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Journal of Human Lactation

Journal of Human Lactation

eISSN: 15525732 | ISSN: 08903344 | Current volume: 37 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Quarterly
Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) is an international multi-disciplinary quarterly, peer-reviewed journal publishing original research, original theoretical and conceptual articles, discussions regarding clinical practice and policy issues, and special features relating to research, education, and practice in human lactation and breastfeeding. JHL is relevant for all lactation professionals in clinical practice, education, public health, research, and a broad range of fields related to the trans-disciplinary field of human lactation. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

The Journal of Human Lactation is the official journal of the International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®). ILCA advances the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® profession worldwide through leadership, advocacy, professional development, and research. ILCA membership includes a subscription to the Journal of Human Lactation.

 Committed to the promotion of diversity and equity in all our policies and practices, our aims are:

  • To provide our readers and the international communities of clinicians, educators and scholars working in the field of lactation with current and quality-based evidence, from a broad array of disciplines, including the medical sciences, basic sciences, social sciences and the humanities.
  • To provide student and novice researchers, as well as, researchers whose native language is not English, with expert editorial guidance while preparing their work for publication in JHL.

In each issue, the Journal of Human Lactation publishes original research, original theoretical and conceptual articles, discussions of policy and practice issues, and the following special features:

  • Advocacy: A column that discusses a ‘hot’ topic in lactation advocacy
  • About Research: A column focused on an in-depth discussion of a different research topic each issue
  • Lactation Newsmakers: An interview with a widely-recognized outstanding expert in the field from around the globe
  • Research Commentary: A brief discussion of the issues raised in a specific research article published in the current issue
  • Book review(s): Reviews written by content experts about relevant new publications
  • International News Briefs: From major international lactation organizations
Joan E. Dodgson, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN School of Nursing, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, USA
Associate Editors
Ethan Bamberger, BS South Glastonbury, CT, USA
Ellen M. Chetwynd, PhD, MPH, BSN, IBCLC University of North Carolina at Greensboro, School of Public Health Education, NC, USA
Laura Duckett, PhD, MPH, RN University of Minnesota, School of Nursing (Emerita), Minneapolis, MN, USA
Sara L. Gill, PhD, RN, IBCLC, FAAN University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio School of Nursing, San Antonio, TX, USA
Zelalem Haile, PhD, MPH Ohio University, Dublin, OH, USA
Kathleen A. Marinelli, MD, IBCLC, FABM, FAAP Connecticut Children's Medical Center, Hartford, CT, USA; University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT, USA
Assistant Editors
Caroline K. Bamberger, BA South Glastonbury, CT, USA
Rebecca Costello, MPH, IBCLC New York, USA
Managing Editor
Erin Valentine, MA Cary, NC, USA
Book Editor
Cynthia Garcia, MA Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, California, USA
Consulting Editor for WHO Code and International Advocacy
Maryse Arendt, IBCLC Chargée de direction (director), Initiativ Liewensufank Luxemburg, Luxembourg
Editorial Board
Ilana R. Azulay Chertok, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC Ohio University School of Nursing, Ohio, USA
Yeon Bai, PhD, RD Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ, USA
Helen Ball, PhD, MA Durham University, Durham, UK
Stephanie Devane-Johnson, PhD, CNM Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Aiden Farrow, IBCLC Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Victoria, BC, Canada
Karleen D. Gribble, BRurSc, PhD University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia
Maureen Groer, PhD, RN, FAAN University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Paige Hall-Smith, PhD Center for Women's Health and Wellness, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC, USA
Elizabeth Hormann, Ed.M, IBCLC European Institute for Breastfeeding and Lactation, Cologne, Germany
Margaret Kyenkya, PhD Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Dawn Leeming, PhD, Dip. Clin. Psychol. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK
Katsumi Mizuno, PhD, MD, IBCLC Showa University Koto Toyosu Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
Fedro A. Peccatori, MD, PhD European School of Oncology, Milan, Italy
Carol Wagner, MD Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA
Jacqueline H. Wolf, PhD Ohio University, Department of Social Medicine, Athens, OH, USA
  • CAB Abstracts Database
  • CABI: Abstracts on Hygiene and Communicable Diseases
  • CABI: Dairy Science Abstracts
  • CABI: Global Health
  • CABI: Nutrition Abstracts and Reviews Series A
  • CABI: Tropical Diseases Bulletin
  • Clarivate Analytics: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE)
  • Combined Health Information Database (CHID)
  • EMBASE/Excerpta Medica
  • Food Science and Technology Abstracts
  • InfoTrac (full text)
  • International Nursing Index
  • Nutrition Abstracts and Reviews
  • Ovid: Allied and Complementary Medicine Database
  • Review of Medical and Veterinary Mycology
  • Rural Development Abstracts
  • Science Citation Index Expanded (Web of Science)
  • Scopus

    Author Directions: Journal of Human Lactation

    Table of Contents

    JHL Publishing Policies

    Manuscript Format

    Manuscript Types

    Submitting Your Manuscript

    On Acceptance and Publication


    APPENDIX A: Table Directions

    APPENDIX B: Example of a Case Study Timeline

    For Author and Publication Queries Contact

    Editor-in-Chief Dr. Joan E. Dodgson

    JHL Publishing Policies

    Manuscripts should be prepared according to the guidelines set for in the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th Edition (VandenBos, 2019). This applies to all headings within the text, pagination, running head, in-text citations, reference list, tables and figures, along with statistical notations, punctuation and word usage. All text should be double-spaced, size 12 pt. font. Margins should be set at 1 inch. Do not include page or line numbers, as these will automatically be added when the manuscript is submitted and converted to a PDF file.

    Language preferences

    Acceptable American English usage and syntax are expected. Do not use slang, medical jargon, or obscure abbreviations or phrasing. Adherence to the ILCA Style Guidelines for Written Professional Resources (ILCA Professional Resources Committee, 2017) for preferred language is required (see Appendix B). For example, human milk or mother’s milk is correct, rather than breast milk, and is written as two words; breastfeeding is one word. Participants in research studies need to be referred to as participants or respondents, never subjects.

    Metric measurement is preferred; equivalent measurements may be included in parentheses. Always provide the complete form of an acronym/abbreviation the first time it is presented inthe text. Use generic names for drugs or devices; put trade names in parentheses.

    Resources for authors whose native language is not English:

    SAGE offers English Language Editing services:

    Author Aid:

    University of Utah’s open course “Writing for Professional Journals”:

    Peer review policy

    All manuscripts are reviewed initially by the editors and only those papers that meet the scientific and editorial standards of the journal and fit within the aims and scope of the journal, will be sent for external review. If externally reviewed, each manuscript is reviewed by at least three reviewers. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, and an editorial decision is generally reached within seven weeks of submission. JHL operates a conventional double-blind reviewing policy in which the reviewers’ and authors’ names are concealed.

    Editors have very broad discretion in determining whether an article is an appropriate fit for their journal. Many manuscripts are declined with a very general statement of the rejection decision. These decisions are not eligible for formal appeal unless the author believes the decision to reject the manuscript was based on an error in the review of the article, in which case the author may appeal the decision by providing the Editor with a detailed written description of the error they believe occurred.

    If an author believes the decision regarding their manuscript was affected by a publication ethics breach, the author may contact the publisher with a detailed written description of their concern, and information supporting the concern, at

    Ethical publishing policies

    Avoiding plagiarism. Plagiarism is a serious breach of ethical scholarship. To avoid this possibility, we use a software program (iThenticate) to check all manuscripts for plagiarism. It is important that authors understand the importance of using quotes with appropriate in-text citations, including page numbers when using the written words of other authors. Failure to do so constitutes plagiarism.

    Avoiding referencing predatory journals. Over the past 5 years, there has been a spread of unethical publishing practices that use an exploitative business model, charging authors and providing none of the editorial services and quality control measures provided by legitimate journals. Several organizations concerned with ethics in publishing “have collaborated in an effort to identify principles of transparency and best practice for scholarly publications” (COPE, 2018, p. 1). They have published the “Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing” (COPE, 2018). In accordance with these publishing standards, we will not publish references from any known predatory journal. We require all authors submitting manuscripts to carefully check their references and delete any found to be from predatory journals.

    Policy on predatory publishing available here

    Protection of Human Rights

    We accept manuscripts for publication only if it is made clear that investigations were carried out using a high ethical standard. Evidence of protection of human subjects approval from an appropriately credentialed Institutional Review Board is required for all research manuscripts submitted (including case studies), with the exception of reviews. The specifics about how informed consent was obtained should be described in the Data Collection section of the submitted manuscript. All experimental studies must conform to the Declaration of Helsinki (World Medical Association, 2001). Authors are required to ensure the following guidelines are followed, as per the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors Recommendations (Fees, 2015). Participants have a right to privacy, which should not be infringed upon without their informed consent. Identifying information, including patients’ names, initials, or hospital numbers should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, or pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the participant (or parent or guardian) has given written informed consent for publication. Informed consent in this situation requires that an identifiable participant be shown the manuscript and provide consent prior to submission. Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve; therefore, informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of participants is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity (e.g., in genetic pedigrees), authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning.


    Manuscripts should be submitted for consideration only after all contributing authors give consent. Authors submitting papers should carefully check that all the information about contributing authors is correct and complete. The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all who (a) made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data; (b) drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content; and (c) approved the submitted version. When a large, multicenter group has conducted the work, the group should identify the individuals who accept direct responsibility for the manuscript and who meet the listed criteria; only these individuals should be listed as authors. Acquisition of funding, collection of data, or general supervision of the research group alone does not constitute authorship. All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical or writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support Please refer to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) authorship guidelines (Fees, 2015).

    JHL allows shared first authorship when applicable. Please designate the co-first authors within an Authors’ Note section just before the references.

    The submitting author is responsible for listing the contributions of all authors at submission. All authors should agree to their individual contributions prior to submission. In order to adhere to the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE: guidelines, authors must have been responsible for at least one of the following roles, as defined by the taxonomy: conceptualization, methodology, formal analysis or investigation. In addition, all authors need to be actively involved in writing the manuscript, either in the preparation of the original draft or in reviewing and editing. When there is no collection, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work (e. g., for an Editorial) the first criterion may be met by the roles 'Conceptualization' or 'Methodology'. Author contributions will be published with the article; accuracy is the responsibility of all authors. Any contributors with roles that do not constitute authorship (e.g. Supervision was the sole contribution) should be listed in the Acknowledgements.

    Manuscript Format

    Title page

    All submissions require a title page to be submitted separately. This is the only file that should include the authors’ names or identifying information, to ensure blind peer review. The title page needs to include (a) the complete manuscript title; (b) authors’ full names, academic degrees, and affiliations; (c) corresponding author name, address, telephone number, and email address; and (d) acknowledgements, if any. JHL does not recognize the credential (c) or (C) sometimes used by those who have advanced to candidacy for advanced degrees. We do not publish this as an author credential.

    All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the Acknowledgements section. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identify the entity that paid for this assistance. In addition, authors may acknowledge persons who have contributed to the research or manuscript development. Participants may be acknowledged but must not be specifically named (for example, “Thank you to all the families that participated in this research.”). Limit acknowledgements to 50 words.

    If the first author is currently a student or was a student at the time the research was conducted, please 1-2 sentences describing the student’s situation, i.e., the course/program where the student was matriculated during the research timeframe.

    Please refer to the information and guidance on how best to title your article, and write your article and abstract by visiting SAGE’s Journal Author Gateway Guidelines on How to Help Readers Find Your Article.


    Abstracts of 250 words or less are required for all Reviews, Research Articles, Case Studies, and Original Perspectives submissions; these abstracts should adhere to the appropriate guidelines below. Abstracts do not count in the manuscript word count. Do not use abbreviations in the abstract. Insights into Practice and Policy, Letters to the Editor, and Book Reviews do not require abstracts.

    Reviews and Research Articles. Content for each of the following with these bolded headings is required for Reviews and Research Articles:

    • Background
    • Research aim/question(s)
    • Methods
    • Results
    • Conclusion(s)

    Randomized Clinical Trials must also include the following statement immediately after the abstract: “This RCT was registered (registration number here) with [name site] on [date].”

    Case Studies. Case Study abstracts should have the following sections:

    • Introduction – What is unique about this case and why is it important within the socio- cultural context of the breastfeeding dyad and family?
    • Main issue – Important clinical findings and major lactation issue
    • Management – The actions taken and outcomes
    • Conclusion – What are one or more ‘take-away’ messages?

    Original Perspectives. Original Perspective abstracts should be an unstructured summary of the article.


    All submissions except Letters to the Editor and Book Reviews require keywords. Keywords should only be entered into ScholarOne and not included in the main manuscript file. Authors need to choose keywords from the list of appropriate words in Appendix C, which are entered into the mandatory keyword list in ScholarOne. Optional MeSH (US National Library of Medicine’s Medical Subject Headings) keywords may be listed in the optional keyword field. You can submit your abstract to MeSH on Demand, which will identify and provide a list of MeSH keywords appropriate for your manuscript. You can check to see if your selected keywords are MeSH terms on their website.

    Key Messages

    Research Articles, Reviews, Insights into Practice and Policy, and Original Perspectives articles should include a DOC or DOCX file containing Key Messages. The file should be uploaded separately from the manuscript under the “Key Messages” file designation. This list of 3-4 bullet points written in complete sentences without abbreviations should contain the following information:

    • One statement about context of study (i.e., what is the gap in the knowledge base that is the rationale for doing this study?)
    • 1-2 statements about the core findings of the study
    • One statement of the significance of the study (i.e., how does this research add to the existing knowledge base?)

    Body of manuscript

    The main manuscript file should be a DOC or DOCX document. Please do not submit images of tables embedded into the Word document; these should be submitted as separate DOC or DOCX files. Format your manuscript according to the specific type of manuscript you are submitting, as detailed below.

    Funding acknowledgement

    JHL complies with the World Health Organization’s (1981) International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the International Code) by accepting no advertising by non-International Code compliant companies and by not publishing research funded by non-International Code compliant organizations. Additionally, to comply with ICMJE guidance (Fees, 2015), all authors are required to acknowledge their funding in a separate heading after the body of the text and before the reference list (see specific details below).

    Declaration of conflicting interests

    It is the editorial policy of JHL to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors within the main document file of all submitted articles. When making a declaration, the disclosure information must be specific and include any financial relationship that any and all authors of the article has with any sponsoring organization and the for-profit interests the organization represents, and with any for-profit product discussed or implied in the text of the article.

    Any commercial or financial involvements that might represent an appearance of a conflict of interest needs to be additionally disclosed to the editor to evaluate whether sufficient disclosure has been made within the Conflict of Interest statement provided.

    For more information, please visit the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.


    Avoiding References from Predatory Journals

    • The Journal of Human Lactation will not knowingly publish references from articles in predatory journals. For more information, see Strong (2019).
    • Grudniewicz et al. (2019) defined predatory journals and publishers as “entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from the best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices” (p. 210).
    • When an otherwise reputable and sound scholarly work is submitted for publication has references that have been published in a predatory journal, it diminishes the quality of the manuscript as the authors have referenced studies that have not been adequately peer reviewed with little editorial quality control (Committee on Publication Ethics Council, 2019; Strong, 2019)


    • All in-text citations and the reference list must be formatted according to the APA Manual of Style (7th edition; 2020), including capitalization rules.
    • For more information see
    • The reference list must be double spaced in 12 pt. font.
    • All in-text citations must be cited in the reference list.
    • Spelling out the complete journal name.
    • For meta-analyses, include all studies in the reference list with an asterisk next to those used in the analysis (APA, 2010, p. 183).
    • Examples of APA formatted references are listed below. Please note the differences between different types of citations.
      • Journal: Kamholz, K. L., Parker, M. G., & Philipp, B. L. (2012). Implementing change: Steps to initiate a human donor milk program in a US level III NICU. Journal of Human Lactation, 28(2), 128-131.
    • Journal Article with DOI (for web-based materials): Herbst-Damm, K. L., & Kulik, J. A. (2005). Volunteer support, marital status, and the survival times of terminally ill patients. Health Psychology, 24, 255-229. doi: 10.1037/0278/6133.24.2.225
    • Book: Michaels, P. J., & Balling, R. C., Jr. (2000). The Satanic Gases: Clearing the Air about Global Warming. Washington, DC: Cato Institute.
    • Website: United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2016). Climate Change. Retrieved from the Environmental Protection Agency website:

    References in languages other than English

    • Use APA 7th Edition guidelines (p. 301), which state that the full name of title needs to in English in […] immediately following the title
    • After the title of the journal provide the complete name of journal in English in […]
    • Format: Author names. (Year of Publication). Title in original language [English translation of title]. Name of Journal in original language [English translation of journal name]. Volume number(Issue number), page range. DOI
    • Example: Domínguez-Rodríguez, I., Prieto-Cabras, V., Barraca-Mairal, J. (2017). Un estudio de caso de trastorno adaptativo con ansiedad por situación de sobrecarga laboral [Adaptive disorder with work overload anxiety: A case study].Clínica y Salud [Clinical and Health], 28 (3) 139-146. https//
      • Use only references that are current and relevant
    • References need to be current and relevant; therefore, we prefer references published within the past 5 years, with the exception of classic works in the field, references for theoretical frameworks or methodology.


    Format all tables according to APA format (APA, 2010, p. 193), including the use of statistical abbreviations and footnoting (see Appendix D for examples). Tables should be in DOC or DOCX format.


    Photographs/figures must be provided in their original format (JPG, TIF, EPS). Please ensure that figures are at least 1000 pixels wide for a single column width, or 2100 pixels for two column width and 300 dpi if that is given. It is important that all text be legible when the figure is sized according to the journal's dimensions: One column has a width of 20.25 pica (85.725 mm or 3.375 inches) and two columns require a width of 42 pica (117.8 mm or 7 inches). All text should be in Times New Roman 12-point font. Titles and legends should follow APA formatting (APA, 2010, p. 150). If photographs of people are included, please identify them in the caption with approval. Authors must have consent to take and publish on file for all photographs submitted, and attribution given in the legend for any that are not explicitly by the author. These dimensions are found in the “Properties” of the photograph or figure.

    Manuscript Types

    JHL accepts various types of research manuscripts (i.e., Case Studies, Original Research, Reviews, and Original Perspectives). It is our policy to publish only research where the data has been collected within the past 5 years. In addition, we also accept non-research manuscripts with lactation relevant content of interest to clinicians and researchers (i.e., Insights into Practice and Policy, Letters to the Editor and their responses, and Book Reviews). Each category has specific organizational and formatting requirements that are listed below. Word limits are adhered to generally; however, if your manuscript is longer than the recommended length, please query the editor and we may be able to be flexible depending on the situation.

    Research manuscripts

    JHL is a multi-disciplinary international journal with a diverse readership. Authors need to clearly state the international relevance of their manuscript. Additionally, it is therefore essential that authors clearly explain their research methods, data analysis process and their results in a way that can be understood by professionals in other disciplines. JHL welcomes manuscripts from all disciplines and methodologies.

    Original Research. Original Research papers have a word limit of 3500 words for quantitative manuscripts and 4000 words for qualitative manuscripts; however, exceptions may be made with the Editor in Chief’s prior approval. Include all the research components listed below in this type of manuscript.

    Literature Review. Literature Reviews critically analyzing relevant lactation-specific topics, which use an established review methodology, are welcomed. Many different ways of conducting Literature Reviews exist; however, commonalities do exist across these different methodologies, which include a rigorous identifiable methodology. Although JHL accepts all types of review (e.g., integrated, systematic, and other types), we adhere to the PRISMA guidelines for Literature Reviews (Moher, Liberati, Tetzlaff, Altman, & The PRISMA Group, 2009). We strongly urge authors to incorporate a PRISMA flow diagram of the identification, screening and inclusion of reviewed literature into their manuscript. The manuscript should be limited to 4000 words, excluding tables, figures, and references. Content should include all research components listed below.

    Research components. In all Original Research and Review submissions, include the following outline. Although the content for the manuscript text should include all of the components listed, there may be some variation depending on the research methodology used. For example, it would be inappropriate to have a Measurement section within a qualitative research manuscript.

    • Background – Should succinctly summarize the literature with regard to the study aims/research question(s). this includes the gap in the literature addressed by the research aim(s), which need to be clear, along with a sufficient statement of the significance of the study. The study aims need to be clearly and explicitly stated at the end of the Background section (before the Methods section).
    • Methods – All of the following subsections must be included.
      • Design – Clearly state the study design with a rationale; include protection of human subjects in this section.
      • Setting and Relevant Context – JHL uses a definition of setting that is not the traditional one found in qualitative research, rather we ask authors for the socio-economic (including health care financing and structure), breastfeeding (rates and lactation care available), and geographic and socio-cultural contexts in which the study was carried out. We do this because our international readership may better understand the relationship between their environmental and social contexts and those in which the study was conducted
      • Sample – Identify the target population and the sample population; include participant selection criteria, inclusion and exclusion criteria, method of sampling, and sample size rationale with power analysis, if appropriate. Refer to study participants as participants or respondents, not subjects. Include a PRISMA diagram as needed to clarify how the sample was obtained.
      • Measurement (if applicable) – Clearly define each variable and how it has been measured, providing information on the reliability and validity of all instruments. If survey methods are used, provide enough information on these tools to inform readers about the appropriateness of their use within your specific population.
      • Data collection – Describe who, how and when data were collected. This includes how informed consent was obtained, if applicable.
      • Data analysis – The data analysis plan for each research aim/question should be addressed separately in this section. This section should include any relevant information about decisions to group individual variables in to indices or scales and how these new constructs were evaluated. The analysis plan should describe rationale for selection of statistical tests or why the tests are appropriate to address both the study question and the level of measurement. When multivariate modeling is applied, the analysis plan should include a description of the modeling procedures, including how variables were entered and evaluated and the criteria by which the final models shown in the results were determined. In most cases, 95% confidence intervals are preferred over the p-value for evaluating statistical significance. In the case of p-values, the analysis plan should state if values shown are one or two tailed.
    • Results Structure this section according to each of the research aims/questions. It is appropriate to summarize findings displayed in table(s) and/or highlight key findings; however, avoid repeating most findings displayed in tables.
      • Qualitative results
        • Follow table directions for all tables, including APA formatting (APA, 2010, p. 119-120), including statistical notations (i.e., N=total sample, n=number of cases in a subsample).
        • Use metric measurement.
        • The inclusion of p-values is unnecessary when 95% confidence intervals are presented. As appropriate, identify and specify units of measurement (metric measures are preferred). Do not use excess precision in expressing results. In most cases, two decimal places are sufficient.
        • Presentation of the results from logistic regression, Poisson regression, or Cox regression should be the exponentiated parameter estimate or measure of effect (i.e., the odds ratio, incidence rate ratio, or hazard ratio) and corresponding 95% confidence interval rather than the parameter estimate. Indicators of the goodness of fit of the model, such as a model log likelihood ratio for logistic regression, should be included.
        • All randomized controlled trials submitted for publication should include a completed Consolidated Standards of Report Trials (CONSORT) flow chart.
        • We require authors to register their clinical trials at or other suitable databases identified by the ICMJE. The WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform Search Portal (WHO, 2014) currently lists 15 acceptable registries. Pilot studies or secondary analyses will not require registration; however, the parent study registration for all secondary analyses should be documented. Specify the registration number in ScholarOne and in the required statement following the abstract.
      • Qualitative results
        • Many disciplines conduct qualitative studies; therefore, there are many appropriate ways to report study results. Because JHL is a multi-disciplinary international journal with a diverse readership, it is the responsibility of the author(s) to clearly explain the analysis process and results.
        • Although there are many ways to conduct qualitative research, commonalities do exist. O’Brien and colleagues (2014) analyzed these commonalities. These researchers “formulated and defined standards for reporting qualitative research while preserving the requisite flexibility to accommodate various paradigms, approaches, and methods” (p. 1245). JHL adheres to their guidelines in reviewing qualitative manuscripts and recommends authors use these guidelines when developing their manuscripts, with the understanding that not all of these standards are applicable to every qualitative methodology.
    • Discussion – The purposes of this section are to (a) establish the ways the researchers have addressed their research questions; (b) provide alternative possible explanations for the current findings; (c) compare the current study findings with the previously reported research; (d) identify areas that need further study; and (e) suggest possible applications to lactation practice.
    • Limitations – Describe study limitations due to design and operationalization in a separate subsection of the Discussion section with a section heading.
    • Conclusions – Summarize the results with several broad statements and the discussion with several general statements.

    Case Studies

    Follow all the general formatting directions for authors contain in our Author Directions, including APA (7th Edition) formatting and keyword choices.  Case studies are limited to 1500-2000 words, excluding tables, figures, and references. Include each of the following headers with the described content:

    The Abstract:

    A structured abstract with a 250-word limit is required It includes the following bolded headings:

    • Introduction: Containing what is unique about this case(s) and why is it important within the socio-cultural context of the breastfeeding dyad and family
    • Main issue: Defining the important clinical findings and major lactation issue
    • Management: Containing a brief overview the actions taken and outcomes
    • Conclusion: What are one or more ‘take-away’ messages?

    The Case Study: Needs to have the following sections, in the order presented below, bolded, centered and on a separate line from the text.


    The Background section has a brief summary as to why this case is unique in the lactation literature citing current evidence. Socio-cultural context is important and needs to be described clearly. End this section with a statement about Institutional Review Board approval (if appropriate) and a statement that clearly states that the person(s) discussed in this case has given written consent for publication of this case and has read and approves of the case as submitted. This consent must remain with the author(s); however, although unlikely, it can be requested by the JHL Editor in Chief at any time.

    History and Observational Assessment

     This section needs to include the following content:

    • De-identified demographic and other relevant historical and observational information
    • Main concerns and presenting signs and symptoms of the breastfeeding family
    • Relevant past intervention(s) and their outcomes
    • End this section with a summary paragraph of the evaluation of the history and observational assessment.


    This section contains the types of interventions with specific timeframes and rationales, including any referrals or consultations. Changes made to the original management with their rationales are important to include along with the follow-up actions taken. Reference the timeline table/figure in this section.


    This section needs to include the clinician and the client assessment of outcomes. It is appropriate to use quotes as needed (Follow APA 7th edition guidelines for how to format quotes.)  Evaluate the client’s adherence to and tolerance of the management regime.  Explain any adverse and unanticipated events.


    Include all of the following content:

    • Critical analysis of the process and outcomes of the management
    • Discussion of the relevant literature
    • Strengths and weaknesses of the management approach
    • Main “take-away” lesson(s) learned
    • Rationale for conclusions

    Conflict of Interest Statement: See general Author Directions

    Funding statement: See general Author Directions

    References: Per APA Style Manual 7 th Ed. (2020) (

    Table 1. Timeline.

    Include a chronological summary of the case in table or figure format to help readers understand the timeframes involved in this case. Please see Appendix E for the Case Study Author Checklist. Case studies are limited to 1500 words, excluding tables, figures, and references.

    Non-research manuscripts

    Insights into Practice and Policy. This article type is designed to present timely topics in either clinical or education practice (e.g., innovative teaching aids and procedures, discussions about running a lactation consultant practice, hospital-based management and service issues), advocacy activities (e.g., grassroots lobbying, activities to promote successful breastfeeding) or infant feeding policy (e.g., innovative policies on lactation-related hospital clinical practice, or steps forward in national or international policymaking). We envision these articles as informing clinicians, educators, researchers and policy-makers about current trends, programs and issues in the field of lactation. Although these articles are not research, they need to be written in a scholarly manner and should be internationally relevant.

    The following headings and content areas should be included: (a) background, stating the issue/problem with appropriate references (preferably not older than 5 years), (b) presentation of your topic presented in a clear, concise and logical way, and (c) conclusion. This article type should be about 2500 words, excluding tables, figures, and references. It requires 4-5 keywords chosen from our keyword list or the MeSH list of terms. A conflict of interest statement is required.

    Letters to the Editor. JHL readers are encouraged to exchange information or provide input related to an article published in the journal within the past three months or contributions to a controversy or debate by submitting a Letter to the Editor. Letters should not exceed 750 words (no abstract required). Letters commenting on articles should reference the particular article. References should be kept to a minimum. In addition to including a title page (see Title Page section above), please include the following information in the Letter’s main document: author’s names, academic degrees, affiliation, city, state/province, country, and email for correspondence. Letters to the Editor are not sent out for peer review.

    Response to Letter to the Editor. Authors of published manuscripts are given the opportunity to respond to a Letter to the Editor. These are invited manuscripts and should be no more than 750 words and contain no figures or tables. References should be kept to a minimum. In addition to including a title page (see Title Page section above), please include the following information in the Letter’s main document: authors’ names, academic degrees, affiliation, city, state/province, country, and email for correspondence. Responses to Letters to the Editor are no sent out for peer review.

    Submitting Your Manuscript

    JHL is hosted on SAGE Track, a web-based online submission and peer review system. Please read the Manuscript Submission directions below, and then visit to login and submit your article online. IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year, it is likely that you will have had an account created. If you are unable to access your account, please contact the JHL Editorial Office for assistance at For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online, please visit ScholarOne Online Help.

    As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process, our publisher SAGE is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. 

    The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is part of the submission process. If you already have an ORCID ID, you will be asked to associate it to your submission in the submission form. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. ORCID IDs are published as part of accepted publications’ metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID ID is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

    If you do not already have an ORCID ID please create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

    English language editing services

    Authors who would like to refine the use of English in their manuscripts might consider using the services of a professional English-language editing company. Visit SAGE Language Services on the Journal Author Gateway for further information.

    File types

    Only electronic files conforming to the journal’s guidelines will be accepted. Submit the text and title page of your manuscript in DOC or DOCX.

    Artwork, figures and other graphics

    Audio/video files. JHL accepts audio/video files. The following audio/video file types can be handled by our manuscript submission website, ScholarOne: ASF, AVI, FLV, MOV, MP3, MP4, MPEG, MPG, WAV, WMA, WMV. For optimal viewing, videos should be 480x360 pixels. If the file is a different size/aspect ratio, it will be resized upon upload. There is no limit to the length of the video, although the maximum file size allowed is 1GB. Videos hosted elsewhere (such as YouTube) can be included as links. Once uploaded, the videos will only be viewed in the HTML version of an article.

    Figures and tables. Each table/figure/image must be uploaded as a separate file, not as part of the main text document. If there are multiple tables/figures/images, please upload each one as a separate file. Save each file name as the title of the table/figure/image (e.g., Figure1.jpg, Table1.doc, etc.). Number tables/figures/images consecutively as referred to in the text. Provide each table/figure/image with a brief title above the table/figure/image. Place general explanatory matter in a note at the end of the table, labeled ‘Note.’ A specific note referring to a particular column, row, or cell should be indicated by superscript lowercase letters. (See the APA Manual 7th Edition for additional information.) Tables must be uploaded in DOC or DOCX files.

    Figures. Submit all figures, images, and charts separately in TIF, JPG, or EPS format. If the figure is to be one column wide, it has to be readable at a width of 3.375 inches/85.725 mm (the width of a single column) and at least 1000 pixels wide. For two columns, they must be readable at a width of 7 inches/117.8 mm and at least 2100 pixels wide with 300dpi or higher if that is given. These dimensions are found in the “Properties” of the photograph or figure. Include a brief and specific title at the top of all figures and images followed by a description (if applicable) at the bottom. Make titles and axis labels editable. Figures and images can be printed in color for a fee (online color reproduction is free). Contact the SAGE production editor after acceptance for more information.

    Photographs. Photographer/copyright holder permission is required for the use of photographs or unique illustrations/images. If your manuscript is accepted for publication, you will be asked to have the photographer/copyright holder sign a JHL “Permission to Reprint Material” form. If the photographer is one of the authors on the article, no permission form is needed. If the photograph is recognizable (i.e., shows a face), you will also be asked to identify the person in the photograph and have them (or a parent) sign a JHL consent form. Please include a statement in your manuscript indicating that written consent for using the photograph(s) was obtained.


    Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please visit Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    Submitting additional material

    This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g., datasets, AV files) alongside the full text of the article. These will be subjected to peer review alongside the article. for more information, please refer to SAGE’s Guidelines for Authors on Supplemental Files. Please clearly label your supplementary material with the word “supplemental” in the file name.

    On Acceptance and Publication

    Contributor’s publishing agreement. Before publication, JHL requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement, an online exclusive license agreement, which means that the author retains copyright of the work but grants SAGE the sole and exclusive right and license to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than SAGE. In this case, copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions on the SAGE Journal Author Gateway.

    JHL and SAGE take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism, or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles will be checked using duplication-checking software. Where an article is found to have plagiarized other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all SAGE journals, or appropriate legal action.

    SAGE production. Our Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal SAGE Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. Please note that if there are any changes to the author list at this stage all authors will be required to complete and sign a form authorizing the change.

    Online First publication. Online First allows final revision articles (completed articles in queue for assignment to an upcoming issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a final journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead-time between submission and publication. For more information, please visit the SAGE Online First fact sheet.

    Access to your published article. SAGE provides authors with online access to their final article. A link with the downloadable PDF will be sent to the corresponding author.

    Submitting to PubMed Central. There are instructions on the NIH website about how an author can post his or her paper (see Method C). Additionally, SAGE has a program where an author can choose to pay the $3,000 SAGE Choice fee, and we will deposit on the author’s behalf and make the article freely available immediately on publication. Please see more information about this option at

    Open access and author archiving. For more information on the open access options for JHL, funding body compliance, and depositing your article in repositories, please visit SAGE Publishing Policies on the Journal Author Gateway.

    Further information. Any correspondence, queries or additional requests on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the JHL editorial office at


    (ICTRP). Retrieved from

    Committee on Publication Ethics Council. (2019) COPE Discussion Document: Predatory Publishing.

    COPE/DOAJ/OASPA/WAME (2018). Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing. Retrieved from the Committee on Publication Ethics website:

    Fees, F. (2015). Recommendation for the conduct, reporting, editing, and publication of scholarly work in medical journals. International Committee of Medical Journal Editors.

    Grudniewicz, A., Moher, D., Cobey, K. D., Bryson, G. L., Cukier, S., Allen, K., Ardern, C., Balcom, L., Barros, T., Berger, M., Ciro, J. B., Cugusi, L., Donaldson, M. R., Egger, M., Graham, I. D., Hodgkinson M., Karim M. Khan, Mabizela, M., Andrea Manca, A,… & Lalu, M. M., (2019). Predatory journals: No definition, no defense. Nature, 576, 210-212.

    International Lactation Consultant Association (2016). The ILCA Style Guidelines for Written Professional Resources. Raleigh, NC: ILCA Professional Resources Committee.

    Moher, D., Liberati, A., Tetzlaff, J., Altman, D. G., & The PRISMA Group (2009).

    O’Brien, B. C., Harris, I. B., Beckman, T. J., Reed, D. A., Cook, D. A. (2014). Standards for reporting qualitative research: A synthesis of recommendations. Academic Medicine, 89(9), p. 1245-1251. doi: 10.1097/ACM.0000000000000388

    Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: The PRISMA statement. PLoS Med 6(7): e1000097. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000097

    Strong, G. (2019). Understanding Quality in Research: Avoiding Predatory Journals. Journal of Human Lactation, 35(4), 661–664.

    VandenBos, G. R. (Ed.). (2019). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (7th Ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

    World Health Organization. (1981). International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. Geneva, Switzerland: Author.

    World Health Organization. (2014). International Clinical Trials Registry Platform

    World Medical Association. (2001). World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki: Ethical principles for medical research involving human subjects. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 79(4), 37


    Table Directions

    Concepts applying to all tables

    1. Please refer to the APA Manual 7th Edition or their website  ( for how to format tables. Use their list of standard statistical notations and format as they direct.
    2. All tables need to be understood by a reader, without any knowledge of the manuscript. This means that all tables need to stand alone, as complete documents that are self- explanatory.
    3. Each table can display only one type of statistic (i.e., do not put means (SD) in the same table as frequency distributions and/or Chi-squared. These are apples and oranges, never to be grouped into the same table.).
    4. Results displayed in tables are not presented again in the text; rather, refer the reader to the table. You may draw the readers’ attention to a particularly important finding within the table, if necessary (usually it is not necessary).
    5. JHL specific exceptions to APA formatting are:
      1. Do not report frequencies (%) and means (SD) in the same table.
      2. In frequency distribution tables, the n(%) or M (SD) belong in the same column, not separate columns
    6. The sample size needs to follow the title using standard notation (i.e., Demographic characteristics of the same (N=200)), unless it is stated within the table.


    Example of a Case Study Timeline

    Rosen, S. I. (2019). A Case Study of Biological Nurturing. Journal of Human Lactation, 35(2) 318–322.

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