Breastfeeding Medicine

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Archive for the ‘Member Profiles’ Category

A tribute to Miriam H. Labbok

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Dr. Miriam Harriet Labbok (1949-2016)

On behalf of ABM founders and as their representative on the ABM Board of Governors, I wish to celebrate the life and vitality of Miriam Harriet Labbok, MD, MPH, IBCLC and a co-founder of the ABM. On August 13, 2016 she lost a sudden and rapid battle, all the while showing great tenacity, fortitude, and sense of humor. These inspiring traits are reflected in her 40 years of supporting the mother-infant dyad as an internationally respected and influential expert on breastfeeding and maternal and child health.

Miriam Labbok’s personality was reflective of her New Jersey roots: outspoken, forthright and passionate. Her academic training reflected her integrative strengths and passion for preventive healthcare with a worldwide vision. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and received her M.D. and M.P.H. degrees from Tulane University. Her medical training continued in Occupational Health and Preventive Health. Her initial academic focus was on international application of contraception technology as a process to improve the health of women and their families. Her mentorship with John Queenan, MD, a distinguished Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University, rapidly clarified her life passion and focus on breastfeeding as the best primary preventive care intervention and the most important role in child spacing/contraception, especially in countries with fewer resources.

Miriam’s intellect, academic productivity (many chapters in textbooks on maternal and child health and an author of more than one hundred fifty scholarly articles), as well as, her persistent and firm advocacy for her beliefs, lead to her leadership positions supporting breastfeeding at UNICEF and USAID. Early in her career, she recognized the dangers and conflict of interest presented by makers of artificial milk, aka “formula”. One of her greatest successes was her role in galvanizing an international agreement for the Ten Steps to support breastfeeding and reduce the negative influences of the artificial milk manufacturers. Given her international successes and her outspoken beliefs, it is no surprise that Miriam was a co-Founder of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. In her subsequent leadership roles in the ABM and its Board, she always reminded us of WHO Code violations and conflicts of interest and the need for the ABM to be an international organization that compliments and networks with other organizations with similar support for breastfeeding. Until her retirement this spring, Miriam was a Professor of Maternal and Child Health at the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health and Director of the School’s Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute. These titles and positions reflect Miriam’s vision and successes in supporting the breastfeeding mother and her family regardless of geography, culture, religion, or available resources.

As ABM members, we need to emulate her willingness to confront international challenges, collaborate with other supporting organizations, and scrutinize our behaviors and connections for potential “WHO Code” violations. Miriam, thank you for helping us grow.

Edward Newton, MD

Ed Newton, MD, FABM is a maternal-fetal medicine sub specialist and a founder of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.

Posts on this blog reflect the opinions of individual ABM members, not the organization as a whole.

Written by newtoned

September 2, 2016 at 7:05 pm

ABM Gold Member Profile: Touraj Shafai, MD, PhD, FAAP, FABM

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ABM: Why did you become a member of ABM?

Medical Director, Inland Empire Children's Medical Group and BF Clinic

Touraj Shafai, MD, PhD, FAAP, FABM Medical Director, Inland Empire Children’s Medical Group and BF Clinic

Shafai: To improve my knowledge about benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and baby and to society.

ABM: What is ABM‘s greatest strength?

ShafaiAs an organization ABM has the greatest collection of knowledge than any other organization.

ABM: What inspires you to promote, protect and support breastfeeding?

Shafai:  To educate moms regarding the benefits of breastfeeding so our newborns can achieve their fullest potential.

ABM: What advice can you offer to physicians who are interested in learning more about breastfeeding?

Shafai: To become a member of the ABM and attend the Annual Meetings of the Academy.

ABM: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?

Shafai: To receive a PhD in biochemistry following my MD degree which provided me with critical thinking and gave me the tools in research and improving patient care.

ABM: What is a current challenge for you in your work?

Shafai: To get rid of some of the hospital policies such as the old hypoglycemia and jaundice policies that are obstacles to breastfeeding.

ABM: What can ABM offer physicians worldwide?

Shafai: Many pediatric residents and medical students express a desire to learn more about breastfeeding. Unfortunately this is not available in their training programs. We should be able to fill this gap and provide them with the information that they need.

Thank you, Dr. Shafai.  We look forward to featuring additional Lifetime and Gold Members on the ABM Blog each month.

Join us at the 19th Annual International Meeting to be held November 13-16, 2014 in Cleveland, OH, USA.

Written by bfmed

January 29, 2014 at 12:11 pm

ABM Gold Member Profile: Anne M. Montgomery, MD, FABM

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Anne Montgomery, MD

Anne Montgomery, MD, FABM
Associate Director
Family Medicine Residency
Eisenhower Medical Center

ABM: Why did you become a member of ABM?

Montgomery: I was very involved in breastfeeding support and wanted to be part of a group of similar physicians.

ABM: What is ABM‘s greatest strength?

MontgomeryThe diversity and expertise of our members.

ABM: What inspires you to promote, protect and support breastfeeding?

Montgomery:  Like many people, I was a “mainstream breastfeeding supporter” til I had my son; breastfeeding him exclusively for 5.5 months then continuing for 4.5 years “radicalized” me. I recognized that not not everyone had the tenacity/stubbornness to overcome all the barriers. As a physician to mothers and babies, it was part of my responsibility to be sure that all babies had the opportunity to be breastfed and that all mothers were supported in their feeding choices.

ABM: What advice can you offer to physicians who are interested in learning more about breastfeeding?

MontgomeryJoin ABM! Don’t be afraid to attend courses aimed at nurses and lactation consultants if that is all that is available in your area.

ABM: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?

Montgomery: I achieved full professor academic rank in my late 40’s and have taught many residents and students about family medicine including breastfeeding.

ABM: What is a current challenge for you in your work?

Montgomery: Starting a new job soon, I don’t know what to expect yet! A brand new family medicine residency program should be interesting.

ABM: What can ABM offer physicians worldwide?

Montgomery: A chance to network with other like-minded physicians, good breastfeeding education, and support for their work assisting mothers and babies.

Thank you, Dr. Montgomery.  We look forward to featuring additional Lifetime and Gold Members on the ABM Blog each month.

Join us at the 18th Annual International Meeting to be held November 21-24, 2013 in Philadelphia.

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Written by bfmed

August 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

ABM Gold Member Profile: Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, MPH, FABM

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Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter

Lori Feldman-Winter, MD, MPH, FABM
Professor of Pediatrics
Children’s Regional Hospital at Cooper, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University

ABM: Why did you become a member of ABM?

Feldman-Winter: I wanted opportunities to network with colleagues that had a shared interest and learn from others work.

ABM: What is ABM‘s greatest strength?

Feldman-WinterThe members are definitely what makes this organization special. Each member makes their own unique contributions and we all learn from each other.

ABM: What inspires you to promote, protect and support breastfeeding?

Feldman-Winter:  For too many years breastfeeding fell outside the realm of mainstream medicine and physicians were unprepared to support mothers decisions to breastfeed. Through organizations such as ABM physicians are much more knowledgeable and skillful in their support, but we still have a long way to go!

ABM: What advice can you offer to physicians who are interested in learning more about breastfeeding?

Feldman-WinterFirst take courses, especially those geared for physicians such as the WEPNTKAB course. Then join organizations such as the ABM to gain a better understanding of the field from the physicians’ perspective. Then get involved, there are so many opportunities to make a real difference.

ABM: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?

Feldman-Winter: I have dedicated a large part of my career in breastfeeding medicine to physician education. Being part of the inaugural group of FABM’s is one of the highlights of my career.

ABM: What is a current challenge for you in your work?

Feldman-Winter: In my current work as a consultant to NICHQ Best Fed Beginnings Project, my biggest challenge is to convince physicians all over the country that they need to make changes, including getting the required education, to help their hospitals achieve Baby-Friendly designation. The resistance to change is sometimes overwhelming. Somehow we need to convince all physicians to acknowledge that we all have much to learn about breastfeeding, and that it is a vital component of healthcare.

ABM: What can ABM offer physicians worldwide?

Feldman-Winter: The clinical protocols are helpful to set a global agenda for optimal evidence based care.

Thank you, Dr. Feldman-Winter.  We look forward to featuring additional Lifetime and Gold Members on the ABM Blog each week.

Join us at the 18th Annual International Meeting to be held November 21-24, 2013 in Philadelphia.

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ABM Lifetime Member Profile: Nancy E. Wight, MD, IBCLC, FABM, FAAP

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Nancy Wight

Nancy E. Wight, MD, IBCLC, FABM, FAAP, San Diego Neonatology, Inc. Medical Director, Sharp HealthCare Lactation Services

ABM: Why did you become a member of ABM?

Wight: I was inspired by the quality and vision of the founding members and wanted to be a part of the journey.

ABM: What is ABM‘s greatest strength?

WightIt’s members and all they do in so many arenas (clinical care, research, teaching, mentoring, health planning, etc. etc.)!

ABM: What inspires you to promote, protect and support breastfeeding?

Wight:  As a physician, I care about the health of my community in all its forms and breastfeeding is the best health insurance.

ABM: What advice can you offer to physicians who are interested in learning more about breastfeeding?

WightJoin ABM, join ILCA, join your local breastfeeding coalition. Find a breastfeeding ‘champion’ in your area to act as a mentor for you.

ABM: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?

Wight: I am most proud of the fact that as a clinician and educator I have influenced others to follow in my footsteps and EXCEED my accomplishments.

ABM: What is a current challenge for you in your work?

Wight: Keeping up with the incredible increase in human lactation research and literature over the last 10 years while working full-time (including nights!) as an ‘elder’ clinical neonatologist.

ABM: What can ABM offer physicians worldwide?

Wight: A vast wealth of peer knowledge and support.

Thank you, Dr. Wight.  We look forward to featuring additional Lifetime and Gold Members on the ABM Blog each week.

Join us at the 18th Annual International Meeting to be held November 21-24, 2013 in Philadelphia.

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ABM Gold Member Profile: Featuring Paula K. Schreck, MD

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ABM: Why did you become a member of ABM?

Paula K. Schreck, MD Breastfeeding Coordinator St. John Providence Health System

Paula K. Schreck, MD
Breastfeeding Coordinator
St. John Providence Health System

Schreck: I became a member of ABM as I first began building my career in Breastfeeding Medicine. The promise of fellowship with other like-minded MD’s was compelling as was the access to up-to-date science and information.

ABM: What is ABM‘s greatest strength?

Schreck: ABM’s greatest strength is its membership.

ABM: What inspires you to promote, protect and support breastfeeding?

Schreck:  The palpable difference in the health of the breastfeeding mother and baby dyad motivates and inspires me in my work.

ABM: What advice can you offer to physicians who are interested in learning more about breastfeeding?

SchreckStart by attending an ABM Annual Meeting.

ABM: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?

Schreck: My greatest accomplishment is the creation of my outpatient breastfeeding clinic. Its success has brought breastfeeding into the spotlight in my hospital system.

ABM: What is a current challenge for you in your work?

Schreck: Taking four hospitals through Baby-Friendly at the same time.

ABM: What can ABM offer physicians worldwide?

Schreck: Inspiration, information, and fellowship.

Thank you, Dr. Schreck.  We look forward to featuring additional Lifetime and Gold Members on the ABM Blog each week.

Join us at the 18th Annual International Meeting to be held November 21-24, 2013 in Philadelphia.

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Written by bfmed

July 12, 2013 at 11:39 am

ABM Member Profile: Featuring Caroline Chantry, MD, FABM

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ABM: Why did you become a member of ABM?

Chantry: To attain more knowledge, skill and inspiration; to promote, protect and support breastfeeding, because surely it is an important cause.

ABM: What is ABM‘s greatest strength?

Chantry: Its membership which possesses vast expertise, experience and enthusiasm, and spans the globe.

ABM: What inspires you to promote, protect and support breastfeeding?

Chantry:  Breastfeeding has the potential, by far, to make the most impact on maternal and child health of any preventive intervention.  ABM helps me in many ways, e.g. with information and tools, but also by reinforcing the importance of what I do.  Sometimes at work I feel like an army of one, and ABM is full of reinforcements at the ready – I can call on them by phone, email or read the journal!

ABM: What advice can you offer to physicians who are interested in learning more about breastfeeding?

Chantry: ABM  conferences help, starting with “What Every Physician Needs To Know About Breastfeeding”; there are several online courses also.  You also need hands-on experience.  Find an expert to shadow and also just starting helps mothers and babies to get your own experience of what works. Every dyad is unique.

ABM: What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career?

Chantry: I am proud to have had the opportunity to serve ABM previously as President and for many years on the protocol committee. I am also proud of some of my research that ultimately I hope will help breastfeeding dyads.

ABM: What is a current challenge for you in your work?

Chantry: Still, in 2012, my hospital is resisting BFHI because they want the free formula!  Ethical blinders!

ABM: What can ABM offer physicians worldwide?

Chantry: The protocols are available for all physicians.  ABM‘s real treasure is the community of experts and advocates that are its membership.  It is small enough that you can actually get to know many of the members and access their expertise and share yours.

Thank you, Dr. Chantry.  We look forward to featuring additional Lifetime and Gold Members on the ABM Blog each month.

Join us at the 17th Annual International Meeting to be held October 11-14, 2012 in Chicago.

Written by bfmed

August 23, 2012 at 11:11 am