MEDELA AU Morning Tea

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The month of May, The Colourful Housewife had the privilege of attending the MedelaAU Morning Tea held at the Parenting and Baby Expo – Sydney Olympic Park.

As a mum to six gorgeous children, I have had my mixed experiences with breastfeeding: And if I can be honest the reason behind the experience came down to not be educated enough. Do not get me wrong I read books and did my own research but at times I found it was not enough. My eldest daughter I had when I was only seventeen and whilst young and I guess you could say naïve, breast feeding was the most difficult part for me as I introduced myself to motherhood.

 

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The knowledge I took from the MedelaAU morning tea was incredible, and in the 18 years of being a mother it would be the most valuable discussion I have been a part of as of parent.

 But who is Medela ?

Medela provides the most technologically advanced, superior-quality breastpumps and breastfeeding accessories to nursing mothers around the world. A long time champion of breastfeeding, Medela is the only company to develop products based on research by the world’s leading lactation experts. As a result, Medela’s breastpumps are the number one choice of healthcare professionals and healthcare facilities worldwide.

Medela has developed an extensive line of products to meet the diverse needs of nursing mothers. These products include hospital-grade, double and single electric and manual breastpumps; breastfeeding accessories such as pump cleaning products, breast care products and specialty feeding devices; and maternity and nursing intimate apparel.

Founded in 1961 by Olle Larsson in Zug, Switzerland, Medela continues to grow under the ownership of the Larsson family. Medela serves customers through a worldwide network of distribution partners in more than 90 countries and its 15 subsidiaries in Australia, Benelux (Belgium and the Netherlands), Canada, China, France, Germany, (Austria), Italy, Japan, Poland, Russia, Spain (Portugal), Sweden, (Norway and Denmark), Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States. www.medela.com.au

Medela are passionate about providing mums with all the research, trends and support possible to help them in their breastfeeding journey and appreciate any support to help share this information with the wider community, so that breastfeeding can become a more enjoyable process for both mum and baby.

 

 

The key points we took from the MedelaAU morning tea:

Miracles of Breastmilk – (research on breastmilk)

  • Breastmilk is a living substance designed perfectly to meet the needs of your growing child. Research into what makes breast milk so unique is constantly amazing the medical profession.
  • There is no man made substitute for breast milk, it is totally unique to the breast baby. There are thousands of different ingredients in breast milk, such as proteins, fats, lactose, vitamins, iron, minerals, enzymes, probiotics and stem cells. Many of the proteins are there to kill any bacteria and pathogens and other proteins act as immune barriers; technically your baby’s first immunisation. The fat in our breast milk may seem low, at 4% compared to 50% fat in the milk of seals and whales, but it is powerful enough to not only promote excellent growth and development but is also antibacterial. Recently the Hartmann Lactation Research team at the University of WA found that breastmilk also contains stem cells, which are essential for cell growth and development throughout our life. More research is being conducted into the role these amazing stem cells play in the breast body and the potential for the future.
  • Breastmilk is the ultimate all-in-one meal for your baby. Your body produces the right nutrients in the right amount and the right volume to match your baby’s needs at all times.

Breastfeeding – ‘What is normal when it comes to breastfeeding?’ – Jackie Kent research

  • Our breastfeeding initiation rates in Australia are fantastic; 96% of mothers choose to breastfeed their baby from birth. Yet we see that rate drop dramatically in the first few months; in the second month full breastfeeding (this is where no other food or drink is fed to baby) rates have dropped to 57% and by 5 months under 30% are still fully breastfeeding.
  • Most common reasons cited by mothers for cessation of breastfeeding in the early months, is the belief they do not have enough milk, often because their baby feeds frequently/more than other babies.
  • For many years we have not really known what was the norm for breastfed babies, in terms of how often was normal, did boys drink more milk than girls and was it normal for babies to still be feeding during the night up until at least 6 months of age?
  • Jackie Kent and The Hartmann Lactation Research group in the University of WA looked at many mothers and infants from the ages of 1-6 months and found that there were great variations of normal! For example once a baby is growing well a breastfed baby may feed anywhere from 4-13 times in 24 hours, boys do eat more than girls, and yes it is very normal for babies to feed at night, with 2/3rds of all babies drinking 20% of their milk between 10pm and 4am

 

Medela have produced a handy info-graphic for all mums and health professionals explaining the research which can be downloaded at http://www.medela.com/AU/en/breastfeeding/good-to-know/normal-breastfeeding.html

 

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Importance of Breastmilk in hospital and the NICU

  • Babies who are born early (preterm) or babies who need extra care in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) or Special Care Nursery (SCN) have higher requirements from their food. Breast milk is not just food, it is like medicine for the more vulnerable babies in the NICU/SCN. Due to the amazing properties contained in Breast milk it can help prevent and fight off infections, promotes growth of essential organs, like the intestines and the brain and acts as the baby’s first and ongoing immunization. Breastmilk is easily digested due to the enzymes already packaged within it and it is designed perfectly for the preterm or unwell baby’s needs.
  • It can be very stressful for mothers to be separated from their baby, but by having the opportunity to hold their baby, express milk close to their baby and eventually to breastfeed their baby, promotes bonding and closeness for both and also has beneficial physical effects on the baby, such as calming the heart rate, increasing oxygen levels, and regulating breathing effort as well as reducing crying.
  • The value of breast milk in this environment cannot be underestimated. Further research continues to amaze the medical profession about the miracle of breast milk in the NICU.  Scope Global and The International Centre for Diarrheal Research, Bangladesh – in response to the increasing numbers of infant mortalities and morbidities in Bangladesh have launched an intuitive to enable mothers to give breast milk for longer. This high morbidity and mortality rate is due in large, to early cessation of breastmilk feeding and the introduction of infant formula combined with poor sanitation.Alysha from Medela will be working with Bangladeshi mothers from the garment factory industry who often, due to the limited maternity leave, have to return to work once their baby is 2 months old. The mothers range from 15 – 35 years of age and they will typically have to work a 10-14 hour day, 5-6 days per week, which has proved extremely difficult to continue breastfeeding in the past.Medela Australia have felt extremely privileged to be an ongoing part of this project, and so they should with the amazing impact they are having not only with the Bangladesh Project, but with the education, products and resources they are offering to parents and today’s society.
  • Along with high temperatures and humidity, there is poor electricity supply to homes and workplaces and a severe lack of refrigeration. The University of Toronto have donated a pasteurisation device to enable the expressed breast milk to be pasteurised and thus to be stored for longer periods in the Bangladesh climate.
  • As one of the stakeholders in this initiative Medela Australia have donated 20 Lactina pumps and 200 Lactaset hand pump kits. We were also asked to source an Australian volunteer – Alysha Harkins, who will provide education and support for mothers, families and the employers to establish and facilitate ongoing expression of breast milk in the work environment. Medela Australia provided Alysha with intensive education on breastfeeding, breast milk expression and technical training on hand expression, using the breast pumps and cup feeding prior to her departure and will continue to provide ongoing support during the 12 month project.

 

But that’s not where it ends for Medela. I want to tell you about the Bangladesh Project.

Scope Global and The International Centre for Diarrheal Research, Bangladesh – in response to the increasing numbers of infant mortalities and morbidities in Bangladesh have launched an intuitive to enable mothers to give breast milk for longer. This high morbidity and mortality rate is due in large, to early cessation of breastmilk feeding and the introduction of infant formula combined with poor sanitation.

As one of the stakeholders in this initiative Medela Australia have donated 20 Lactina pumps and 200 Lactaset hand pump kits. We were also asked to source an Australian volunteer – Alysha Harkins, who will provide education and support for mothers, families and the employers to establish and facilitate ongoing expression of breast milk in the work environment. Medela Australia provided Alysha with intensive education on breastfeeding, breast milk expression and technical training on hand expression, using the breast pumps and cup feeding prior to her departure and will continue to provide ongoing support during the 12 month project.

Alysha from Medela will be working with Bangladeshi mothers from the garment factory industry who often, due to the limited maternity leave, have to return to work once their baby is 2 months old. The mothers range from 15 – 35 years of age and they will typically have to work a 10-14 hour day, 5-6 days per week, which has proved extremely difficult to continue breastfeeding in the past.

Along with high temperatures and humidity, there is poor electricity supply to homes and workplaces and a severe lack of refrigeration. The University of Toronto have donated a pasteurisation device to enable the expressed breast milk to be pasteurised and thus to be stored for longer periods in the Bangladesh climate.

Medela Australia have felt extremely privileged to be an ongoing part of this project, and so they should with the amazing impact they are having not only with the Bangladesh Project, but with the education, products and resources they are offering to parents and today’s society.

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Further information about Medela’s products, and the information referred to in this blog post can be found on their website www.medela.com.au

 

 

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