The Journal of Human Lactation: A Reflective Discussion

Aimee R. Eden, Sara Gill, Karleen Gribble, Elien Rouw, Jacqueline H. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research about lactation and breastfeeding has exploded since the Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) began publishing in 1985. To discuss the 3-decade-long role of the Journal in promoting, supporting, and disseminating lactation research, editors convened a multidisciplinary group of lactation researchers and providers which comprised three senior researchers and one clinical practitioner, all of whom have a long history of lactation advocacy. Their discussion took place on July 1, 2019. Dr Aimee Eden is a medical anthropologist who leads the qualitative research efforts in a small research department. Her dissertation research focused on the maternal and child healthcare workforce, and the professionalization of breastfeeding support. She served on the Board of Directors of the International Board of Lactation Examiners (2010–2016) and currently serves on the board of the Monetary Investment for Lactation Consultant Certification. Dr Karleen Gribble has been conducting research for 15 years about infant and young child feeding in emergencies, long-term breastfeeding, milk sharing, early childhood trauma, adoption, and fostering. She is an Australian Breastfeeding Association community educator and breastfeeding counselor and a member of the Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies Core Group. Elien Rouw is a practicing physician in Germany specialized in healthy infant care, with a long-standing specialization in breastfeeding medicine. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, is a member of the German National Breastfeeding Committee and their delegate to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. Dr Jackie Wolf is an historian of medicine, whose research focuses on the history of childbirth and breastfeeding practices in the United States and how those practices have shaped women’s and children’s health, as well as public health, over time. Her latest book, published by Johns Hopkins University Press and funded by a 3 year grant from the National Institutes of Health, is Cesarean Section: An American History of Risk, Technology, and Consequence. Dr Sara Gill moderated the discussion. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the International Lactation Consultant Association for 5 years, and has been an Associate Editor of the Journal of Human Lactation for the past 4 years. Her research has focused on breastfeeding among vulnerable populations. (Participants’ comments are noted as AE = Aimee Eden; SG = Sara Gill; KG = Karleen Gribble; ER = Elien Rouw; JW = Jacqueline Wolf).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)655-660
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Human Lactation
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC)
  • International Lactation Consultant Association
  • Lactation
  • breastfeeding
  • infant feeding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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