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We are delighted to be hosting an Infant Feeding and Return to Paid Work Conference  as part our Maternal Well-Being Infant Feeding and Return to Paid Work study being funded by the Nuffield Foundation.  The conference will be hosted on our beautiful Whiteknights campus at the University of Reading, UK on Wednesday 19 June 2024. The conference will be hybrid so it will also be possible to attend online. This conference is aimed at our stakeholders: families, employers, policy makers, practitioners, academics and anyone with an interest in infant feeding and return to paid work.

There is no conference registration fee. Lunch and refreshments will be provided for those attending in person. You can register for the event via our registration link, for in person attendance please register by June 11th 2024 (for catering purposes). The programme for the conference is now available (timings are 10am-4pm, with arrival from 10am and the talks starting at 10:30).

At the conference you will have a chance to hear the key findings to date from our Maternal Well-Being Infant Feeding and Return to Paid Work study, and to participate in a brainstorm around developing resources for families and employers. We also delighted to have two guest speakers: Dr Ellen Evans and Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi.

About our study

Our  study explores the lived experience of new mothers who wish to breastfeed upon return to work, and how organisations can better support breastfeeding employees. The work is being led by Professor Sarah Jewell and draws on expertise in economics, law and health communication. The study aims to better understand the realities faced by new mothers and will help inform policy and practice to improve the working lives and well-being of new mothers. Drawing on the findings of the study, we want to develop resource and toolkits to support both families and employers and are looking forward to receiving input and feedback from conference participants to support their development.

Our Guest Speakers

Dr Ellen Evans (Cardiff Metropolitan University) will present on: “Exploring the Hygiene Challenges of Expressing Breastmilk in the Workplace After Returning from Maternity Leave”

Read Bio >

Dr Ellen Evans is a Reader in Food Safety Behaviour at the ZERO2FIVE Food Industry Centre in the UK. As a qualified professional chef, and after completing a PhD focusing on the food safety risks associated with listeriosis among older adults at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Dr Evans has conducted numerous cognitive and behavioural food safety research projects. The relationship between people and food fascinates her. Ellen states that she is intrigued by the influence of knowledge and perceptions upon behaviour, and the impact this has on food safety. This interest spans from food handlers in the food sector through to the consumer in the domestic environment. Consequently, Ellen is involved with innovative research utilising novel research technologies regarding numerous critical areas of food safety research including, consumer food safety in the domestic setting; food safety culture and compliance in the food manufacturing industry and food service sector, and; food safety education and communication in healthcare settings.

Ellen is particularly active with the International Association for Food Protection and is Past-President of the UK Association for Food Protection. Ellen’s contribution to food protection has resulted in a recognisable research profile, with over 40 published journal articles, 150 conference contributions and numerous research-based reports for the Welsh and Scottish Governments. Ellen is a BBC expert contact for issues pertaining to food safety, and she regularly contribute to TV and radio in English and Welsh. Ellen is passionate about consumer food safety outreach activities, she recently distributed 1,000 refrigerator thermometers and 1,000 cooking probes to consumers in citizen science research projects.






Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi (York St John University) will present on “Mind the Gap: Infant Feeding and Return to work”.

Read Bio >

Dr Ernestine Gheyoh Ndzi is the Associate Dean for Law and Police Studies at York St John University. Her research interest lies in Company Law and Employment Law. Ernestine has in the past four years been researching on shared parental leave and breastfeeding. Ernestine is a member of the Board of Trustees for The Breastfeeding Network, member of Breastfeeding Law Group UK and Member of the Advisory Board, Working Families. She is creator of the documentary entitled “Breastfeeding: Not on the Agenda” and the 9-webinar series. She is the convenor of the International Conference on Policies and Parental Support.





Additional Information

For campus maps and details on reaching the campus you can also see the Visiting the University page.

If you have queries, please contact the local organisers: Professor Sarah Jewell (


The Nuffield Foundation is an independent charitable trust with a mission to advance social well-being. It funds research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare, and Justice. It also funds student programmes that provide opportunities for young people to develop skills in quantitative and scientific methods. The Nuffield Foundation is the founder and co-funder of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, the Ada Lovelace Institute and the Nuffield Family Justice Observatory. The Foundation has funded this project, but the views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily the Foundation. Visit