The role of antenatal screening and postnatal point-of-care testing in maximizing milk production and extending lactation

Several anatomical, metabolic, and psychosocial factors, not routinely identified in pregnancy are associated with reduced exclusivity and duration of breastfeeding. Identification of pregnant women at high risk of low milk production creates a window for early targeted education and intervention. This screening in combination with point-of-care milk testing that can detect delayed secretory activation, breast inflammation or infection, and low milk production, directly informs lactation care that may optimize breastfeeding outcomes.

Wednesday, 19 April 2023

These advances in clinical lactation practice are urgent due to the increasing prevalence of pregnancy complications that we have found to be associated with low milk production. Furthermore, it is critical that fundamental research is carried out to elucidate which biological mammary gland pathways are dysregulated during these complications in order to develop evidence-based interventions to improve lactation outcomes.

Learning objectives

On completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • list antenatal risk factors associated with suboptimal lactation outcomes.
  • explain why these screening risk factors impact lactation.
  • describe expected changes in milk components after birth and list abnormal component concentrations that represent delayed secretory activation.
  • list common pregnancy complications ranked in order of impact on milk production.


Event details

Date           19 April 2023

Duration    1 hour

Time          20:00 – 21:00 Central European Time (13:00 – 14:00 Central Standard Time)



Prof. Donna T. Geddes, DMU, PhD

Prof. Donna Geddes (AUS)

Professor Geddes, from The University of Western Australia, is internationally renowned for her novel work with ultrasound imaging that has revolutionized the our understanding of the anatomy of the lactating breast, milk ejection and blood flow, as well as the infant’s sucking technique, suck-swallow-breathe co-ordination, gastric emptying and body composition of both the term and preterm infant.

She has since expanded her range of research interests to include the synthesis and removal of milk from the breast, the composition of human milk and its impact on the growth and body composition of breastfed infants, the investigation of human milk metabolites and the search for biomarkers that are indicative of breast dysfunction.