Nutrition and Nurture in Infancy and Childhood: Bio-Cultural Perspectives Conference

This is an international, interdisciplinary conference being held in June, in Cumbria.  I submitted a abstract in the hope of a poster submission, I am very pleased that my submission was accepted.  I shall be presenting on Tuesday 11th June 2013.

Attached is my abstract.



The Breastfeeding Network

It was interesting to experience the breastfeeding network support first hand.  I am fortunate in that I live in an area where the Breastfeeding Network is well funded.  I received weekly visits and not to mention gift incentives, which I don’t mind saying were welcome.  They were a nice treat for a mother when all the attention is so much on the new baby, yet you are feeding every two hours, up all night, swollen and sore, being covered in puke, poop and wee and repeat…

If you remain open to the guidance and help, it is invaluable.  Indeed I required both, my interest and research in breastfeeding and experience of having done it before makes me by no means a practical expert or even competent.  It was difficult.  My advantage was knowing that it was possible to come out the other side and worth it.

The main difficulty is translating their knowledge into your own action.  Reading it, being shown it with a doll and knitted boob, seeing pictures still cannot substitute the visual reality of breastfeeding.  However, the best piece of advice I think that I was given this time was, to remember, every baby is different.  Lavinia never opened her mouth in the way required, by which point I had already forgotten my own advice and morals of an over technicalised approach, it was a peer supporter who had to remind me to pull out of this panic.

I have  turned to the breastfeeding network several times and helped through.  Having someone to turn to and reassure you, at this vulnerable time,  really is half of the battle.  It is only a shame that this peer support does not come naturally in the form of  established surrounding society.

Thanks BfN

Baby Friendly and Beyond Conference

Monday 12th November

My large breastfeeding image featured at this conference.

I was glad to get the opportunity to show this image again.  Best of all within the relevant circles such as this, this repetition I hope will begin to get attention.  And therefore their consideration.


“The Journey to Baby Friendly and Beyond” – it was very interesting to be learn of the measures taken by the authorities to understand and encourage healthy infant feeding practices.

Professor Helen Ball, Parent-Infant Sleep Lab, Anthropology, Durham University, UK.  Professor Ball gave an extremely informative and interesting presentation, referring to wider cultural practices and understandings.

“Tackling Unsafe Sleep In Infants” – This was fascinating although I did not anticipate the difficulty I would have emotionally and found myself gripping my own 2 week newborn tighter and tighter.  It also made me even more so paranoid, however, at least I was left with a more educated paranoia.

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