Supporting Breastfeeding: it takes a whole community

In collaboration with the Anglo European Chiropractic College (AECC), the School of Health and Social Care hosted a conference on Saturday 12 July to raise awareness of the joint chiropractic, midwifery newborn feeding clinic. The conference was able to take place due to the successful Centre for Excellence in Learning Fusion Funding bid submitted by the project team, Dr Susan Way, Alison Taylor and Dr Joyce Miller. The day was attended by health care professionals from across the locality as well as student midwives, chiropractic students and members of the public who are passionate about supporting mothers to breastfeed successfully. The day started with an excellent presentation from the key note speaker Dr Margot Sunderland, Director of Education and Training at The Centre for Child Mental Health London and author of the world renowned book ‘What every parent needs to know’. Dr Sunderland tested our assumptions about the neuroscience and psychology of baby bonding.

Dr Joyce Miller, Senior Clinical Tutor, Chiropractic Paediatrics and Alison Taylor, Senior Lecturer Midwifery then shared with the audience the chiropractic and midwifery perspective of the innovative approach to supporting the breastfeeding mother / infant pair through the newborn clinic run at AECC. The talk was ably support by two students recounting their experience of being involved in the clinic and the unique learning opportunities it has afforded them to work in partnership with women in a real time practice environment. The interprofessional environment also offers an invaluable opportunity to work alongside different health professionals who would not normally come together.

Alison presented the final talk entitled, ‘letting off steam: video diaries to share breastfeeding experiences’, which was based on the continuing analysis of her doctoral data. This was warmly received and generated a number of questions requiring health professionals to reflect on and challenge their current practice.

The final session of the day was a workshop in the style of a World Café ( asking the audience to come together in smaller groups to explore a number of questions that could enable a community to support women to successfully breastfeed. By listening together, debating questions that mattered and connecting diverse perspective, the workshop generated much energy, noise, laughter and understanding of each other’s role.

Feedback from the day included:

“More than exceeded my expectations- such a wonderful buzz of enthusiasm, so good to be with such passionate people from different specialities lots of new information. Loved workshop” and “Really enjoyed the day. Excellent presentations and lots of interesting discussions. Impressed with the students giving presentations and facilitating”.

An excellent day was had by all and there was much confidence from the organisers that the newborn clinic will meet the needs of women and continue to be a successful enterprise.

For further information about the clinic please contact or