The Lactation After Loss Quilt: Commemoration, Agency and Advocacy

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Please join researchers Katherine Carroll, Debbie Noble-Carr, Lucy Irvine and Rebecca Mayo to celebrate and reflect upon their collaborative research project, The Lactation After Loss Quilt: Commemoration, Agency and Advocacy. 

The Lactation After Loss quilt will be an important device in workshops with health care professionals to prompt reflection and action upon lactation care delivery for parents bereaved by stillbirth and infant death. 

Our Australian Research Council funded project has identified comprehensive lactation care after loss as a gap in health care information, delivery, and in health professional education. The commemorative lactation after loss quilt is designed to open dialogue, bear witness and break down taboos.

Discarded breast milk has been used to enhance the colours of plant dyes used to make the quilt, making breast milk visible and reflecting the value bereaved parents attributed to breastmilk after loss. The voices of bereaved parents are revealed through a patchwork of colours that speak of these parents' complex and varied experiences of loss and the care they require. 

This project is a collaboration between the ANU School of Sociology & ANU School of Art & Design.