Supporting materials for mums
We strive to empower mothers through knowledge, to continue on their path of giving their babies everyday amazing mother’s milk. Here you will find our latest Medela Knowledge pieces, helping every mum find factual and up-to-date information about breastfeeding:
The Amazing Science of Mother’s Milk ebook
Breastfeeding is special, beautiful and convenient – just like our free ebook. This interactive, digital guide will take you through each key stage of your milk-production journey.
What is "normal" when it comes to breastfeeding?
Through her work, Dr Jacqueline Kent, an expert in the field of lactation at the University of Western Australia, has been able to show the world that there is a wide range of ‘normal’ when it comes to exclusive breastfeeding. Her work looked at how long infants feed, how long each breastfeeding session takes, and how much milk a baby takes in each breastfeeding session.
Understanding that there is a wide range of normal helps you to be reassured that how you and your baby breastfeed is normal, and is likely to be completely different from your friends and their babies. Knowing the normal ranges can assist all mums to feel confident as a breastfeeding mother.
What makes breast milk so amazing?
Your breast milk is alive! Breast milk is unique and fascinating, and no two mothers produce the same milk. Only you can give your baby the live cells in your breast milk.
Breast milk alone powers your baby's brain to almost double in mass in the first 6 months of life! Your milk even changes in flavour according to what you eat!
Every few months scientists are discovering new components in breast milk, making this an exciting research journey, that Medela is proud to be a part of.
Is your baby getting enough breast milk?
Many mums ask how they can know their baby is actually drinking enough milk at the breast. In a world in which everything is measured, not being able to see how much milk your baby drinks can feel stressful for some mums.
Our infographic shows you three simple ways to tell if your baby is getting enough milk: weight, nappies and the baby's behaviour. If you notice signs that you do not have enough milk, ways to increase your milk supply are highlighted in this piece.
Leaking breasts: What you need to know
You may worry if your breasts should be leaking when they are not, whether your breasts are leaking too much, or whether it is a problem if one side leaks more than the other does! It can be embarrassing and messy, but it is completely normal.
This piece explains what causes leaking breasts after birth and how to best deal with it.
Initiating milk production
All mothers experience the same lactation process to build their milk supply, whether delivering at term or prematurely. This milk production journey can be described as a sequence of four stages:
Develop – developing the breast tissue in pregnancy
Initiate – initiating milk production in the first few days
Build – building milk production in the first few weeks
Maintain – maintaining milk production over the next months and years.
It is important for all mums to get things right from the start as this will have an important impact on the success of your future milk supply. Breastfeeding in the first hour after birth and normal frequent and effective breastfeeding after that are very important for making enough milk
Optimising milk removal
Reaching an adequate milk supply requires your baby to optimally remove milk from the breast. When a baby is unable to do this in the first few hours or days, it is of critical importance that the milk is removed frequently through expression.
When your milk has 'come in', if a breast pump is being used in order to build and maintain your milk supply, it is truly advantageous to use 2-Phase Expression technology and double pumping. This piece explains the reasons behind this and provides tips and tricks to help you accomplish comfortable and effective pumping .
The value of human milk in the NICU
The value of mother's milk lies in the fact that it has wonderful properties to reduce sickness for babies who need to be in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). The more milk given to these babies, the more health benefits are seen – with an especially potent impact on health in the first weeks and months of life.
The protective and nutritious components of breast milk result in reductions in the chance of developing prematurity-related illnesses.
Every drop of human milk counts for fragile preterm and sick babies.
Is donor human milk equivalent to own mother's milk?
When breast milk is not available, pasteurised donor human milk (DHM) has become the standard of care in NICU. While breast milk and DHM are known as “human milk”, there are significant differences in the health outcomes they. achieve.
Giving babies their own mum's breast milk should always be the first choice over DHM. Although DHM is a valuable resource for sick infants as it is superior to formula, it cannot be considered the same as a breast milk from the baby's own mother.
All efforts to help mothers of preterm and sick babies to initiate, build and maintain their own milk supply effectively is of utmost importance.