educational’ content and use social media communities to generate endorsements from friends, family, and trusted authority figures. These low-cost strategies are known to generate brand loyalty and increase sales. Many of these techniques are invisible to consumers and challenging for regulators to monitor. National legislation may be evaded by marketing that originates outside a regulating jurisdiction. Strengthened legislation and new strategies will be required to protect breastfeeding and safeguard the health of mothers and babies.

Recognising and responding to family violence disclosures from pregnant, new and breastfeeding mothers

Brianna Myors, BPubHealth&HealthProm

Program Manager, Primary Prevention & Education – Eastern Domestic Violence Service (EDVOS)

Gina Kennard, DipECEC DipCD GradCert Client Assessment and Case Management

Program Manager, Case Management & Relationship Lead – Eastern Domestic Violence Service (EDVOS)

Pregnancy and the early years of motherhood are periods when women are at greater risk of experiencing family violence. Research shows that family violence often begins or intensifies during pregnancy and is associated with increased rates of miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, foetal injury and foetal death. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Personal Safety Survey showed thirty-six per cent of women over the age of 18 have experienced physical or sexual violence by a known perpetrator since the age of 15 (n = 3,106,500). Of those women, 22% experienced physical violence during pregnancy by a current partner and 25% have experienced violence during pregnancy from a previous partner. Of those who experienced violence during pregnancy by a previous partner, 25% indicated that the violence first occurred during pregnancy. Family violence during pregnancy is regarded as a significant indicator of future harm to the woman and her child. The prevalence of family violence in pregnancy and early motherhood, including the breastfeeding period, shows that professionals working in perinatal and postnatal services play a critical role in early intervention, by identifying family violence and referring appropriately. This presentation will unpack family violence during pregnancy and post-birth and build professionals’ capacity and confidence to help pregnant, new and breastfeeding mothers experiencing family violence.

Infant mental health in the newborn period with families from culturally diverse communities: meeting and engaging with the baby as a person.

Assoc. Professor Campbell Paul, MBBS FRANZCP CertChAdolPsych

The world is experiencing a global pandemic and there are unprecedented numbers of refugees across the world. Within our own country, the children and families of First Nations communities are still experiencing the impacts of years of inhumane and misdirected social policies which have seen the removal of children from their families. For the human infant, the first months of life constitute a period of rapid brain growth and associated development. This developmental process depends on the availability of parents or carers who have the mind-mindedness to understand and respond to their babies. Those in health services who are supporting babies and their parents have a critical opportunity to address trauma and support the baby’s development. There are many infant mental health interventions available to address parent and infant trauma. One such intervention is the Newborn Behavioural Observation (Nugent et al. 2007) with which the practitioner engages with the amazingly responsive baby and their parents to build or strengthen the reciprocal relationship. We have much to learn from Australian Aboriginal communities about the impact of deep intergenerational trauma and creative ways of supporting parents and babies to build secure attachment relationships. Babies have an amazing capacity for play and social interaction from their very beginning and this is clear in the intimacy of the breastfeeding and parent-infant relationship.

The meaning of milk in mothers’ mourning:  experiences of lactation after infant death

Dr Debbie Noble-Carr, BSW PhD

Dr Katherine Carroll, BPhysio BA (Hons) PhD

Bereaved parents’ lactation experiences and decision-making are highly influenced by health professionals following a stillbirth and/or infant death. Like most people, many health professionals have a limited understanding of the personal meanings that lactation and breastmilk hold for bereaved parents. To contest the silences and assumptions that currently shroud this issue, this presentation will share the findings from a three-year qualitative research project investigating bereaved parents’ lactation and milk donation experiences. 

The presentation will give voice to the deeply embodied, diverse and intimate lived experience of lactation after stillbirth and infant death. Drawing on the words of bereaved parents, it reveals how lactation and breastmilk hold various, often ambiguous, meanings to parents that may be related to their lasting connection with their infant and motherhood. Rather than treating milk as ‘waste’, bereaved parents often attributed value to, and sought purposeful uses for their breastmilk. For some, the act of pumping and donating milk provided significant purpose and meaning at times of overwhelming grief. In exploring the variable experience of lactation and milk post-loss, this presentation provides attendees with the tools to identify and critically contest the current silences and assumptions that inform bereaved lactation care healthcare policies and practices.

Scaffolding success – effective provision of breastfeeding education and support

Dr Susan Tawia, BSc PhD Dip Breastfeeding Mgmt Cert IV Breastfeeding ED (Community) 

It is well known that women who are knowledgeable about breastfeeding and confident about their ability to breastfeed have better breastfeeding outcomes. Similarly, peer counselling or mother-to-mother support has also been shown to improve breastfeeding outcomes. 

Research by the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) has shown that, in the Australian context, modifiable factors that positively influence breastfeeding outcomes include knowledge of and strong motivation to breastfeed, partner and peer support and positive attitudes to breastfeeding at work and breastfeeding in public. 

ABA education services (Breastfeeding Education classes [BECs] and online Breastfeeding Education Live sessions [BELs]) provide opportunities for pregnant women (and their partners and support people) to learn about breastfeeding – significantly improving their knowledge of breastfeeding and gaining confidence in their ability to breastfeed. 

ABA support services (the National Breastfeeding Helpline and LiveChat) provide information and counselling to breastfeeding mothers who subsequently feel reassured, less stressed and less worried, more confident and knowledgeable about breastfeeding and more determined to continue breastfeeding. 

This presentation will outline the ABA education and support services offered to pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and their partners and support people including BECs and BELs, and the National Breastfeeding Helpline and LiveChat. Data will be presented which shows the effectiveness of these services in regard to improving women’s knowledge about breastfeeding and confidence and determination to breastfeed.

** All views and opinions of the speakers are not necessarily the position held by the ABA. To view the ABA’s position statements, visit