November 6, 2022

Invited speakers



Evgen Benedik

Evgen Benedik

Born in Kranj, Slovenia in 1986. 2005-2010: studied Food Science and Technology at the Biotechnical faculty of the University of Ljubljana (BF UL), 2010-2015: PhD in Biosciences, major in Nutrition (BF UL).

Employment: 2010-2015: junior researcher at the Division of Paediatrics at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana (UKCLJ), 2015-present: clinical dietician (UKCLJ); 2015-2018: teaching assistant with PhD in Nutrition (BF UL), 2018-present: Assistant Professor in Nutrition (BF UL).

Pedagogical work: elected Assistant Professor in Nutrition for the period 2018-2023. He teaches three subjects at BSc level, one at MSc level and one at PhD level at BF UL and two subjects at BSc level and one at MSc level at University of Maribor. He supervised 11 bachelors’ theses and 7 masters’ theses.

Research work: he has been involved in three research projects. The research work includes the study of the effects of human nutrition in the first 8000 days of life on longevity and the incidence of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

Bibliography: he published 41 scientific and professional papers and presented his work at numerous scientific and professional conferences (118). His complete bibliography can be found here.

Additionally: In 2016, he founded an Institute for Nutritional programming. In 2017, he became a member of the European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition. He organises the annual Simčič Symposium together with MSc nutrition students.


Vassiliki Benetou

Vassiliki (Vicky) Benetou is a Professor of Hygiene and Epidemiology at the

Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics at the School of Medicine at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) in Greece.

She is a registered Pediatrician. She earned a Master of Science Degree in

Epidemiology from Harvard School of Public Health and completed her PhD in

Epidemiology at Athens Medical School. She has been actively involved in many multi-centred European and national research projects in the field of public health and epidemiology. She is a member of the National Committee for Nutrition Policy and a core member of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Nutrition and Health in the Department of Hygiene, Epidemiology and Medical Statistics in NKUA. She is an associate Editor in the journals Public Health Nutrition, Nutrients and Frontiers in Reproductive Health.  

She has contributed to the development of the current Greek dietary guidelines for infants and children, pregnant and lactating women, adults and the elderly, as well as to the development of the Greek guidelines for the introduction of solid foods into infants’ diet. Her research interests are focused on nutritional epidemiology, chronic disease epidemiology and public health nutrition issues across the lifespan. She works actively for the protection and promotion of breastfeeding in Greece.

Nils Bergman

Nils Bergman

Dr Bergman graduated at the University of Cape Town, and has worked in South Africa, Ciskei and, Sweden, before working seven years as Medical Superintendent and District Medical Officer at Manama Mission, Zimbabwe. Here he, together with Midwife Agneta Jurisoo, developed and implemented Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for premature infants right from birth. This resulted in a five-fold improvement in survival of Very Low Birth Weight babies.  He introduced KMC to South Africa in 1995, and after 5 years, KMC became official policy for care of prematures in the hospitals of the Western Cape province. He has given keynote addresses on KMC at International Conferences in six continents, and published articles on a variety of subjects in medical journals. He now researches and promotes KMC fulltime.  He was for 6 years Senior Medical Superintendent of the Mowbray Maternity Hospital (7000 deliveries per year) and five Midwife Obstetric Units (11000 deliveries per year). Since 2005 Dr Bergman has been promoting KMC globally, as a Consulting Public Health Physician. He contributed to initiating the Gates funded WHO Immediate KMC Study, and was a Principal Investigator in the WHO Study group that conducted this RCT, published in May 2021. He has developed and published the underlying scientific rationale that explains the very unexpected findings of profoundly lowered mortality from immediate and continuous skin-to-skin contact to very low birth weight newborns, summarized as “nurturescience” with Zero Separation of mother and newborn.

Apart from his original degree, he holds a Diploma in Child Health, a Masters degree in Public Health, and a Doctoral degree in Clinical Pharmacology, on the effects of scorpion stings. He currently lives in Stockholm, Sweden, where he is also a Research Associate at the Karolinska Institute, Sweden. He is married to Jill, and father to Rebecka, Simon and Emma, and has four grandchildren.


Adriano Cattaneo

Adriano Cattaneo has worked for 20 years as Epidemiologist and Co-ordinator of the Unit for Health Services Research and International Health at the Institute for Maternal and Child Health “IRCCS Burlo Garofolo”, Trieste, Italy, a WHO Collaborating Centre for Maternal and Child Health. He holds an MD degree from the University of Padova and an MSc degree from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has spent most of his professional career in developing countries, including four years as a medical officer with the WHO in Geneva. He has authored more than 220 publications in scientific journals and books, more than 100 of which are in peer-reviewed journals. He is also a peer reviewer for more than 30 international journals. He is a member of the Italian Society of Epidemiology, of the Cultural Association of Paediatricians, and of IBFAN (International Baby Food Action Network) Italy. As project coordinator of two EU-funded projects, Adriano played an important role in the development of the document “Protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding in Europe: a Blueprint for Action”, revised in 2008, a tool tested and used for the development of national breastfeeding programmes. He retired in 2014.


Pamela Douglas

Pamela Douglas

Dr Pamela Douglas is an Australian GP, researcher, and breastfeeding medicine physician who first qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 1994. She is affiliated with Griffith University (Associate Professor Adjunct) and The University of Queensland. Pam, with various teams, has published over 30 international research publications which develop the evidence base to the programs known as Neuroprotective Developmental Care (NDC or ‘the Possums programs’) NDC synthesises the research about breastfeeding, infant sleep, cry-fuss problems and parent mood through the lens of evolutionary biology and complexity science, with breastfeeding at the foundations. NDC offers doctors advanced and evidence-based skills in clinical breastfeeding support, which avoids unnecessary medications, surgery, exercises and aids. The programs are available for parents, with online peer support, at Pam’s bestselling The discontented little baby book translates the NDC work into stories and support for parents.



Anne Eglash

Anne Eglash

Anne Eglash MD, IBCLC, FABM, is a clinical professor with the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, in the Department of Family and Community Medicine.  In addition to family medicine, she has been practicing breastfeeding medicine since 1994.

Dr. Eglash is a cofounder of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, the Medical Director and cofounder of the Mothers’ Milk Bank of the Western Great Lakes, and the Medical Director of the University of Wisconsin Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine Clinic. She has published many peer- reviewed articles on breastfeeding medicine and had been an associate editor for Breastfeeding Medicine Journal.

Dr. Eglash is founder and president of The Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding and Lactation Education (IABLE), as well as a cofounder and the inaugural president of the North American Board of Breastfeeding and Lactation Medicine.


Helen Gray

Helen Gray

Helen Gray MPhil IBCLC is Joint Coordinator of the UK Steering Group of the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi). In 2017 she and Clare Meynell IBCLC jointly received the Award for Outstanding Contribution to Breastfeeding from the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (LCGB), for leading the UK’s first WBTi assessment of infant feeding policies and programmes. Helen is an international speaker on ethics and conflicts of interest. She represents La Leche League of Great Britain on the UK Baby Feeding Law Group, which works to bring the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes into UK law. She is also Policy and Advocacy Lead for Lactation Consultants of Great Britain, and previously co-chaired LCGB’s Communications Team. Helen’s background in anthropology and human evolution has influenced her interest in how breastfeeding, and the way we nurture our babies, are influenced by both human biology and culture. Her current advocacy focus is the need for strong policies to protect infant feeding in emergencies. She has written several articles and chapters on the subject and served on the Advisory Panel for a London Food Resilience research project. In her spare time, she can be found sculling on the River Thames.


Tomas Hale

Tomas Hale

Dr. Hale is University Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics and Assistant Dean of Research at Texas Tech University School of Medicine.  He is the founder and director of the InfantRisk Center,  a national call center for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers.  He holds degrees in Pharmacy and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology and Toxicology and is widely experienced in Pediatric and Breastfeeding Clinical Pharmacology. He is a well-known international lecturer in the pharmacology of lactation and is the author of five books including:  Medications and Mothers’ Milk.  Dr. Hale was recently promoted to the highest professorship in the University,   the Grover Murray Professorship.

Maria-Teresa Hernández-Aguilar

Maria-Teresa Hernández-Aguilar

Dr. Maria-Teresa Hernández-Aguilar, is a medical doctor and pediatrician from Spain. She holds a PhD in Medicine with a Thesis on lactation. She was a Fulbright Grantee and obtained her Master’s degree in Public Health and Nutrition from the School of Public Health, Berkeley, UCalifornia. She is an IBCLC, and fellow of the ABM where she sits at the board of directors since 2021. She chaired the breastfeeding committee of the Spanish Pediatric Association and was the national coordinator of the BFHI in Spain for 10 years. She is presently the international delegate for IHAN Spain (the ONG that leads the BFHI in Spain) and the Chair of the BFHI Network since 2021. She has been director and member of scientific, and organizing committees of several national and international breastfeeding conferences. She has been a speaker at multiple national (in Spain) and international conferences. She has authored many scientific articles and book chapters in Spanish and English. She has organized, directed and participated in many pre and in-service breastfeeding training activities for healthcare professionals and she has mentored midwives, family medicine and pediatric residents for more than 20 years. She founded the first breastfeeding clinical unit in the public healthcare system in a university Hospital in Valencia, Spain, 10 years ago where she presently works. 


Ann Kellams

Ann Kellams

Dr. Ann Kellams is a Professor of Pediatrics and Vice Chair of Clinical Affairs in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Virginia who served for 12 years has served as Medical Director of Well Newborn service and helped found and is Director of the UVA Breastfeeding Medicine Program since 2011.    After having been born and raised in Texas, she received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas and graduated summa cum laude, and then attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco.  She completed her pediatric residency at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1998, and was in private practice for nine years before joining the pediatric faculty at UVA going on 16 years ago.  She serves on the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding and is currently President of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine a physician organization with over 1,000 members worldwide.   Her research is in the area of parental education related to infant feeding, hospital breastfeeding support, and safe sleep practices with the SMART, SCHOOL, SMARTER and SUPERSONIC grants funded by the NIH and has multiple peer-reviewed publications and multiple chapters for Pediatric UptoDate, and Neonatology for Primary Care to name a few.  She also served as a scientific advisor for the Virginia Department of Health Breastfeeding Friendly Consortium that offers free web-based CME and MOC to Virginia residents at  She lives in Charlottesville with her husband and has a son who is a freshman at the University of Vermont, a daughter who is a junior at UT Austin, and an older daughter who works at LPL Financial in Austin, TX.


Michal Mansovsky

Michal Mansovsky

I graduated from BGU, Israel, in 2009, and by 2013 specialized in family medicine. I have been practicing breastfeeding medicine since 2009, and received my Fellowship in BF Medicine in 2019. I was a member of the organizing committee of ABM meetings in Europe since 2017. Since 2018, I am a founding and active board member of IABM – the Israeli Association of Breastfeeding Medicine, and currently, I am secretary of the IABM board. I practice BF Medicine in the north district of Israel and teach breastfeeding to physicians and health care workers all over Israel.

I am happy to be a founding member of EABM. I hope to bring more knowledge in breastfeeding medicine to physicians, and by doing so to help provide better medical support for breastfeeding dyads across Europe


Melissa Mialon

Dr Melissa Mialon is a Research Assistant Professor at Trinity College Dublin in Ireland. Her research focuses on the commercial determinants of health, particularly the practices used by corporations to influence public health policy, research and practice. Dr Mialon co-coordinates the « Governance, Ethics and Conflicts of Interest in Public Health » (GECI-PH) network. She published a book « Big Food & Cie » in French in October 2021.  

Katrina Mitchell

Katrina B. Mitchell, MD, IBCLC, PMH-C is a breast surgeon, lactation consultant, and perinatal mental health provider.  She sees patients in a daily breastfeeding medicine clinic alongside her surgical practice at Ridley Tree Cancer Center at Sansum clinic in Santa Barbara, California.  She is the creator of the, an evidence-based resource for breastfeeding families and the communities that support them. 


Ivana Mudnić

Ivana Mudnić

Assoc. Prof. Ivana Mudnić, MD Ph.D

Education/Scientific and professional training:
2019 – today, University Hospital Split, University Hospital Zagreb, and University of Split School of Medicine, Clinical pharmacology and toxicology resident
2002 and 2005 Institute of Pharmacology and Experimental Toxicology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
2002 MD state exam; 2001 University Hospital Split, internship; Postgraduate scientific study Basic and clinical medical sciences University of Split School of Medicine; 1994 Faculty of Medicine University of Zagreb

Work Experience:
2019 associate professor of Pharmacology; course leader of Pharmacology, Rational pharmacotherapy and Clinical pharmacology and pharmacoeconomics
2015 – today, head of the Department of Pharmacology
2013 head of the Laboratory for Experimental Pharmacology
2012 Ph.D; assistant professor of Pharmacology
2005 University of Split School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, assistant; 2001 research assistant

Participation in projects: collaborator in 6 national and 1 bilateral (Croatian-Slovenian) scientific projects
Research papers: 30 (
Research interest: rational pharmacotherapy, cardiovascular pharmacology

Interest in breastfeeding medicine: active lecturer in lactation consultant training program from 2012, and in elective course Breastfeeding Medicine from 2016


Jack Newman

Dr Jack Newman graduated from the University of Toronto medical school in 1970, interning at the Vancouver General Hospital. He did his training in paediatrics in Quebec City and then at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto from 1977-1981 to become a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Canada in 1981 as well as Board Certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1981. He has worked as a physician in Central America, New Zealand and as a paediatrician in South Africa. He founded the first hospital-based breastfeeding clinic in Canada in 1984. He has been a consultant for UNICEF for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative, evaluating the first candidate hospitals in Gabon, the Ivory Coast and Canada.

In July 2018, Dr Newman, along with his co-author Andrea Polokova, published Breastfeeding: empowering parents. In July 2022, Dr Newman, along with Andrea Polokova, published What Doctors Don’t Know about Breastfeeding. It is available as a print version as well as an ebook version on Amazon:

His website has information on breastfeeding with video clips that help mothers understand breastfeeding better.

In 2013, Dr Newman was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for service.


Mónica Pina

Mónica Pina

I graduated from the University of Padova. I specialized in Internal Medicine in Lisbon, Portugal. I became a La Leche League leader before becoming a Lactation Consultant. I started training other health professionals in the Unicef breastfeeding counselling courses. I became an Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine member in 2010, where I was Regional Coordinator for Europe for 4 years. I am a fellow of the ABM since 2022. I am a board member of the EABM. I have a passion for sharing knowledge, specially on subjects that involve both internal medicine and breastfeeding medicine. I also have a special interest in the humanistic and social perspectives of breastfeeding. 


Livio Provenzi

Livio Provenzi received a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology in 2008 and my Doctorate in Psychology in 2016 at the Catholic University, Milan. From 2008 to 2019 I carried out clinical and research activities at the 0-3 Center of the IRCCS E. Medea Scientific Institute in Bosisio Parini, Lecco (Italy). Since November 2019 I am a researcher at the IRCCS Fondazione Mondino, Pavia (Italy). Since February 2022 I am an Assistant Professor (RTDb) at the Department of the Nervous System and Behavior of the University of Pavia. In my research projects, I integrate the methodology of behavioural sciences, infant research, neuroendocrinology, epigenetics and neuroscience to understand how what happens between us – human relationships – helps to shape what happens inside us – the neurobiological connections that make us who we are. I am interested in studying the neuropsychobiological dimensions underlying the early human connections in conditions of typical and atypical development, such as preterm birth, sensory deficit, psychomotor retardation and environmental alterations. Specific attention to the first thousand days of life and to the role of early parent-child interaction further characterizes my line of research. I authored more than 100 papers published in international scientific journals. I am a member of the international research group Separation and Closeness Experiences in the Neonatal Environment (SCENE), Editor in Chief for Frontiers in Pediatric Psychology, and a member of the editorial board of Infant Behavior and Development and Plos One. I have published two books: “Developmental Human Behavioral Epigenetics” in 2020, together with Rosario Montirosso; “Psicobiologia dello Sviluppo” in 2021.

Elien Rouw

Elien Rouw, Dutch MD, specialized in healthy baby care and breastfeeding medicine, living and working in Germany.

She is President-Elect of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), President of the European Association of Breastfeeding Medicine (EABM) and Liaison of ABM to WABM

In Germany, she is a teacher at the German Institute of Breastfeeding Support (DAIS) and trainer of hospital staff on breastfeeding, a member of the German national Breastfeeding Committee, an author of a textbook on breastfeeding for healthcare workers and of several scientific papers on breastfeeding and related topics. As a physician, she still counsels individual parent/children dyads with breastfeeding problems.

Julie Smith

Julie P Smith B Ec (Hons)/B A (Asian Studies), PhD, Australian National University.
Dr Smith is an Honorary Associate Professor at the ANU National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, and an awarded Australian Research Council Future Fellow. Her unique contribution has been in using a feminist economic perspective to highlight the fiscal and economic value of women’s breastfeeding work. Her current research focuses on the macroeconomic valuation of breastfeeding, regulation of markets in mothers’ milk, and environmental impacts of milk formula.  

Dr Smith has advised the US Surgeon-General Office and the WHO on the economics of breastfeeding and conducted reviews for the WHO on marketing and for the Australian Department of Health on breastfeeding interventions. She previously worked in treasury/finance ministries.

She has published over 65 peer-reviewed journal articles and authored two books and several book chapters, and is an associate editor for the International Breastfeeding Journal.   

Dr Smith has over 20 years of grassroots experience as a trained breastfeeding counsellor and served on the board of directors of the Australian Breastfeeding Association for nearly a decade. She has also worked with international civil society organisations, including WABA on maternity protection, and for IBFAN on its World Breastfeeding Costing Initiative. Recently she partnered with Alive & Thrive South-East Asia to develop the Mothers’ Milk Tool.

Lara Tauritz-Bakker

Lara Tauritz Bakker

Lara Tauritz Bakker graduated from Erasmus University in Rotterdam in January 2021 and she is now training to become a family physician. She was inspired to go to medical school after all when she discovered how little scientific knowledge we have to deal with breastfeeding problems while writing as a science journalist for a major medical magazine (Medisch Contact). She became a student member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine in 2014 and helped organize the European ABM conference in 2018. Her master’s thesis, published in the Journal of Human Lactation in 2020, focused on the prescription of domperidone by family physicians in cases of lactation insufficiency.

Laura Travan

Laura Travan

Neonatologist, Director for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of IRCSS Institute of Child Health, Burlo Garofolo, Professor “a contratto” of Paediatrics in the University of Trieste, PhD in Mother-Infant Medicine, Educational and Developmental Pediatrics and Perinatal Medicine”, University of Trieste.
Referent for “Nido Rooming-in Unit” for 6 years with various fields of interests such as “Protection and Promoting Breastfeeding” (Institutional Referent for IRCSS Institute of Child Health, Burlo Garofolo), tutor for FVG for “Problem-Based Learning Breastfeeding Course”, an expert in diagnosis and management of syndromic newborns and in preterm follow up. Co-author of 60 papers cited on Pubmed and of 7 papers in national journals cited on Scopus, H-Index 15 (Scopus), reviewer for several neonatological journals.
Co-author of pediatric textbooks of national relevance. Invited speaker to more than 100 meetings of national and international relevance. Chair of the regional (Friuli Venezia Giulia) section of the Italian Society of Neonatology, member of the National Breastfeeding Committee and of the SUPC Task Force, member of the Clinical Genetics Newborn Study Group of the Italian Society of Neonatology.

Pessa Valente

Emanuelle Pessa Valente

Dr. Pessa Valente, is a Brazilian MD, Ob&Gyn, PhD. She obtained a Master in Maternal and Child Health at the Institute of Integral Medicine Professor Fernando Figueira – IMIP, Pernambuco (Brazil) and a Master in Health Professions Education at Maastricht University, Netherlands. She gained advanced skills on Problem Based Learning (PBL) approach as a professor for the PBL Medical course of the Faculdade Pernambucana de Saude (FPS), Pernambuco, Brazil, and as a member of the Training Committee for tutors of the same institution. In Italy, she trained regional tutors, as an expert and consultant for curriculum design and learning material development of the PBL regional course “Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding in Friuli Venezia Giulia (FVG)” (2017-2018) supported by FVG authorities. Since 2017 she has been Senior researcher at the WHO Collaborating Center for Maternal and Child Health of the IRCCS Burlo Garofolo, Trieste. She is currently Project Manager of “IMAgiNE” Regional Project (Improving the quality of maternal and neonatal care) covering nine maternity hospitals of FVG Region and project manager of “IMAgiNE EURO” (Improving MAternal Newborn care In the EURO Region) ongoing in 20 countries of the WHO European Region.

Charlotte Wright

Charlotte Wright

Charlotte Wright is a paediatrician and an epidemiologist with a longstanding interest in paediatric nutrition.  She worked in Glasgow in clinical and public health nutrition at the Royal Hospital for Children until March 2022 and still researches and teaches within the Human Nutrition department at Glasgow University. 

Her research focuses on understanding and addressing the causes of undernutrition in childhood, child eating behaviour and the assessment of growth and body composition in childhood.

She was responsible at Glasgow University for developing the teaching of medical undergraduates about breastfeeding and recently has worked with UNICEF UK to develop this into web-based teaching for a wider audience.

She is a member of the UK Scientific Advisory Committee for Nutrition (SACN), an Honorary Fellow of the RCPCH, an Honorary Visiting Professor, at the Institute of Child Health and Children’s Hospital, Lahore, Pakistan and previously chaired the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Growth Charts Working Group.


Irena Zakarija-Grković

Irena Zakarija-Grković

Dr Irena Zakarija-Grković is a lecturer, researcher and breastfeeding physician. She trained and worked as a general practitioner in Melbourne, Australia, where she also qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (2002). Irena now works at the University of Split School of Medicine (Assoc. Prof.), where she conducts an annual 90h breastfeeding course, teaches family medicine, clinical skills, and an elective in breastfeeding medicine, and directs Cochrane Croatia.  She is a member of the Croatian National Breastfeeding Committee, founding President of the Croatian Association of Lactation Consultants, World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative Coordinator for Croatia and Europe, International Lactation Consultant Association Director and Fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.