Sharing human milk: challenging regulatory regimes for infant feeding in Australia

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Human milk in suburban freezers is shared by mothers through communities, milk banks and international trade, raising concerns about safety, medical ethics, gendered exploitation and emerging commercial interests. Using Australia as a case study, Libby's thesis investigates the regulation of human milk sharing as a complex problem in public health nutrition. A regulatory perspective reveals multiple lines of legitimacy, resistance and empowerment in infant feeding, and pathways to shift the focus of regulation from products to relational processes that strengthen biocultural systems of breastfeeding.

This seminar is Libby's final presentation of her doctoral candidature.

About the Speaker

Libby Salmon is a PhD candidate at the Menzies Centre for Health Governance at RegNet ANU, to research regulatory regimes affecting women's food production for infants through breastfeeding, and the contribution of human milk sharing to nutrition policy in Australia. With a background in veterinary science and agricultural systems, Libby has worked on studies of breastfeeding and childcare and evidence reviews of policy and marketing of breast milk substitutes and baby foods for government and civil society groups. Libby is a member of the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (Australia) and a breastfeeding counsellor with the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

COVID protocols

  • Please do not attend this event if you feel unwell, are awaiting the results of a test or are required to self-isolate/quarantine. The ANU's COVID Safety advice can be accessed here.
  • The ANU will continue to require that masks be worn indoors for the foreseeable future, except when eating or drinking.
  • Attendees are encouraged to use hand sanitiser and the Check in CBR app at the entrance to the building.
  • Please maintain good social hygiene by staying 1.5m apart from others and coughing/sneezing into elbows.

This seminar presentation will be in-person only.

Image credit: Image of sculpture of breastfeeding mother by 3dom at flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)