Medela Partners with The Wellbeing Foundation Africa to Fight Infant Mortality and Improve Breastfeeding Rates in Nigeria

Medela Cares initiative to help combat malnutrition and low breastfeeding rates in Nigeria by focusing on lactation care offered to mothers of NICU infants

In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, Medela, the #1 breast pump brand most recommended by doctor and used in hospitals*, announced its new partnership with The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) to improve breastfeeding support and resources in in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) in Nigeria.


As part of this partnership, Medela and The Wellbeing Foundation Africa will work together to improve the support offered to new mothers in Nigeria by delivering NICU-specific education and training on the value of human milk and how to build sufficient milk supply for long-term breastfeeding. This work will involve frontline healthcare workers, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.


“Medela's long history as a global player in breastfeeding research, products, technology and innovation is the perfect partner for Wellbeing Foundation Africa in our quest to improve Nigeria's prevalence of breastfeeding and our focus on NICU support," said Her Excellency Toyin Ojora Saraki, founder and president of Wellbeing Foundation Africa. “Ensuring new mothers are wholly supported to breastfeed is not only critical for the health and wellbeing of the baby: it can be linked to all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

Nigeria ranks 6th highest in the world for infant mortality and complications due to prematurity is the leading cause of death2. In children younger than 5 years, 47% of deaths occur in the first 28 days of life, many of them are preventable and can be addressed through improved nutrition with mother’s milk3. Today Nigeria has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world with only 17% of mothers exclusively breastfeeding their children through 6 months4. To improve these statistics, the United Nations set a global goal to improve breastfeeding rates to 50% by the year 20305. Medela hopes to contribute to the solution through this partnership with the WBFA.


As a supporting member of the UN Global Compact and the UN's Every Woman, Every Child initiative, Medela is committed to partnering with organizations to improve breastfeeding rates globally to meet the 2030 Breastfeeding goals. Medela’s new global corporate social responsibility program, Medela Cares, is dedicated to improving the lives of moms, babies and patients through education and support, as well as through technologies, research and services.


“Research shows us that breast milk is critical for growth and overall health for newborns and is a low-cost and highly effective intervention that can prevent infant death,” said Annette Brüls, CEO of Medela worldwide. “We are thrilled to partner with The Wellbeing Foundation Africa as part of our commitment to the UN’s Every Woman, Every Child movement to better the lactation care provided to mothers and ultimately improve the infant feeding and health outcomes in Nigeria.”

The partnership will commence with a webinar on August 7, 2020 about Breastfeeding in High Risk Countries, a panel discussion with Her Excellency Toyin Saraki, Founder WBFA, Annette Brüls, CEO of Medela, Prof. Diane Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, and Rita Momoh, lead midwife at WBFA, moderated by Tolu Adeleke, founder of Tolu The Midwife Healthcare Solutions and CEO of Maternity Hub (Nigeria). This group will discuss the need to address infant mortality and share how midwives and mothers can be supported to champion breastfeeding efforts in high risk countries such as Nigeria. To register for this webinar, visit