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Nuggets from the 2019 ILCA Conference

ALCI President Sue Jameson attended The 2019 ILCA Conference in Atlanta in July and compiled these conference ‘nuggets’:


These are little ‘tit’ bits of information that I picked up while listening to sessions, or chatting with colleagues during meal times or between sessions.


  1. Getting Breastfeeding Right from the Start – Enhancing Maternal and Newborn Competence

Mother’s BMI affects staff behaviour.  Presenter: Catherine Watson Genna


This was an interesting finding from Kair L.R., Colaizy TT  whose objectives were to examine the extent to which a mother’s pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) category is associated with her exposure to pro-breastfeeding hospital practices. They found that mothers with a pre-pregnancy BMI >30 were less likely to initiate breastfeeding in the first hour, breastfeed exclusively, get breastfeeding support reference in the community on discharge and use a *pacifier more often than mothers with a BMI of less than 30.

CONCLUSIONS: Obesity stigma may be a determinant of breastfeeding outcomes for obese mothers. Breastfeeding support should be improved for this at-risk population.

*As it’s an American Study pacifier not soother is the word of choice.


  1. Twisted Babies – how foetal constraint impacts infant feeding. Presenter: Carole Gray

Looking at the engagement of the baby in the pelvis, Carol used the term ‘fixation‘ rather than ‘engagement’ and challenged us to not always see engagement as a good thing. She looked at how for the babies that are locked from early on can have a difficult journey down the birth canal and subsequently present with feeding issues brought about by prolonged fixation in utero.


  1. Optimizing Brain Development of Late Pre-term Infants. Presenter: Sandra Cole

Glucose uptake by the brain is disrupted at birth. As the Late-Preterm (LPT) Infant has a greater need for glucose to promote continuing rapid growth of its brain, the need for energy is therefore higher than in the term infant. So glucose is pulled from stored fat resulting in large weight loss, low blood sugar and poor temperature control.


Immaturity affects breastfeeding due to poor myelination of nerve cells, meaning poor transmission of signals to and from the brain.

Alterations in the brains of LPT Infants persist over many months and can be measured even years later.


Brumbaugh, J.E., et al. (2016).Altered Brain Function, Structure, and Developmental

Trajectory in Children Born Late Preterm. Pediatr Res. Aug:80(2):197-203.

Kelly, C.E., et al. (2016). Moderate and late preterm infants exhibit widespread brain

white matter microstructure alterations at term-equivalent age relative to term-born

controls. Brain Imaging Behav.Mar:10(1):41-9.

Walsh, J.M., Doyle, L.W., Anderson, P.J., Lee, K.J., and Cheong, J.L. (2014).

Moderate and Late Preterm Birth: Effect on Brain Size and Maturation at Term-Equivalent Age.










Further Reading


Presenting at the ILCA 2023 In-person Conference in Las Vegas:  A Personal Account


ILCA 2023 Conference Presentation: Building Policy Coalitions


WHO/Unicef Congress