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ABA health professional seminar series - 2024 programs

Live seminars

The 2024 Annual Health Professional Seminar Series - Breastfeeding: nurturing, nutrition, has now ended. Thank you to everyone who attended. We hope to see you again next year.

Stay tuned for 2025 program information!


Recordings available as part of the online program - 31 March 2024 to 31 May 2024.

Live seminar registrations will automatically upgrade to the online program at no additional cost.

Conferences and seminars

7.45 am

Registrations open

8.30 am

Welcome and introduction

8.45 am

Is the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes still relevant? 

Dr Nina Chad

WHO has been calling on governments to ban the promotion of infant formula and some other infant feeding products for more than 40 years. This presentation will describe the provisions of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, discuss the rationale for implementing the Code, and identify the duties it confers on health professionals, healthcare systems and governments. In addition to this, the controversy that seems to centre around the recommendation that, from 6 months, if an infant is fed a milk other than breastmilk, there is no evidence that infant formula has any benefit over fresh (boiled or pasteurised) animal milk, will also be reviewed.

Learning outcomes: *

  • Describe the aim and scope of the Code.

  • List the responsibilities of health professionals, health care systems and governments.

  • Identify credible sources of information about infant milks.

  • Describe updates to the WHO Guidelines on Complementary Feeding.

  • Justify WHO Complementary Feeding Guidelines using published evidence.

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

9.45 am

Real foods in the first 1000 days for mums and babies. Are commercial products impacting nutrition choices and status?

Evelyn Volders

There is an enormous range of products marketed to mothers and infants with claims of wonderful impacts. These include those for improving breastmilk supply, infant formula in ever expanding numbers, multivitamin supplements and packaged infant and toddler foods. This presentation will examine some of these products and explore considerations for use, the nutritional value they might add and other consequences. 

Learning outcomes: *

  • Explore nutritional value of food products targeting mothers and infant
  • Consider developmental and environmental aspects of use of commercial products targeting mothers and infants
  • Determine which situations to recommend use of commercial products.

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

10.45 am

Morning tea

11.15 am

STIs: what you need to know about the impact of STIs on breastfeeding

Dr Treasure McGuire

About 16% of Australians will experience a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Some STIs can pass from mother to baby during pregnancy and breastfeeding, potentially causing premature labour, uterine infection, fetal or infant harm. This presentation will outline the impact of common STIs on the pregnant or breastfeeding woman and her baby, treatment risks, and strategies for prevention or risk reduction.

Learning outcomes: *

  • Describe the epidemiology & impact of STIs on pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Explain the antimicrobials and management approach used in the treatment of common STIs. 
  • Discuss antibiotic risk versus benefit in STI management during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

12.15 pm

Sifting through the breastfeeding kit and caboodle

Maddie O'Connor

Today’s consumerist and influencer driven society exposes pregnant women and their families to an overwhelming amount of infant feeding and breastfeeding related marketing. The market of the 'new parent' is significant, and vulnerable to these influences. As health professionals, understanding the extent and use of the products available to new parents enables us to better provide women with quality evidence-based breastfeeding information. This presentation sifts through the vast variety of products on the market so we can encourage families to use them (or not!) without disrupting their breastfeeding goals.

Learning outcomes: *

  • Identify the benefits and negatives of using breastfeeding equipment and its impact on a breastfeeding dyad 
  • Assist parents in their use of products they have purchased to achieve better outcomes 
  • Approach this generation with a better understanding of their desires in relation to feeding and parenting

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

1.15 pm


2.15 pm

Vaping and smoking: exposure and harm minimisation for breastfeeding women and their carers

Dr Treasure McGuire

Up to 5% of breastfeeding women are exposed to nicotine and cannabis from e-cigarettes and vaping. These lipophilic drugs passage extensively into breastmilk and via second-hand smoke, with effects across the first 1000 days of life. Those caring for regular users can also inadvertently be exposed. This presentation will explore the drug and dose form risks and provide strategies for harm minimisation.

Learning outcomes: *

  • Describe the recreational use of nicotine, cannabis and their dose forms by breastfeeding women.
  • Identify safety considerations for the breastfeeding mother and infant from inhaled nicotine and cannabis.
  • Describe the impact of secondary vapour on those caring for the mother or infant.
  • Develop realistic strategies around harm minimisation.

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

3.15 pm

Competency verification for health professionals: BFHI Step 2 in action

Dr Nina Chad

Implementing the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding is a critical dimension of providing quality of care in maternity services. Step Two recognises that maternity facilities must ensure that health professionals have the knowledge, competence and skills they need to support breastfeeding in maternity facilities. This presentation will describe the BFHI competencies and explores tools and strategies for competency verification.

Learning outcomes: *

  • Recognise the difference between providing training and verifying competencies. 
  • Describe competencies required for supporting breastfeeding in maternity services.
  • Locate competency verification tools for use in implementing BFHI Step Two.

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

4.15 pm

Closing remarks


PLEASE NOTE: ABA reserves the right to change the program and speakers if they are unavailable due to illness, injury or unforeseen circumstances and events. All views and opinions of the speakers are not necessarily the position held by ABA. 

Registrations open in November

Online program

Access all 6 recordings from the live seminars as well as these 5 pre-recorded presentations. 

Online program is available to view - 31 March 2024 to 31 May 2024. 

HP seminars 2024: a photo of a mother and baby breastfeeding

Dr Karleen Gribble

What needs to be done to protect babies and toddlers in disasters? 

Babies and toddlers and their parents are vulnerable in disasters and in need of support. However, Australia has lacked research, planning and resources to assist them. This presentation will report findings from ABA’s Babies and Young Children in the Black Summer Study (BiBS) which shows for the first time what it is like to care for a very young child during an Australian emergency. It will describe the interventions needed to support babies, toddlers and their mothers in disasters and share resources developed as a part of ABA’s Bushfire Project.

Learning outcomes: *

  • Identify the main needs of mothers and other caregivers of babies and toddlers during emergencies 
  • Describe how emergencies impact breastfeeding 
  • Identify resources and interventions to support families with babies and toddlers during and after disasters 

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

Evelyn Volders

Introducing solids - a review

The recommendations about starting solids seem to change frequently. This presentation will review why the recommendations change, the reasons for starting solids, current evidence regarding food types and textures and prevention of allergies. Practical considerations for implementation in the workplace will be provided.

Learning outcomes: *

  • Explain the physiological and developmental reasons for introducing solid foods to infants at around 6 months of age
  • Review the nutritional reasons for including solid foods in the diet
  • Relate some of the practical aspects associated with the introduction of solid foods

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

Leila Chirgwin

Assisting clients with practical and emotional challenges experienced during stressful breastfeeding situations

This presentation explores working with clients encountering practical and emotional challenges during experiences such as inducing lactation, relactation, or other hurdles to establishing and or maintaining breastfeeding. Basic counselling skills needed when working with parents in these situations will be outlined. Advice that mothers have found helpful in assisting their breastfeeding journey will be discussed and how the grief of these situations affects their lives will be explored.

Learning outcomes: *

  • Develop an awareness of some of the practical and emotional challenges in stressful breastfeeding situations;
  • Acquire a knowledge of basic counselling skills to employ when working with parents in these situations;
  • Learn the value and importance of using empathy, validation, questioning skills, reframing, and phrasing suggestions to develop rapport and empower parental decision making;
  • Be able to test their skills in these areas;
  • Outline advice that mothers have found helpful to assist their breastfeeding journey.
  • Explore aspects of grief in the lives of new parents
  • Learn from the experiences of those who have induced lactation, relactated, had premature babies or babies who have had issues from birth and experienced other hurdles to their breastfeeding.

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

Dr Susan Tawia

Breastfeeding and optimal health outcomes for women

Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast and gynaecological cancers, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in women. Women have a right to know this and health professionals have a duty of care to inform women of this reduction in risk and enable them to breastfeed. Women who know about the reduction in risk for breast cancer, do indeed choose to breastfeed for longer.

Learning outcomes: *

  • Recognise that not breastfeeding or not breastfeeding according to the Australian breastfeeding guidelines negatively impacts the health outcomes of women.
  • Describe differences in the risk of developing cancer and chronic disease between women who breastfeed compared to those who introduce infant formula into their baby’s diet. 
  • Recognise that when women know that their risk of adverse health outcomes can be reduced by breastfeeding, they do in fact breastfeed for longer.

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

Emily Carrolan

Recognising effective breastfeeding support in childhood education and care settings

Active support of breastfeeding in an early childhood education and care (ECEC) setting is a fundamental aspect of supporting a breastfeeding mother’s transition back to the workplace. Research shows this is the time infants and their mothers are separated for the first time. Collaboration between ECEC educators and families is essential in developing multi-dimensional support working towards a shared goal of continued breastfeeding.

Learning outcomes:

  • Recognise the significance of appropriate support by early childhood education and care services for breastfeeding mothers.
  • Review the standards of care required for breastfed infants
  • Provide breastfeeding mothers and infant/s and or young children in ECEC services with appropriate information, resources and support.
  • Recognise the range of ABA support services available to breastfeeding women returning to work

*Learning outcomes can be used to apply for a range of professional development accreditation

Registrations now open

Approved by
Senior Manager Training and Education
Date approved