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Human Milk Science

Our research programs have lead us into the NICU where the life-giving benefits of human milk are more pronounced than was ever once thought.  It is now well established that preterm infants stand to gain significantly from the provision of human milk.  The AAP 2005 policy statement provides, "Hospitals and physicians should recommend human milk for premature and other high-risk infants either by direct breastfeeding and/or using the mother's own expressed milk."  This statement is based on a significant body of evidence which has shown that health and development outcomes from preterm infants fed human milk are better than for those fed formula.  For example, Hylander and colleagues found, by retrospectively examining hospital records from a Washington, D.C. NICU, that breastmilk protected infants in the NICU from infection.  Furthermore, Schanler and coworkers saw less necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in infants fed breastmilk as seen in his previous published research.

Medela's extensive research program initiates and supports basic clinical reseach by the world's leading lactation scientists and clinical specialists from around the world.  Significant breakthroughs in our understanding of mammary gland anatomy and our concepts of milk production and breastfeeding have come from our collaboration with Professor Peter Hartmann, at the University of Western Australia.

Professor Hartmann is one of the world's most recognized researchers in the field of human milk and lactation.  In addition to our longstanding partnership with Professor Hartmann, we have an extensive research portfolio with distinguished U.S. based scientists and clinicians.  These include such industry leaders as Dr.  Paula Meier of RUSH University Medical Center, Dr. Jae Kim and Dr. Lisa Stellwagen of University of California, San Diego and Professor Thomas Hale of Texas Tech Medical Center among others.

Our commitment to research drives the industry's working understanding of human milk science.  This research leads to new and impactful discoveries about human milk, breast anatomy, breastfeeding and breastpumping.  This research drives the development and continuous process improvement of Medela's new breastfeeding products and holistic understanding and advancement of human lactation.

In addition to having an extensive research program that initiates and supports basic clinical research by the world's leading lactation scientists and clinical specialists from around the world, our products and services are based on and supported by clinical research.

Every Drop Counts! Watch the video and learn the importance of human milk in the NICU.

Click to watch the Every Drop Counts video