Medela Convenes Global Lactation & Breastfeeding Experts to Underscore Clinical Practice Adjustments that May Improve Maternal & Infant Health

Leading Breast Pump Brand Hosts Local Event to Advance Breastfeeding Research, Understand Current Hospital-Based Practices & Improve Health Outcomes
Medela's Breastfeeding & lactation Symposium series 2023 American Edition, 20-21 April

McHenry, IL, April 25, 2023 – Medela, the most trusted breast pump brand in North America*, hosted its 16th Global Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium, focused on advancing lactation science to improve care. Held for the first time in the USA, the Chicago-based invite-only event included healthcare professionals, lactation consultants, neonatologists and nurses from across the USA and Canada.  

Beginning with the Chicago event, Medela’s Global Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium will be a three-part world tour with additional stops in Munich, Germany in May and Beijing, China in June. The events will convene healthcare professionals in maternal and infant care to hear from globally renowned experts in human milk and lactation on the latest research findings and key insights. Attendees will also have the opportunity to contribute to quality improvement (QI) efforts in the USA through applying their learnings to clinical practices, with the ultimate goal to improve maternal and infant health outcomes.

At the Chicago Symposium, Medela also introduced its Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board, a group comprised of eight maternal, infant and lactation professionals who will provide expert input on Medela’s research and initiatives.

“At Medela, we have the unique opportunity to unite leading experts from around the world with passionate professionals to discuss the role we collectively play in improving long-term maternal health and reducing infant mortality across the country,” said Jeff Castillo, executive vice president of the Americas. “To get the conversation started, we highlighted the latest research to inform practice, then focused on improving disparities in care with inputs from professionals from across the Midwest. It is our goal that following this event, we work closely with our Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board and those committed to improving health equity to create a real-world impact on maternity care.”

Breastfeeding is a critical component of maternal and child health that is consistently supported by clinical research, and Medela continues to advocate for policies and programs that promote breastfeeding as a public health priority. According to the latest CDC report, only 24.9 percent of all babies are exclusively breastfed at 6 months of age.1 With more than 50 percent of infants in the U.S. served by the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program today, the most recent WIC Local Agency Report outlines that the fully breastfed rate has also been steadily decreasing since 2016, and is now 11.9 percent – the lowest level since 2011.2 With awareness of the role that implicit bias plays on hospital-based practices, there is an opportunity for care providers to change standard practice to have a direct impact on patient care.

“There is a critical window for the establishment of a milk supply and, we as advocates and clinicians have an obligation to families to teach them the science of human milk and the physiology of lactation,” explains Professor Diane Spatz, chairperson for Medela’s Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board. Professor Spatz presented a call to action about the need for prioritizing effective initiation of lactation in order to improve exclusivity and duration of breastfeeding. Prof. Spatz is Professor of Perinatal Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing sharing a joint appointment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Following the Symposium, Medela will offer continuing education webinars focused on disparities in breastfeeding to provide additional resources for clinicians to assess their own implicit bias and alter clinical practice to better support Black women who breastfeed. Presentations from global speakers will be made available later this summer for virtual access through Medela University, an online professional education platform for lactation science offering continuing education units (CEUs).

Learn more about the Global Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium at Follow the conversation on social media using #AdvancingBreastfeedingResearch.

About Medela

Through advancing research, observing natural behavior, and listening to our customers, Medela turns science into care while nurturing health for generations. Medela supports millions of moms, babies, patients, and healthcare professionals in more than 100 countries all over the world. As the healthcare choice for more than 6 million hospitals and homes across the globe, Medela provides leading research-based breast milk feeding and baby products, healthcare solutions for hospitals, and clinical education. Medela is dedicated to building better health outcomes, simplifying and improving life, and developing breakthroughs that help moms, babies and patients live their life to the fullest. For more information, visit

* Voted most trusted breast pump brand by United States and Canadian shoppers based on the 2023 BrandSpark® American and Canadian Trust Studies