The Healing Power of Human Milk & Partnership with MMBM


Media Contact:
Rachel Mennell
(815) 578-2348

 

August 7, 2012 - McHenry, Ill. - Donor Milk: the Documentary, a film showcasing the benefits of breastmilk for infants, especially preterm babies, will be screened in Madison, Miss., Medela Inc. announced today. Medela is partnering with King West Pictures and Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi (MMBM) to offer the screening Thursday, October 4, 2012 at the Grandview Cinema at 7:00 p.m. Medela, King West Pictures and local milk banks are hosting a series of such screenings throughout the country to raise awareness of the life-saving benefits of human breastmilk, particularaly for babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Medela, which is making the announcement during World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, also announced that proceeds from the event will be donated to the Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, UNICEF, and the U.S. Surgeon General, breast milk provides the optimal nutrition for babies.i,ii,iii  Human milk acts as medicine for preterm babies and has proven to reduce incidents of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and other fatal diseases common among preterm babies in the NICU.  In the United States, the rate of premature births has been increasing and this year more than 517,000 babies will be born premature. Mississippi has the highest incidence of premature births in the country. The majority of babies born as much as 12-14 weeks early and weighing less than 3 pounds often become extrememly ill when they develop severe infections in their intestines. Mother's own milk is best, but often these mothers have medical issues that prevent them from being able to provide their own milk. When a mother's own milk is not available, the next best nutrition source is the use of human donor milk. To date, there are only 11 human milk banks in the nation designed to support families in need of breastmilk when a mother is unable to provide breastmilk for her infant.

Donor Milk: the Documentary highlights the benefits of donated breastmilk, not just for the recipient of the milk, but also for the mothers providing the milk. The documentary recounts the stories of real families, including screenwriter and filmmaker Kevin West and his wife’s tragedy of losing their baby, late in term. His wife was able to cope with the loss by donating her breastmilk to sick and preterm babies in need. Based on their experiences, West wrote and directed the film with co-producer Jarred King. 
 
"For about five years now, neonatologists in the Jackson area have been using donor milk in their NICU's when own mother's milk was not available. This milk is shipped to Mississippi by one of the two milk banks in Texas," said Linda Pittman, RN, BSN, IBCLC and executive director of the Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi. "The Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi is one of the six new banks developing under the guidelines of the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). Thanks to efforts of King West Pictures with Donor Milk: the Documentary, Medela and the Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi we are able to raise awareness about the importance of human milk donations and support the opening of our local milk bank."
 
Medela, the leading provider of breastfeeding research and education, lactation innovation and breast pumps, works daily with professionals in the breastfeeding community on the impact of human milk to health-compromised babies in the NICU.
 
“Medela is honored to sponsor the screening of Donor Milk: the Documentary. Our destiny is to enhance mother and baby health through the life-giving benefits of breastmilk. No film to date can express this sentiment better than the selfless acts provided by these remarkable families,” said Carolin Archibald, president of Medela, Inc. “This film brings hope and promise to all involved – the infants and the parents.” 
 
For a $25 donation, guests will view the 50-minute documentary, and attend a one-hour Q&A session and reception featuring Jarred King, Linda Pittman of the MMBM, as well as a donor of breastmilk and recipient of donor milk. At no additional charge, Medela will provide credit from the CA Board of Registered Nursing and the Commission of Dietetic Registration in support of the continuing education of nurses and dietitians attending the screening event.
 
In addition to sponsoring the screening and providing continuing education credits to health care professional attendees, Medela will match ticket sales from the night’s showing to provide an unrestricted donation to the Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi
 
“Current milk banks cannot keep up with the demand for donor human milk for infants with compromised health. We applaud and support the efforts of the Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi to provide human milk for medical needs,” stated Archibald.
 
For more information on this event, or other events, please visit one of the partner sites at: www.msmilkbank.org, www.kingwestpictures.com, or www.medela.com
 
About Medela
Medela provides the most technologically advanced breastpumps and breastfeeding accessories to nursing mothers around the world. A long-time champion of breastfeeding, Medela is the only company to develop products based on research by the world’s leading lactation experts. As a result, Medela’s breastpumps are the number one choice of healthcare professionals and facilities worldwide.
 
Medela has developed an extensive line of products to meet the diverse needs of nursing mothers.  These products include hospital-grade, double and single electric and manual personal breastpumps; breastfeeding accessories such as breast care products and specialty feeding devices. Most recently, Medela introduced 2-Phase Expression®, the only research-based breastpump technology that mimics a baby’s nursing rhythm, resulting in faster let-down and milk flow.
 
Founded in 1961 by Olle Larsson in Zug, Switzerland, Medela continues to grow under the ownership of the Larsson family. Medela serves customers through a worldwide network of distribution partners in more than 90 countries and its 15 subsidiaries in Australia, the Benelux countries, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Sweden, Poland and Switzerland. www.medela.com
 
About Donor Milk
Through the eyes of grieving and giving mothers, Donor Milk: the Documentary seeks to educate viewers on the absolute importance of breastfeeding our babies and provides options for those who cannot locate human milk. Leading experts in the field of obstetrics, human milk pasteurization, health economics and nutrition provide insights never before captured in a documentary about donor human milk. The film visits non-profit Human Milk Banking Association donor centers all across the United States, the for-profit corporation that has developed the first-ever human milk fortifier, and the hundreds of donor moms and families whose stories will touch and change your life.
 
About the Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi
Mothers' Milk Bank of Mississippi, founded in 2010, is a "developing" milk bank, according to Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) guidelines. Our missing is to accept, pasteurize and dispense donor human milk to premature and ill infants in Mississippi by physician prescription and accoring to guidelines from HMBANA. When fully functional, we will screen potential donor mothers, then collect, process, and dispense donated human milk by physician prescription. MMBM is a 501(3)(c) non-profit organizati
 


i   American Academy of Pediatrics. Accessed August 7, 2012. http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/policyOnBreastfeedingAndUseOfHumanMilk.html
 
ii  UNICEF. Accessed August 7, 2012. http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/index_24824.html.
 
iii U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed August 7, 2012. http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/.