Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

LactaResearch Group



To support effective lactation through the translation of research to practice.


The support of the Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation is gratefully acknowledged.

Current Projects

  • LactaMap: an online lactation care support system
  • LactaPedia: a lactation glossary for science and medicine

Ninety-six percent of Australian women initiate breastfeeding, yet more than 50% of our infants are receiving infant formula by 5 months of age.1 The doctor is the focal point of modern medicine, yet the lactating breast receives little attention within the medical curriculum, has few protocols to provide framework for practice and there is no medical specialty for referral. Most doctors feel they have insufficient training for the level of knowledge and skills expected of them.2-4 LactaMap is an online care support system designed to provide doctors with evidence-informed framework to assist with the care of mothers and infants experiencing difficulty with lactation. It is designed to be used at the point of care (i.e. during a medical consult) and has potential for use as teaching tool in the medical curriculum. Once LactaMap is implemented in general practice, subsequent versions will be developed for other health professionals and for families.


Conflicting advice is one of the most common factors that impact on a mother's confidence in her ability to breastfeed and sustain lactation. Consistent terminology is the most basic requirement for the prevention of conflicting advice. During the development of LactaMap it became clear that even such basic terms as "lactation" and "breastfeed" have either varying or no definition in the scientific literature. The collection of such a large body of information around lactation provided a unique opportunity to define terminology with the aim of a globally consistent language in the field. LactaPedia defines more than 560 terms and has been reviewed by 5 internationally recognised experts in the field.

  1. AIHW. 2010 Australian national infant feeding survey: indicator results.: Cat. no. PHE 156. Canberra: AIHW. ; 2011.
  2. Brodribb W, Fallon A, Jackson C, Hegney D. Breastfeeding and Australian GP registrars--their knowledge and attitudes. J Hum Lact. 2008;24(4):422-30.
  3. Gonzalez AP, Palmer J, Downes K, Young C. Attitudes and knowledge about breastfeeding among obstetrics and gynecology residents. Obstet Gynecol. 2014;123 Suppl 1:17S-8S.
  4. Pound C, Williams K, Grenon R, Aglipay M, Plint AC. Breastfeeding knowledge, confidence, beliefs and attitudes of Canadian physicians: Paediatrics and Child Health (Canada). Conference: 91st Annual Conference of the Canadian Paediatric Society Montreal, QC Canada. Conference Start: 20140625 Conference End: 20140628. Conference Publication: (var.pagings). 19 (6) (pp e83-e84), 2014. Date of Publication: June-July 2014.; 2014.