CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA's 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo


Meeting theme: Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health

Submission Deadline: Monday, February 25, 2019

The Breastfeeding Forum, along with the sections having an interest in breastfeeding -- Maternal Child  Health, International Health, Food and Nutrition, Public Health Nursing, Environmental Health, and others -- are issuing this joint call for abstracts and full session proposals for the 2019 APHA Annual Meeting and Expo in Philadelphia, PA.

Please limit your abstract to 300 words.

The theme for the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association is “Creating the Healthiest Nation: For science. For action. For health.” We are seeking abstracts in the following areas: 

  1. Breastfeeding, Mental Health, and Substance Use
  2. Human Milk Expression, Pumping, and Sustained Breastfeeding
  3. Infant Feeding Practices and Maternal Health
  4. Pharmaceutical Drug Use and Breastfeeding
  5. Policies, Interventions, and Practices that support (or inhibit) the right to breastfeed
  6. Structural Determinants and Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Breastfeeding
  7. The Role of Social Media and Sustained Breastfeeding


Each of these topics is explained in more detail, below. 


  • You do not need to be a member at the time of submission. However, if your abstract is accepted, then you MUST become a member.
  • ALL presenters MUST be members of APHA at the time of the Annual Meeting.
  • All presenters must give their presentation IN PERSON at the Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.  


  • Breastfeeding, Mental Health, and Substance Use
    This call is interested specifically in the breastfeeding experiences of women with mental health disorders and history of substance use:

    • Harm reduction approaches among lactating women with substance use
    • Evidence around breastfeeding women who have pre-existing mental health disorders
    • Breastfeeding and postpartum depression
  • Human Milk Expression, Pumping, and Sustained Breastfeeding
    We welcome abstracts that examine human milk expression and pumping in the context of sustained breastfeeding. Issues of interest include but are not limited to:

    • Pumping and breastfeeding duration
    • The role of hand expression and/or mechanical expression in the early postpartum period impacts duration
    • Expression/pumping interactions with work-place culture/practice
    • Other topics in the area of milk expression and/or pumping
  • Infant Feeding and Maternal Health
    Breastfeeding brings two individuals together - the mother and the infant.

    The Breastfeeding Forum and several sections within APHA are interested in the latest research around the impacts of infant feeding practices on maternal health outcomes. 

    • Relationships between breastfeeding practices and maternal mental health
    • Relationships between breastfeeding practices and maternal physical health

    This call focuses on the outcomes for mothers that are linked with infant feeding decisions.

  • Pharmaceutical Drug Use and Breastfeeding
    The Breastfeeding Forum is soliciting research on the impact of prescription / non-prescription drugs on lactation with implications for public health practice. Some areas that will receive preference include:

    • Breastfeeding and persons who use drugs
    • Prescription pharmaceuticals and breastfeeding

    We welcome research that has implications for public health practice.

  • Policies, Interventions, and Practices that support (or inhibit) the right to breastfeed
    We welcome abstracts that describe researcher / community partnerships to support the right to breastfeed among systemically marginalized populations.

    We welcome abstracts in this area that discuss intervention / policy strategies that support breastfeeding as a right. Policies/Interventions which demonstrably reduce INEQUITIES in breastfeeding are especially encouraged; i.e., those that demonstrate that the strategy reduced inequities (i.e., did the intervention close the gap?).

    Populations we are particularly interested in -- from a rights and equity perspective -- include

    • Indigenous peoples of North America and the Hawaiian Islands,
    • Visible Minorities
    • Immigrant populations,
    • LGBTQ* identified individuals,
    • Rural / remote populations,
    • Teen mothers

    Abstracts that discuss the legal issues surrounding breastfeeding as a right are also encouraged.

  • Structural Determinants and Racial/Ethnic Inequities in Breastfeeding
    We are interested in the systemic and structural factors that impact the racial/ethnic inequities within the field of breastfeeding and lactation support. This call is interested in both the experiences of breastfeeding dyads but also focuses on racial/ethnic inequities present in the healthcare workforce:

    • Experiences of structural / systemic racism among breastfeeding dyads
    • Impacts of structural racism on breastfeeding outcomes
    • Systemic / structural factors experienced by healthcare providers who support breastfeeding
    • Strategies to reduce racial/ethnic inequities among healthcare providers who support breastfeeding
  • The Role of Social Media and Sustained Breastfeeding
    We are calling for abstracts that look at the intersection of social media with breastfeeding. Some areas we would like to learn about include...

    • Experiences with using social media as a means to support breastfeeding
    • The role social media may play in shaping attitudes towards infant feeding
    • Ethical considerations around social media and breastfeeding
    • Impacts of social media support groups on breastfeeding

    This is not an exhaustive list and other topics within this theme are encouraged.


Preference will be given to those abstracts that discuss breastfeeding duration, not merely initiation.

Abstract authors are strongly encouraged to conduct a literature search to ensure that their submission makes a novel contribution to the field of breastfeeding research; it must be clear to reviewers that the submitted abstract makes a unique and innovative contribution to the science of breastfeeding. 

Low Priority Abstracts
Abstracts that discuss other issues related to breastfeeding are welcomed, although they may receive lower priority in the peer-review process. It is important to note that the following types of abstracts will not be considered for oral presentation:

  • Abstracts with incomplete results
  • Abstracts that only discuss initiation or factors that influence initiation, without addressing any other aspect

Abstracts which lack novelty (in terms of topic, methods, and/or results) will receive low priority.

Continuing Education
APHA values the ability to provide continuing education credit to physicians, nurses, health educators, and those certified in public health at its annual meeting. Complete all required information when submitting an abstract so members can claim credit for attending your session. These credits are necessary for members to keep their licenses and credentials. For a session to be eligible for Continuing Education Credit, each presenter, panelist, discussant, and/or faculty must provide:

(1)  An abstract free of trade and/or commercial product names.

(2)  At least one MEASURABLE SINGLE objective (“to understand” or “to learn” are not measurable objectives and compound objectives are not acceptable). Use ONLY the following Measurable Action Verbs: Explain, Demonstrate, Analyze, Formulate, Discuss, Compare, Differentiate, Describe, Name, Assess, Evaluate, Identify, Design, Define or List. 

(3)  You MUST complete a signed Conflict of Interest Disclosure Form with a relevant qualification statement;

  • Example of Acceptable Biographical Qualification StatementI have been the principal or co-principal of multiple federally funded grants focusing on the epidemiology of drug abuse, HIV prevention and co-occurring mental and drug use disorders. Among my scientific interests has been the development of strategies for preventing HIV and STDs in out-of-treatment drug users.
  • Example of UNACCEPTABLE Qualification Statement: Please note that stating “I am a Principal Investigator/Project Coordinator of this project.” is NOT sufficient. This only gives submitter's job title or position. Please add more information about your experience and background.

All continuing education learning content must be of sound science or professional practice and serve to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills and professional competence of the health professional. Learning content should be evidence-based if available. A list of over 30 areas will be provided online for you to choose from. You will be asked to choose at least one or up to 6 areas that your presentation will address.

If you have any questions about this call or the identified priority areas, please contact Nathan Nickel, the scientific program planner for breastfeeding:


Program Planner Contact Information:

Nathan C. Nickel, MPH, PhD
Manitoba Centre for Health Policy
University of Manitoba
408-727 McDermot AveMB R3E3P5
Phone: 204-789-3666