Breastfeeding Now



As the pandemic continues with no clear end in sight, babies have kept on being born and families have been significantly affected by the secondary impacts of coronavirus on their lives and the services that support them. We must draw from the learning gained during the first waves of the pandemic and ensure that we do not have a ‘Baby Blindspot’ in 2022 – babies, young children and families need support now if we are to address inequalities and improve outcomes. There is no better place to start in giving every child the best start in life than by supporting effective breastfeeding.

We are delighted to launch the first of our focused half-day conferences - the event on 31st March 2022 will concentrate on the topic of breastfeeding. The programme brings together leading experts in contemporary breastfeeding practice to explore current ‘hot topics’ to improve the promotion and support of effective breastfeeding for all families. We are privileged to be joined by such eminent speakers, including: 

  • Professor Amy Brown - Professor of Child Public Health, Swansea University; Director of Swansea University LIFT research centre for Lactation, Infant Feeding and Translation; Author of “Covid-babies: How pandemic health measures undermined pregnancy, birth and early parenting”, “The positive breastfeeding book” and “Let’s talk about feeding your baby”, amongst other popular titles.
  • Associate Professor Dr. B.J. (Epstein) Woodstein, University of East Anglia - Expertise in LGBTQ+ studies and Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues; Breastfeeding counsellor (IBCLC) on the National Breastfeeding Helpline and peer supporter for Pregnancy Sickness Support. B.J. is also a trained doula and has written on the importance of supporting LGBTQ+ individuals/families with regard to breastfeeding. Her forthcoming book, "We’re Here! A Practical Guide to Becoming an LGBTQ+ Parent", demystifies queer parenting both for LGBTQ+ people and those who work with them.
  • Dr Alison Spiro – iHV Breastfeeding Professional Adviser; Specialist Health Visitor and Infant Feeding lead; Author of “Breastfeeding for public health”.
  • Gail Barker - Health Visitor Professional Lead for Devon Public Health Nursing; Infant Feeding lead for Devon’s innovative 3-tier ‘Latch and Attach’ service; and iHV Professional Adviser for Infant feeding.
  • Dr Natalie Shenker – Researcher and Co-founder of Hearts Milk Bank and the Human Milk Foundation.

Our successful online conference format allows you to enjoy the same benefits as our physical conferences, with some extra advantages. Avoid the cost of travel and join an online community of health visiting, maternity and early years workers focused on our shared ambition to improve the initiation and support of breastfeeding in the comfort of your own home or workplace. Explore high-quality content in detail and discuss challenges and opportunities live with experts. And if you're unable to join all of the sessions, you will have the opportunity to catch up later and work through the sessions again afterwards on demand at your own pace.

Aims of conference

  • To highlight the latest thinking, evidence and practice innovations in the field of breastfeeding initiation and support. 
  • To present examples of health visiting best practice as part of an integrated place-based system of breastfeeding support to improve outcomes and reduce inequalities for infants and their families, from universal to specialist intervention.
  • To bring together a multi-professional group of practitioners and experts from across health visiting, maternity and the early years workforce with a shared ambition to improve breastfeeding and support every baby to achieve the best start in life.
  • As well as hearing from experts, the half-day conference allows time for delegates to engage in live Q & A sessions with the keynote speakers and learn from colleagues through discussions on challenges and opportunities in current practice. 
  • To support continuous professional development and gain CPD points for revalidation.


Alison Morton - Executive Director, Institute of Health Visiting



Delegates will explore


The importance of breastfeeding and breastmilk for lifelong population health, and the role of health visiting as part of an infrastructure of highly skilled support in improving breastfeeding and tackling health inequalities.

How the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on breastfeeding support is being managed, learning from rapid service adaptations and innovations, and recovery plans to embed best practice.

How to support breastfeeding LGTBQ+ families: What does it mean to support LGBTQ+ people as a health visitor? What are their particular needs? How can you best serve them?

Who should attend/watch


This conference is the must-attend event in 2022 for those interested in evidence-based breastfeeding support, health visiting and public health. The topics covered will support you in your work to support families with breastfeeding. 

Suitable for: Health Visitors, Specialist Practitioners/Infant Feeding Leads, Midwives, Maternity Support Workers, Community Nursery Nurses, Local Authority Commisioners/ Employers and Third Sector Organisations.

Why is CPD in healthcare important

Continuous Professional Development has the potential to deliver a high return on investment. 'It offers staff career progression that motivates them to stay and, just as importantly, equips them with the skills to operate at advanced levels of professional practice and to meet patients' need of the future'. NHS, Long Term Plan, 2019.