Event Details

PHO Webinar: “Breast is Best” to “Fed is Best”: A trauma and violence-informed approach to caring for, and supporting women and families with infant feeding

The narrative of “breast is best” may have played a part in improved breastfeeding rates, and for some, a more empowered and normalized breastfeeding experience. The flipside of this movement is that it places pressure on women to breastfeed, and sometimes resultant shame when alternative methods of infant feeding are utilized. There are numerous, often intersecting barriers to breastfeeding, such as poverty, violence, and other experiences of trauma. Women experiencing challenging life circumstances may face more stigma, further marginalizing those who are already vulnerable. Adopting a trauma-and violence- informed care (TVIC) “fed is best” approach can play an integral role in supporting postpartum mothers and families while achieving the best health and wellness outcomes for mother and baby. This webinar will describe how public health nurses and other community-based professionals can integrate a TVIC approach when interacting with, and supporting women and families in their choices around infant feeding.

Intended audience: Public health nurses, supervisors; family home visitors and supervisors (clinical, Healthy Babies Healthy Children, Nurse-Family Partnership); any community-based professionals working with pregnant people or families with infants

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the importance of a TVIC approach in providing support to postpartum women and families
  • Apply the principles of TVIC when interacting with and supporting women and families in their choices of infant feeding
  • Understand where to obtain TVIC resources for public health nurses and community-based professionals

Presenter(s): Kimberley T. Jackson and Tara Mantler

Kimberley T. Jackson, RN, PhD, Assistant Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University, Co-Lead -Women’s Health Matters. Dr. Jackson’s program of research is focused on improving health outcomes for women and their children, with a particular focus on nursing care in the antenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum periods to provide trauma-and violence-informed approaches to assess and address breastfeeding and perinatal pain, and mental health.

Tara Mantler, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Health Studies, Western University. Co-Lead-Women’s Health Matters. Dr. Mantler’s program of research centres around health equity research, specializing in gender-based violence, women’s health and the adoption and integration of trauma-and violence-informed care principles in practice and policy.


The opinions expressed by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies or views of Public Health Ontario, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by Public Health Ontario.


Public Health Ontario is committed to complying with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). If you require accommodations to participate in this event, please contact 647-260-7100 or capacitybuilding@oahpp.ca.

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Capacity Building


Updated 3 May 2023