ABM Member Profile: Featuring Felicity Savage, MD, FABM
Savage: Because I am so supportive of its aims and enjoy the support of other physicians interested in breastfeeding.
ABM: What is ABM‘s greatest strength?
Savage: Bringing physicians who care and are knowledgeable about breastfeeding together, and setting a high technical evidence-based standard.
ABM: What inspires you to promote, protect and support breastfeeding?
Savage: I developed a passionate interest in the subject when having my own babies, and seeing the harm done to babies who bottle feed, especially when I worked in Africa and Indonesia. I was working for breastfeeding and the BFHI long before ABM existed, but now ABM helps by providing supportive colleagues, and normalizing breastfeeding as part of the physicians’ role.
ABM: What advice can you offer to physicians who are interested in learning more about breastfeeding?
Savage: Take a breastfeeding-related course, and join all the breastfeeding organizations you can, especially ABM.
ABM: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?
Savage: Developing breastfeeding training courses – one Masters level 3-4 week course at the Institute of Child Health in London (now transferred to Brighton University), conducting 2 week outreach versions of the course in 7 other countries, and developing the 40-hour in-service “book-led” course “Breastfeeding Counselling” for WHO which has been used and adapted and translated all over the world; writing 2 books “Breastfeeding in practice” (with Elisabeth Helsing) and “Helping Mothers to Breastfeed” which were translated into over 20 languages. These activities have contributed significantly to improved knowledge for doctors and other senior health workers in many countries.
ABM: What is a current challenge for you in your work?
Savage: Trying to ensure that there are future generations of senior health workers with sufficient authority to continue establishing breastfeeding as a mainstream public health subject, for evidence-based teaching and implementation
ABM: What can ABM offer physicians worldwide?
Savage: Ensure that all medical students learn about breastfeeding and feel responsible for promoting it throughout medical services, whether or not they specialize in the subject themselves.
Thank you, Dr. Savage. We look forward to featuring additional Lifetime and Gold Members on the ABM Blog each week.