Human Milk in the NICU

Medela + Acacia Neonatal. We are family, committed to a shared vision of enhancing mother and baby health through the life-giving benefits of breastmilk and leading in the NICU with integrated solutions for human milk. The acquisition and partnership with Acacia Neonatal now allows Medela to fully encompass the delivery of enteral nutrition needs to at-risk infants in the NICU by providing a safety-based enteral feeding product line to deliver clinically beneficial human milk at a time when every drop counts. 

Watch the Every Drop Counts Video
Human Milk in the NICU
The practices that you promote today have life-long implications that extend far beyond discharge.  We are here to help. Research  demonstrates that providing human milk to babies in the NICU provides health enhancing benefits such as:

  • Length of stay was reduced from an average of 88 days to 73 days for babies fed more than 50 ml/kg day of breastmilk versus preterm formula.
  • Days of oxygen therapy was significantly reduced from 33 days for infants fed preterm formula to only 19 days for infants fed fortified human milk.
  • Late onset sepsis was reduced from 22% for infants fed preterm formula to only 19% for infants fed fortified human milk.*

In addition, we know that by feeding human milk you can significantly reduce the risk of:

  • Necrotizing Entercolitis by up to 86%.
  • Ear infections by up to 50%.
  • Serious respiratory tract infections by 72%.
  • Gastroenteritis by more than 50%. 
  • Re-admission of infant by 60%.

Research also shows that the lack of human milk may have serious consequences.  Literature states that infants that are exclusively fed human milk are 6-7 times less likely to develop necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC - a condition associated with a high mortality rate in the NICU).   Studies also indicate that infants who are partially fed human milk and given formula supplementation are 3 times less likely to develop NEC than babies exclusively fed formula. This translates into a 66% reduction in the risk of developing NEC.

With the addition of Acacia Neonatal, Medela offers integrated solutions for human milk specifically designed to support the NICU.
Learn more about Medela's commitment to the NICU:



*Schanler, R.J.,;"Feeding Strategies for Premature Infants:  Beneficial Outcomes of Feeding Fortified Human Milk Versus Preterm Formula."  Pediatrics. Vol. 103, No.6 June 1999.