Medela Concludes Global Breastfeeding Symposium with Key Takeaways in Lactation Science to Inform Clinical Practice
Switzerland, Baar, June 27, 2023 – Medela, the brand trusted by millions of moms*, concluded its 16th Global Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium, focused on advancing lactation science to improve care. This three-part world tour was held in three locations, kicking off in Chicago, Illinois in April, followed by Beijing, China in May, and concluding in Munich, Germany in June. All three events welcomed more than 2,600 healthcare professionals in maternal and infant care to learn about the latest research findings and key insights from globally and regionally renowned experts in human milk and lactation. Delivering on Medela’s commitment of turning science into care, speaker presentations from the series will be available free of charge for virtual access through Medela University from next week.
“By bringing together top minds in lactation science from around the world, we are able to further our shared goal of improving maternal and infant health outcomes,” said Annette Brüls, CEO of Medela worldwide. “We know that conducting the research is only half of a much larger picture, which is why our Global Symposium is committed to creating a dynamic learning opportunity to transfer this knowledge from the experts in science and research to the leaders in healthcare settings around the world. We are bridging the gap between research and practice, making it accessible, free of charge, to the people who use and need it, with the sole intention of nurturing health for generations.”
The global event featured presentations and discussions from experts, including:
PROF. LARS BODE (USA) | Lactation as a biological system: The dynamics of human milk composition
“Human milk and lactation do not stand in isolation; they are part of a dynamic biological system that is embedded in socioeconomic, cultural, behavioral, and environmental contexts,” explains Professor Bode, Ph.D., at the University of California San Diego. “As a scientist, it was exciting to participate in Medela’s Breastfeeding & Lactation Symposia because the events connect the science with the clinical application of human milk and lactation, which together is a major driver to advance the field with maximum impact on infant health and development.”
PROF. DONNA GEDDES (AU) | Lactation as a biological system: The importance of dose
“As we seek to understand how human milk composition impacts the health of our next generation, we often default to analyzing concentrations of milk components. Yet when we measure the dose the baby receives, a new world opens up with the promise of innovative ways to improve the health of our children,” says Professor Geddes from the University of Western Australia. “I appreciate the opportunity to share my scientific findings at this stellar conference, but I find the interaction with the participants invaluable, as they come from all disciplines essential to improving breastfeeding and breast milk delivery for all lactating women and their babies.”
DR. REBECCA HOBAN (CA) | Initiation of lactation: Prophylactic lactation support as standard of care for mothers of NICU infants
“Although we know that mother’s milk is literally lifesaving for preterm infants in the NICU, many mothers struggle to make enough milk for their babies, limiting their infant’s lifelong milk dose and it is my passion to optimize lactation for these vulnerable families,” shares Dr. Hoban, staff neonatologist and Director of Breastfeeding Medicine at The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. “Medela’s Symposium brings new lactation evidence to clinician leaders who will translate the science to the bedside for families around the world. It’s a great way to ‘spread the word’ about the latest findings in breastfeeding research!"
PROF. DIANE SPATZ (USA) | A call to action: Improving human milk and breastfeeding outcomes by prioritizing effective initiation of lactation
“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, who also serves as chairperson for Medela’s Scientific and Clinical Advisory Board in the Americas. Prof. 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 a Professor of Perinatal Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing sharing a joint appointment at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Held as a hybrid event in Beijing on May 13-14, the China Symposium focused on providing a platform for like-minded breastfeeding professionals to share ideas, experiences and best practices. In partnership with the China Maternity and Child Health Association, the event marked a shared commitment to educating individuals on the benefits of human milk, while strengthening the collective efforts to foster a supportive environment for breastfeeding in China.
Prof. Cao Yun (China) | The impact of human milk feeding on the outcomes of NICU premature infants based on clinical research in China
”As an experienced NICU physician, I have been promoting human milk feeding since I learned of its benefits for NICU infants. I am pleased to see so many obstetrics, pediatrics, and nursing experts gathered here. The promotion of breastfeeding cannot be achieved without the cooperation of various departments and multi-disciplinary teams.” says Prof. Cao Yun from Fudan University Children Hospital. “It is great that Medela organizes such an informative symposium that allows us to unite to promote breastfeeding in China.”
Prof. Yu Hong (China) | Quality improvement study on breastfeeding in mother-infant-separation dyads after standardized interventions
“I was very excited to participate in this grand event organized by Medela and learned about global cutting-edge research,” says Prof. Yu Hong from Southeast University Zhongda Hospital. “I led a multiple-center quality improvement study in Jiangsu Province, and our objective is to support lactation and improve the dose of own mother’s milk feeding through the evidence-based interventions.”
Prof. Feng Qi (China) | Clinical study on promoting breastfeeding of premature infants in China
“Breastfeeding is not only a mother's business, but also depends on family and social support,” says Prof. Feng Qi from Peking University First Hospital. “At present, the government has issued documents to support breastfeeding, and we also have the consensus from professional groups. As more and more hospitals are paying increasing attention to breastfeeding, we need to proactively adopt best clinical practices to improve breastfeeding in the NICU.”
Dr. Yuki Takahashi (Japan) | Effect of epidural analgesia on infant sucking and opportunities for improvement to achieve the standard of care for infants
“Intrapartum interventions such as epidural analgesia or induction of labor can influence skin-to-skin contact and rooting/suckling behavior, not only right after, but up to two days after birth,” says Dr. Yuki Takahashi from Nagoya University Japan. “And the important thing is to prioritize breastfeeding support resources to provide behaviorally appropriate and individualized care during this critical period.”
On June 23-24, Medela hosted the European Edition of their world tour in Munich, Germany, and welcomed two internationally renowned British speakers who shared their insights for improving lactation support in the neonatal intensive care unit. On day two of the symposium the healthcare experts on-site took these findings into curated workshops with the goal of translating them into clinical practice.
PROF. NEENA MODI (UK) | Perspectives: Prioritizing own mother´s milk in the neonatal unit - need for standardized metrics that capture lactation and infant feeding
"Prioritizing the provision of own mother's milk (OMM) is a crucial step in neonatal care and thorough, high-quality data on lactation and infant feeding are fundamental in assessing the success of OMM provision and understanding the extent to which infants leave the neonatal unit breastfeeding,” asserts Professor Neena Modi of the Imperial College London, who also serves as President-elect of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine. Prof. Modi underscored that by implementing standardized information recording in neonatal units, we can develop universally accepted quality indicators, improve care, and drive research for better breastfeeding outcomes.
DR. SARAH BATES (UK) | Spotlight: Improving survival & outcomes for preterm infants through optimizing early maternal breast milk - a national Quality Improvement toolkit from BAPM
“Optimizing own mother's milk (OMM) is crucial for the long-term health of preterm infants," explained Dr. Sarah Bates, Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon. In her talk Dr. Bates shed light on the innovative national toolkits created by the British Association of Perinatal Medicine, demonstrating its utility in optimizing OMM for preterm infants from initiation of lactation to post-discharge. Her session, infused with success stories and insightful parental views, showcased how this initiative can positively reshape the health trajectories of preterm infants nationwide.
Turning science into care
Presentations from speakers will be available free of charge for virtual access through Medela University, an online professional education platform for lactation science offering continuing education units (CEUs).
In addition, Medela will host a series of educational webinars in the US and Europe to translate existing research findings into clinical practice and share important conclusions and expert recommendations. While the US webinars will focus primarily on disparities in breastfeeding and resources for clinicians to assess their own implicit bias and alter clinical practice to better support Black women who breastfeed, the European webinars will focus on improving lactation science and improving care in neonatal units.
Learn more about the Global Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium at medela.com/symposium.
* Medela global sales, 2022