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1.  Milk sharing and formula feeding: Infant feeding risks in comparative perspective? 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2012;5(5):275-283.
The advent of Internet forums that facilitate peer-to-peer human milk sharing has resulted in health authorities stating that sharing human milk is dangerous. There are risks associated with all forms of infant feeding, including breastfeeding and the use of manufactured infant formulas. However, health authorities do not warn against using formula or breastfeeding; they provide guidance on how to manage risk. Cultural distaste for sharing human milk, not evidenced-based research, supports these official warnings. Regulating bodies should conduct research and disseminate information about how to mitigate possible risks of sharing human milk, rather than proscribe the practice outright.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2012.1222
PMCID: PMC3395287  PMID: 22848324
Infant formula; breast milk; health policy; wet nursing; food contamination
2.  Emergency preparedness for those who care for infants in developed country contexts 
Emergency management organisations recognise the vulnerability of infants in emergencies, even in developed countries. However, thus far, those who care for infants have not been provided with detailed information on what emergency preparedness entails. Emergency management authorities should provide those who care for infants with accurate and detailed information on the supplies necessary to care for them in an emergency, distinguishing between the needs of breastfed infants and the needs of formula fed infants. Those who care for formula fed infants should be provided with detailed information on the supplies necessary for an emergency preparedness kit and with information on how to prepare formula feeds in an emergency. An emergency preparedness kit for exclusively breastfed infants should include 100 nappies and 200 nappy wipes. The contents of an emergency preparedness for formula fed infants will vary depending upon whether ready-to-use liquid infant formula or powdered infant formula is used. If ready-to-use liquid infant formula is used, an emergency kit should include: 56 serves of ready-to-use liquid infant formula, 84 L water, storage container, metal knife, small bowl, 56 feeding bottles and teats/cups, 56 zip-lock plastic bags, 220 paper towels, detergent, 120 antiseptic wipes, 100 nappies and 200 nappy wipes. If powdered infant formula is used, an emergency preparedness kit should include: two 900 g tins powdered infant formula, 170 L drinking water, storage container, large cooking pot with lid, kettle, gas stove, box of matches/lighter, 14 kg liquid petroleum gas, measuring container, metal knife, metal tongs, feeding cup, 300 large sheets paper towel, detergent, 100 nappies and 200 nappy wipes. Great care with regards hygiene should be taken in the preparation of formula feeds. Child protection organisations should ensure that foster carers responsible for infants have the resources necessary to formula feed in the event of an emergency. Exclusive and continued breastfeeding should be promoted as an emergency preparedness activity by emergency management organisations as well as health authorities. The greater the proportion of infants exclusively breastfed when an emergency occurs, the more resilient the community, and the easier it will be to provide effective aid to the caregivers of formula fed infants.
doi:10.1186/1746-4358-6-16
PMCID: PMC3225303  PMID: 22059481
disasters; emergencies; infant formula; artificial feeding; breastfeeding; emergency preparedness
3.  Ten steps or climbing a mountain: A study of Australian health professionals' perceptions of implementing the baby friendly health initiative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding 
Background
The Baby Friendly Hospital (Health) Initiative (BFHI) is a global initiative aimed at protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding and is based on the ten steps to successful breastfeeding. Worldwide, over 20,000 health facilities have attained BFHI accreditation but only 77 Australian hospitals (approximately 23%) have received accreditation. Few studies have investigated the factors that facilitate or hinder implementation of BFHI but it is acknowledged this is a major undertaking requiring strategic planning and change management throughout an institution. This paper examines the perceptions of BFHI held by midwives and nurses working in one Area Health Service in NSW, Australia.
Methods
The study used an interpretive, qualitative approach. A total of 132 health professionals, working across four maternity units, two neonatal intensive care units and related community services, participated in 10 focus groups. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Results
Three main themes were identified: 'Belief and Commitment'; 'Interpreting BFHI' and 'Climbing a Mountain'. Participants considered the BFHI implementation a high priority; an essential set of practices that would have positive benefits for babies and mothers both locally and globally as well as for health professionals. It was considered achievable but would take commitment and hard work to overcome the numerous challenges including a number of organisational constraints. There were, however, differing interpretations of what was required to attain BFHI accreditation with the potential that misinterpretation could hinder implementation. A model described by Greenhalgh and colleagues on adoption of innovation is drawn on to interpret the findings.
Conclusion
Despite strong support for BFHI, the principles of this global strategy are interpreted differently by health professionals and further education and accurate information is required. It may be that the current processes used to disseminate and implement BFHI need to be reviewed. The findings suggest that there is a contradiction between the broad philosophical stance and best practice approach of this global strategy and the tendency for health professionals to focus on the ten steps as a set of tasks or a checklist to be accomplished. The perceived procedural approach to implementation may be contributing to lower rates of breastfeeding continuation.
doi:10.1186/1472-6963-11-208
PMCID: PMC3181202  PMID: 21878131
Baby Friendly Health Initiative; breastfeeding; midwifery; health services research; dissemination of innovation; translational research
4.  Milk sharing: from private practice to public pursuit 
After only six months, a commerce-free internet-based milk-sharing model is operating in nearly 50 countries, connecting mothers who are able to donate breast milk with the caregivers of babies who need breast milk. Some public health authorities have condemned this initiative out of hand. Although women have always shared their milk, in many settings infant formula has become the "obvious" alternative to a mother's own milk. Yet an internationally endorsed recommendation supports mother-to-mother milk sharing as the best option in place of a birth mother's milk. Why then this rejection? Several possibilities come to mind: 1) ignorance and prejudice surrounding shared breast milk; 2) a perceived challenge to the medical establishment of a system where mothers exercise independent control; and 3) concern that mother-to-mother milk sharing threatens donor milk banks. We are not saying that milk sharing is risk-free or that the internet is an ideal platform for promoting it. Rather, we are encouraging health authorities to examine this initiative closely, determine what is happening, and provide resources to make mother-to-mother milk sharing as safe as possible. Health authorities readily concede that life is fraught with risk; accordingly, they promote risk-reduction and harm-minimisation strategies. Why should it be any different for babies lacking their own mothers' milk? The more that is known about the risks of substituting for breast milk, the more reasonable parental choice to use donor milk becomes. We believe that the level of intrinsic risk is manageable through informed sharing. If undertaken, managed and evaluated appropriately, this made-by-mothers model shows considerable potential for expanding the world's supply of human milk and improving the health of children.
doi:10.1186/1746-4358-6-8
PMCID: PMC3151205  PMID: 21702986
5.  Mental health, attachment and breastfeeding: implications for adopted children and their mothers 
Breastfeeding an adopted child has previously been discussed as something that is nice to do but without potential for significant benefit. This paper reviews the evidence in physiological and behavioural research, that breastfeeding can play a significant role in developing the attachment relationship between child and mother. As illustrated in the case studies presented, in instances of adoption and particularly where the child has experienced abuse or neglect, the impact of breastfeeding can be considerable. Breastfeeding may assist attachment development via the provision of regular intimate interaction between mother and child; the calming, relaxing and analgesic impact of breastfeeding on children; and the stress relieving and maternal sensitivity promoting influence of breastfeeding on mothers. The impact of breastfeeding as observed in cases of adoption has applicability to all breastfeeding situations, but may be especially relevant to other at risk dyads, such as those families with a history of intergenerational relationship trauma; this deserves further investigation.
doi:10.1186/1746-4358-1-5
PMCID: PMC1459116  PMID: 16722597

Results 1-5 (5)