Evidence and best practices to increase the use of mothers’ own milk in the NICU: Focus on secretory activation and coming to volume

This presentation highlights the newest evidence that mothers’ own milk is “personalized medicine” for NICU infants, and summarizes why donor human milk feedings do not yield the same beneficial outcomes.  Given that there is no optimal substitute for mothers’ own milk, strategies to prioritize its availability in the NICU are essential.  This session targets the first two weeks post-birth as a critical period that includes secretory activation and achievement of coming to volume in breast pump-dependent mothers of NICU infants, and includes evidence, best practices and the newest ongoing research in this area.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Learning objectives

  • Cite evidence that mothers’ own milk is personalized medicine and that donor human milk feedings result in different gut microbiota and select metabolic pathways in premature infants.
  • Summarize the physiology of secretory differentiation, secretory activation and coming to volume.
  • Explain the potential utility of mothers’ own milk biomarkers of secretory activation in managing lactation processes in breast pump-dependent mothers of NICU infants.
  • List 4 strategies for prioritizing NICU lactation care practices during the first two weeks post-birth.

Event details

Date           16 March 2022

Duration    1 hour

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


Prof. Paula Meier, PhD, RN

Meier Paula

Paula Meier, PhD, RN, is a Professor of Paediatrics and Nursing at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. Dr. Meier has worked as a practitioner, researcher, and educator in the area of human milk, lactation and breastfeeding for premature infants and their mothers since 1975.

Dr. Meier's lifetime research focus has been on the improvement of initiation and maintenance of lactation in breast pump-dependent mothers of NICU infants, and in the development and testing of clinical techniques to optimize the impact of human milk on health and cost outcomes in NICU infants.