Breastfeeding and Breast Milk – from Biochemistry to Impact. A Multidisciplinary Introduction.

Breastfeeding and Breast Milk – from Biochemistry to Impact. A Multidisciplinary Introduction is now available as an open access ebook on LactaHub. 

Breastfeeding is one of the most under-leveraged strategies in improving children’s health, and can have a marked impact on later health and disease risks for both mothers and children. This is why the Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation (FLRF) embarked on a project to gather evidence-based contributions from international specialists on everything from physiology to policy, and present them in this first-of-its-kind, comprehensive reference book.

Breastfeeding and Breast Milk – from Biochemistry to Impact is a valuable resource for decision-makers and health professionals alike. It presents a holistic overview of key topics surrounding the influence of breastfeeding and breastmilk on children’s health and development. With multidisciplinary expertise and perspectives, the authors encourage governments to increase breastfeeding rates by creating breastfeeding-friendly environments. They also suggest a shift in focus from isolated activities to collaborative efforts through multi-stakeholder partnerships.

One example of how the book has inspired policymakers is illustrated by the COAG Health Council; they incorporated it as a source in their policy framework for all Australian governments to provide a supportive and enabling environment for breastfeeding. Called the Australian National Breastfeeding Strategy: 2019 and Beyond, the new policy framework references two chapters from Breastfeeding and Breast Milk – from Biochemistry to Impact:

• Sociological and Cultural Influences upon Breastfeeding
• The Psychological Effects of Breastfeeding

Ultimately, Breastfeeding and Breast Milk – from Biochemistry to Impact aims to empower all communities with the knowledge required to increase promotion, protection and support for breastfeeding and breastmilk.

“Research clearly shows that breastfeeding is vital to leading a healthier life. While it is heartening to see promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding moving higher on many governmental agendas, there is more work to be done. Therefore, it is our hope that this book will serve as a launching point by providing factual and relevant information for those eager to move forward in supporting this important topic.” – Göran Larsson, Chairman of the Board, Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation

The book is presented in five sections, and explores the following topics:

Part 1: Setting the Scene
• Breast Milk, Global Health and Sustainable Development
• Data Collection on Infant Feeding
• How Breastfeeding Works: Anatomy and Physiology of Human Lactation
• Why Breastfeeding?

Part 2: Different Perspectives
• Human Milk: Bioactive Components and Their Effects on the Infant and Beyond
• The Psychological Effects of Breastfeeding
• Sociological and Cultural Influences upon Breastfeeding
• Breastfeeding Promotion: Politics and Policy
• Human Milk in Economics Context
• Commercial Aspects of Breastfeeding: Products and Services
• The Promotion of Breastfeeding
• Infant Feeding in History: an Outline

Part 3: Human Milk in Special Circumstances
• Human Milk in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
• A Collective View of Human Milk Banking
• Pasteurisation
• Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
• Breastfeeding and the Use of Medications

Part 4: The Ways Forward
• Scaling-up Breastfeeding Protection, Promotion, and Support Programmes

Part 5: Addendum
• Epilogue
• List of Figures
• List of Tables
• Index of Authors
• Index

Breastfeeding and Breast Milk – from Biochemistry to Impact also includes LactaPedia – a glossary of lactation for science and medicine. The source for research-based terminology on breastfeeding, breastmilk and lactation was developed by The University of Western Australia and is freely accessible to everyone, with support from FLRF.

Published in 2018 by FLRF at Thieme, an award-winning international medical and science publisher serving health professionals and students for more than 125 years, Breastfeeding and Breast Milk – from Biochemistry to Impact is available in English in two formats.

Hard copies, directly from the publisher
orders from Switzerland, Austria and Germany
orders from all other international locations, or by contacting FLRF directly at

Open access ebook, via LactaHub – an evidence-based resource for breastfeeding intelligence

Previews can also be downloaded at no charge – we welcome your feedback at