CALL FOR ABSTRACTS — APHA 2023 Annual Meeting and Expo


Meeting theme: "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Overcoming Social and Ethical Challenges"

Submission Deadline: Friday, March 31, 2023

The APHA Breastfeeding Forum is issuing this CALL for Abstracts for the 2023 APHA Annual Meeting and Expo.

Please limit your abstract to 300 words.


  • 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.
  • Priority will be given to submissions that focus on social and ethical challenges.


  • Apply a Reproductive Justice, Equity or Life Course Perspective to Human Milk Feeding and the Challenges Experienced By Those Who Practice It
  • Consider the Breastfeeding, Chestfeeding, or Human Milk Feeding Experiences Among Populations That Have Been Historically Excluded or Purposively Marginalized
  • Lactation within the Context of the Infant Formula Shortage and COVID-19, Including Vaccination and Lactation, Long COVID, and Supporting Lactation and Breastfeeding during the Pandemic
  • Research on the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Human Milk Feeding and Lactation


We welcome abstracts and submissions focused on any aspect related to lactation, breastfeeding, chestfeeding, human milk feeding, human milk expression, and donor human milk. If you have a novel project that is not listed above, please feel free to submit it. However, we will not review abstracts related to breastfeeding initiation, alone, unless the research is truly novel. Work that discusses "risk factors" without considering the broader structural and institutional determinants of health will also receive low priority. Submissions are expected to present a public and/or population health perspective. 

Abstract Review

Abstracts submitted will undergo blind peer review. Abstracts that receive the highest scores are then arranged into sessions based on the program plan for that year. Reviewers assess abstracts based on the following characteristics: 

- Study aligns with priorities identified in call
- Study advances knowledge/discussion around infant feeding
- Study novelty in terms of topic, methods, and/or study design
- Methodological Rigor: Rigorous analytic methods appropriate to study
- Presentation of Results: specific, clear, concise
- Implications of Findings: breastfeeding research, policy, practice, and/or public health
- Measurable Learning Objectives

Each year, the Breastfeeding Forum recognizes two submitted abstracts with an award:

(1) The Highest Scoring Abstract;

(2) The Highest Scoring Student Abstract.


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.

Suggested Dos and Don'ts:

- Conduct a literature review so that you can convince reviewers that your abstract is truly novel and impactful;
- Start early and have your friends, colleagues, and/or mentors proof read your work;
- Make sure to include your results;
- Make the public health significance and relevance to the field of breastfeeding clear;
- Do not focus on initiation;
- Do not submit work that has been previously presented at APHA;
- Do not wait to the last minute to contact the program planner. 

If you have any questions about this call or the identified priority areas, please contact Dr. Diana Cassar-Uhl, the scientific program planner for breastfeeding:


Program Planner Contact Information:

Diana Cassar-Uhl,