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International Breastfeeding Journal

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Call for Papers - Breastfeeding in Public thematic series

The importance of increasing breastfeeding parents’ freedom to breastfeed in public in order to ensure breastfeeding rates are improved and maintained has been widely acknowledged. While research has been conducted on the barriers and opportunities to initiate breastfeeding, little work has focused on the experience of breastfeeding beyond the first few months, after which the ability to breastfeed in public is crucial to the success of breastfeeding overall. Since Cindy Stearns’ groundbreaking interview study of breastfeeding in public in 1999, there has been little qualitative research targeted at understanding the experience of this activity.

Guest edited by Petra Bueskens (University of Melbourne), Sally Dowling (University of the West of England), and Fiona Giles (University of Sydney), this thematic series will showcase work from a variety of disciplinary perspectives and engage a range of methods to illuminate the state of play regarding this important and neglected aspect of motherwork.

As Penny Van Esterik has written, researchers need to focus on "the activity of breastfeeding, rather than its determinants and consequences" and collect "women’s stories about their breastfeeding experiences [so that they] can be treated as evidence, not anecdote." Our aim is for this collection to take up this challenge.

The following topics will be considered: Breastfeeding in public places; Breastfeeding at work; Breastfeeding in private; Breastfeeding and affect; Breastfeeding practices and politics; Discourses of breastfeeding ; Breastfeeding in popular culture; Media coverage of breastfeeding in public controversies; Breastfeeding and feminism; Transgender and intersex feeding practices; Non-standard breastfeeding practices; The politics of pumping; The public health implications of discouraging breastfeeding in public; Health effects on breastfeeding women discouraged from breastfeeding in public; Mental health implications of breastfeeding controversies; and other areas.

Timeline: Please send an abstract of 250 words (maximum) by 30 November 2017 to 



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Lisa Amir

Editor's profile

Associate Professor Lisa Amir (MBBS MMed PhD IBCLC FABM FILCA) is a general practitioner and has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 1989. She works in breastfeeding medicine at The Royal Women's Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, and in private practice. She is a Principal Research Fellow at the Judith Lumley Centre (formerly Mother & Child Health Research), La Trobe University and is Editor-in-Chief of open access journal, International Breastfeeding Journal.

Featured commentary: Probiotics and mastitis: evidence-based marketing?

Probiotics are defined as live micro-organisms, which when administered in adequate amounts, confer health benefits on the host. Scientists have isolated various strains of Lactobacilli from human milk, and the presence of these organisms is thought to be protective against breast infections, or mastitis. Although trials of probiotics to prevent mastitis in breastfeeding women are still in progress, health professionals in Australia are receiving marketing of these products. Is there sufficient evidence to prove the effectiveness of probiotics and promote them commercially for the treatment of mastitis?

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Aims and scope

Breastfeeding is recognized as an important public health issue with enormous social and economic implications. Infants who do not receive breast milk are likely to experience poorer health outcomes than breastfed infants; mothers who do not breastfeed increase their own health risks.

Publications on the topic of breastfeeding are wide ranging. Articles about breastfeeding are currently published in nursing, midwifery, paediatric, obstetric, family medicine, public health, immunology, physiology, sociology and many other general journals. In addition, electronic publishing allows fast publication time for authors and Open Access ensures the journal is easily accessible to readers.

International Breastfeeding Journal encompasses all aspects of breastfeeding. The journal addresses the need for a high quality multi-disciplinary journal in the field.

In order to help women breastfeed successfully, there is a need to understand both the physiology of lactation and the social and cultural context within which breastfeeding occurs. The journal addresses all of these aspects, including identifying women who are at increased risk of not breastfeeding; the impediments to breastfeeding and the health effects of not breastfeeding for infants and their mothers; interventions to increase breastfeeding initiation and duration; and the management of breastfeeding problems.

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