Center for Women's Health and Wellness

School of Health and Human Sciences


Advances the health, wellness and quality of life of breastfeeding mothers through research, dissemination and community engagement. This program hosts the annual Breastfeeding and Feminism International Conference and related activities.

Program Director and History

The Program Director is Paige Hall Smith, CWHW Program Director. Dr. Smith is a native North Carolinian having received her undergraduate degree from Davidson College and her MSPH and PhD from the School of Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill. She also completed the North Carolina Lactation Educator Program.

For the first part of her research career Dr.Smith focused attention on understanding and preventing violence against women. She currently participates in partnerships at the national, state and local levels that seek to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

In 2004, with support from the Linda Arnold Carlisle Professorship, she expanded her work to focus on examining the intersections between breastfeeding, motherhood, work, gender and feminism. This research lead to the development of the Breastfeeding and Feminism Symposium Series, an international symposium dedicated to lifting up scholarship and practice that illuminates the connections between breastfeeding and gender (in) equality. This work naturally extends to helping to secure full rights, equity and justice for women for their full reproductive and productive capabilities.

She is currently the Co-Director of the Gender Working Group of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, coordinator of the UNCG Breastfeeding Committee and is co-editor of a book published by Rutgers University Press called Beyond Health, Beyond Choice: Breastfeeding Constraints and Realities. This book emerged from scholarship presented at the 5th Breastfeeding and Feminism Symposium.