La dolce vita of breastfeeding in Trieste
La dolce vita in Trieste…
The conference is over, the bills are paid, but it still resounds in my memory: the 4th ABM European Regional Meeting for Physicians, held on 19th-20th of May in Trieste, Italy.
The meeting was organized by a team of BURLO Trieste under the leadership of Adriano Cattaneo and myself. The main organizer was the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and cosponsor was Burlo Trieste, who supported us wholeheartedly.
It is not easy to communicate with people who come from all over the world. Only 14 attendees were participating in their native language, English. All others were expressing themselves in (for them) foreign languages. But that didn’t matter. There was a wish to understand each other. As Dr. Adriano Cattaneo put it at the beginning of the conference: No more discrimination: 98 participants from 29 countries, speaking many, many languages, were interacting, were becoming friends and were planning for future collaboration and mutual support. And many ABM members met each other, sometimes for the first time, sometimes it was a happy “nice to see you again” after former meetings in Göppingen, Vienna and Torun.
In general the meeting took place in a very good atmosphere with very lively discussions, both in the sessions and during the breaks and dinner. The only real problem was that there was much too little time for discussion during the sessions. The lectures were excellently received and many participants reported afterwards, that they were inspired by the event.
I want to share with you some of the feedback that was given to this conference:
- “Excellent preparations, excellent that topics like BN and peristaltic were discussed in a differentiated way, very good that each level of English is accepted; this allows really international participation. Lots of impulses, lots of missing puzzle pieces!
- “It was my first ABM Meeting and I enjoyed it very much. Trieste is a nice place for such a congress. Listening to people from different countries and talking to them is very inspiring! Thank you!
A highlight of the conference was a small bus trip on the end of the first day to a central church in Trieste with a wonderful view on the city and the Adriatic Sea. Afterwards the busses took all participants to a restaurant near Miramar directly on the seashore, where there was much time to speak about experiences and to enjoy the evening. A real dolce vita in Trieste, with discussions, but also with warmth and laughter, with tumbling of ideas and exchange of opinions.
Because of the conference, some European collaboration projects have started, most notably a project under the leadership of Dr. Pat Hoddinott on an RCT of proactive telephone support for parents of premature babies (FEST). As a result of the conference many participants asked if it is possible to have a European Regional Meeting in their country. We have offers from Romania (Bucharest), Croatia (Split), Spain (Barcelona), Slovakia (Bratislava), the Netherlands (Amsterdam) and Denmark (Copenhagen – in connection with the next European conference of lactation consultants). So we can at least organize 5 or 6 further regional meetings!
And being a breastfeeding conference, it is only appropriate to mention, that this meeting was very nourishing for all of us. The meeting inspires us to continue to work for the best of children and their mothers – and fathers – around the world.
Elien Rouw, MD, FABM, is a member of the board of directors of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
Posts on this blog reflect the opinions of individual ABM members, not the organization as a whole.