Melinda Boss is a PhD candidate and senior research fellow with the Pharmacy Division at The University of Western Australia. Her area of interest, human lactation, is an unusual one for a pharmacist. Although 96% of Australian women initiate breastfeeding, less than 16% of infants are exclusively breastfed to five months of age. As many of the important health benefits associated with lactation are dose-related and extend beyond the period of lactation, this is a significant public health concern. Melinda is the project lead for Lactamap, an online lactation care support system being developed with doctors to provide evidence-informed care pathways and practice guidelines for mothers and their term infants experiencing difficulty with breastfeeding. Lactamap will be piloted in general practice within six months, with national and international release and translation into multiple languages planned thereafter.
Melinda believes there is great potential for pharmacists to also provide clinical services to support breastfeeding following similar Lactamap framework. Pharmacists will be able to provide complementary and synergistic lactation support and screening, providing an effective addition to the healthcare team for mothers and infants struggling to breastfeed.
Melinda gratefully acknowledges research grant funding from the Family Larsson-Rosenquist Foundation.
- Short Bio:B.Pharm MPS