Doctor Karleen Gribble

Doctor Karleen Gribble

Adjunct Associate Professor,
School of Nursing and Midwifery


Karleen Gribble is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Midwifery. Karleen completed her PhD at Western Sydney University in 1999 and while her career began in agriculture, she soon transferred her research skills to infant feeding. She has held an adjunct position at WSU since 2003. Her areas of expertise include: adoptive breastfeeding, long-term breastfeeding, child protection and breastfeeding, peer-to-peer milk sharing, bottle feeding, infant and young child feeding in emergencies (IYCF-E), attachment in foster care, home education and trauma, and the practical aspects of day-to-day care for children with a history of trauma.


Karleen’s research is of high quality and has been published in 37 refereed journal articles and book chapters that are regularly cited. She is a frequent speaker at conferences on infant feeding, humanitarian aid, child health and foster care/adoption. This has included as a keynote speaker in New Zealand, the UK, France, Indonesia and the Philippines as well as a variety of conferences in Australia. She has been twice awarded (2007, 2013) the Mary Paton Research Award for Best Breastfeeding Paper, the only person to be so honoured. Karleen is active in policy development, advocacy and training in the area of IYCF-E and is the world’s most prolific researcher in this field. She frequently provides advice to UN organisations, NGOs and governments on IYCF-E and her research has shaped national and international policies. Since 2010 she has been an individual member of the international interagency collaboration the Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies Core Group. She regularly provides expert opinion in on issues related to infant feeding in Australian Children’s Courts.  From 2010-2013 she was an advisor to the Federal Attorney General as a member of the National Intercountry Adoption Group.


Karleen is one of the top ranking Western Sydney University authors for The Conversation and is regularly interviewed by print and broadcast media on issues related to infant feeding and adoption. She is also an Australian Breastfeeding Association Community Educator and Breastfeeding Counsellor.


This information has been contributed by Doctor Gribble.


  • PhD University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury
  • BRurSc University of New England

Professional Memberships

  • Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies Core Group (2010 - 2017)

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • School of Nursing and Midwifery


Phone: n/a
Mobile: 0431 118485
Location: Off Campus

PLEASE NOTE: obtaining information from this Directory must be for the legitimate purposes of doing business with and within Western Sydney University, and must not be used for unsolicited bulk e-mailing (spamming) or similar purposes.


Chapters in Books

  • Gribble, K. (2014), 'Formula feeding in emergencies', Handbook of Dietary and Nutritional Aspects of Bottle Feeding, Wageningen Academic Publishers 9789086862238.

Journal Articles

  • Blythe, S., Elcombe, E., Peters, K., Burns, E. and Gribble, K. (2022), 'Australian foster carers' views of supporting maternal breastfeeding and attachment in out-of-home care', Child Abuse and Neglect, vol 130, no 3 .
  • Gribble, K. and Blythe, S. (2022), 'Love and belonging in foster carer recruitment materials in New South Wales, Australia', Child Abuse and Neglect, vol 130 .
  • Gribble, K., Bewley, S., Bartick, M., Mathisen, R., Walker, S., Gamble, J., Bergman, N., Gupta, A., Hocking, J. and Dahlen, H. (2022), 'Effective communication about pregnancy, birth, lactation, breastfeeding and newborn care : the importance of sexed language', Frontiers in Global Women's Health, vol 3 .
  • Gribble, K., Villarosa, A., Ghimire, P. and Blythe, S. (2022), '[In Press] Enduring familial relationships and identity preservation make simple adoption the preferred permanency option for children in out-of-home care', Australian Social Work, .
  • Gribble, K. (2021), 'Writing expert reports for court in relation to breastfeeding infants and young children', Journal of Human Lactation, vol 37, no 4 , pp 683 - 688.
  • Blythe, S., Peters, K., Elcombe, E., Burns, E. and Gribble, K. (2021), 'Australian foster carers' views and concerns regarding maternal drug use and the safety of breastmilk', Children, vol 8, no 4 .
  • Tomori, C., Gribble, K., Palmquist, A., Ververs, M. and Gross, M. (2020), 'When separation is not the answer : breastfeeding mothers and infants affected by COVID-19', Maternal and Child Nutrition, vol 16, no 4 .
  • Vu Hoang, D., Cashin, J., Gribble, K., Marinelli, K. and Mathisen, R. (2020), 'Misalignment of global COVID-19 breastfeeding and newborn care guidelines with World Health Organization recommendations', BMJ Nutrition, Prevention and Health, vol 3, no 2 .
  • Gribble, K., Mathisen, R., Ververs, M. and Coutsoudis, A. (2020), 'Mistakes from the HIV pandemic should inform the COVID-19 response for maternal and newborn care', International Breastfeeding Journal, vol 15, no 1 .
  • Gribble, K., Marinelli, K., Tomori, C. and Gross, M. (2020), 'Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic response for breastfeeding, maternal caregiving capacity and infant mental health', Journal of Human Lactation, vol 36, no 4 , pp 591 - 603.
  • Hull, N., Kam, R. and Gribble, K. (2020), 'Providing breastfeeding support during the COVID-19 pandemic : concerns of mothers who contacted the Australian Breastfeeding Association', Breastfeeding Review, vol 28, no 3 , pp 25 - 35.
  • Sheehan, A., Gribble, K. and Schmied, V. (2019), 'It's okay to breastfeed in public but...', International Breastfeeding Journal, vol 14 .
  • Palmquist, A., Perrin, M., Cassar-Uhl, D., Gribble, K., Bond, A. and Cassidy, T. (2019), 'Current trends in research on human milk exchange for infant feeding', Journal of Human Lactation, vol 35, no 3 , pp 453 - 477.
  • Gribble, K., Peterson, M. and Brown, D. (2019), 'Emergency preparedness for infant and young child feeding in emergencies (IYCF-E) : an Australian audit of emergency plans and guidance', BMC Public Health, vol 19, no 1 .
  • Gribble, K. (2018), 'Supporting the most vulnerable through appropriate infant and young child feeding in emergencies', Journal of Human Lactation, vol 34, no 1 , pp 40 - 46.
  • Gribble, K. (2018), '"Someone's generosity has formed a bond between us" : interpersonal relationships in Internet-facilitated peer-to-peer milk sharing', Maternal and Child Nutrition, vol 14, no S6 .
  • Gribble, K. and Fernandes, C. (2018), 'Considerations regarding the use of infant formula products in infant and young child feeding in emergencies (IYCF-E) programs', World Nutrition, vol 9, no 3 , pp 261 - 283.
  • Berry, N. and Gribble, K. (2017), 'Health and nutrition content claims on websites advertising infant formula available in Australia : a content analysis', Maternal and Child Nutrition, vol 13, no 4 .
  • Gribble, K., Berry, N., Kerac, M. and Challinor, M. (2017), 'Volume marker inaccuracies : a cross-sectional survey of infant feeding bottles', Maternal and Child Nutrition, vol 13, no 3 .
  • Gribble, K. and English, R. (2016), 'Helping children with home education : how home education can enable good educational outcomes for children and young people in out-of-home care', International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies, vol 7, no 2 , pp 240 - 256.
  • Gribble, K. (2016), 'Promoting attachment in foster parents : what we can learn from the experience of parents of premature infants', Adoption and Fostering, vol 40, no 2 , pp 113 - 127.
  • Hargest-Slade, A. and Gribble, K. (2015), 'Shaken but not broken : supporting breastfeeding women after the 2011 Christchurch New Zealand earthquake', Breastfeeding Review, vol 23, no 3 , pp 7 - 13.
  • Gribble, K. (2014), 'Perception and management of risk in Internet based peer-to-peer milk-sharing', Early Child Development and Care, vol 184, no 1 , pp 84 - 98.
  • Gribble, K. and Gallagher, M. (2014), 'Rights of children in relation to breastfeeding in child protection cases', British Journal of Social Work, vol 44, no 2 , pp 434 - 450.
  • Gribble, K. (2014), '"I'm happy to be able to help" : why women donate milk to a peer via Internet-based milk sharing networks', Breastfeeding Medicine, vol 9, no 5 , pp 251 - 256.
  • Gribble, K. (2014), ''A better alternative' : why women use peer-to-peer shared milk', Breastfeeding Review, vol 22, no 1 , pp 11 - 21.
  • Gribble, K. (2013), 'Media messages and the needs of infants and young children after Cyclone Nargis and the WenChuan Earthquake', Disasters, vol 37, no 1 , pp 80 - 100.
  • Gribble, K. (2013), 'Peer-to-peer milk donors' and recipients' experiences and perceptions of donor milk banks', Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, vol 42, no 4 , pp 451 - 461.
  • Gribble, K. and Hausman, B. (2012), 'Milk sharing and formula feeding : infant feeding risks in comparative perspective?', Australasian Medical Journal, vol 5, no 5 , pp 275 - 283.
  • Taylor, C., Gribble, K., Sheehan, A., Schmied, V. and Dykes, F. (2011), 'Staff Perceptions and Experiences of Implementing the Baby Friendly Initiative in Neonatal Intensive Care Units in Australia', JOGNN - Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, vol 40, no 1 , pp 25 - 34.
  • Schmied, V., Gribble, K., Sheehan, A., Taylor, C. and Dykes, F. (2011), 'Ten steps or climbing a mountain: A study of Australian health professionals' perceptions of implementing the baby friendly health initiative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding', BMC Health Services Research, vol 11, no 208 , pp 1 - 10.
  • Akre, J., Gribble, K. and Minchin, M. (2011), 'Milk sharing: from private practice to public pursuit', International Breastfeeding Journal, vol 6, no 1 , pp 8 - 8.
  • Gribble, K. (2011), 'Mechanisms behind breastmilk's protection against, and artificial baby milk's facilitation of, diarrhoeal illness', Breastfeeding Review, vol 19, no 2 , pp 19 - 26.
  • Gribble, K. and Berry, N. (2011), 'Emergency preparedness for those who care for infants in developed country contexts', International Breastfeeding Journal., vol 6, no 1 , pp 16 - 16.
  • Gribble, K., McGrath, M., MacLaine, A. and Lhotska, L. (2011), 'Supporting breastfeeding in emergencies: Protecting women's reproductive rights and maternal and infant health', Disasters, vol 35, no 4 , pp 720 - 738.
  • Gribble, K. (2009), ''As good as chocolate' and 'better than ice cream': How toddler, and older, breastfeeders experience breastfeeding', Early Child Development and Care, vol 179, no 8 , pp 1067 - 1082.
  • Gribble, K. (2008), 'Long-term breastfeeding ; changing attitudes and overcoming challenges', Breastfeeding Review, vol 16, no 1 , pp 5 - 15.
  • Berry, N. and Gribble, K. (2008), 'Breast is no longer best: Promoting normal infant feeding', Maternal and Child Nutrition, vol 4, no 1 , pp 74 - 79.
  • Gribble, K. (2007), 'A model for caregiving of adopted children after institutionalization.', Journal of child and adolescent psychiatric nursing, vol 20, no 1 , pp 14 - 26.
  • Gribble, K. (2006), 'Mental health, attachment and breastfeeding: implications for adopted children and their mothers.', International Breastfeeding Journal, vol 1, no 5 , pp 1 - 15.
  • Gribble, K. (2005), 'Breastfeeding of a medically fragile foster child', Journal of Human Lactation, vol 21, no 1 , pp 42 - 46.
  • Gribble, K. (2004), 'The influence of context on the success of adoptive breastfeeding: Developing countries and the west', Breastfeeding Review Journal, vol 12 , pp 5 - 13.
  • Gribble, K., Sarafis, V. and Conroy, J. (2003), 'Vitrified Plants : Towards an Understanding of their Nature', Phytomorphology, vol 53 , pp 1 - 10.
  • Gribble, K., Conroy, J., Holford, P. and Milham, P. (2002), 'In vitro uptake of minerals by Gypsophila paniculata and hybrid eucalypts, and relevance to media mineral formulation', Australian Journal of Botany, vol 50 , pp 713 - 723.
  • Gribble, K. (2001), 'Mother-to-mother support for women breastfeeding in unusual circumstances: a new method for an old model.', Breastfeeding review : professional publication of the Nursing Mothers" Association of Australia, vol 9, no 3 , pp 13 - 19.

Other Publications

  • 2019, 'Belonging in Two Families: Exploring Permanency Options for Children in Long-Term Out-of-Home Care in Australia', Report

Previous Projects

Title: Belonging in two families: exploring permanency options for children in foster care
  • University of Western Sydney
  • Adopt Change Ltd
Western Researchers: Stacy Blythe, Kath Peters and Karleen Gribble
Years: 2018-06-20 - 2019-06-30
ID: P00025113
Title: A study of contemporary family, social and cultural influences on first-time mothers' decisions about infant feeding and early parenting practices
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
  • Kids of Macarthur Health Foundation
  • Avondale College
  • University of Central Lancashire
Western Researchers: Virginia Schmied and Karleen Gribble
Years: 2009-08-04 - 2012-08-03
ID: P00016588

Western Sydney University

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751

Tel: +61 2 9852 5222

ABN 53 014 069 881
CRICOS Provider No: 00917k