McHenry, Ill., Nov. 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Human milk acts as a medicine for premature babies who are vulnerable to potentially fatal diseases such as necrotizing enterocolitis, an intestinal disease. To help demonstrate the importance of breastmilk and the NICU staff's role in facilitating access to it, and in honor of the March of Dimes' National Prematurity Awareness Month Medela, Inc., will host its fourth annual Human Milk (breast milk) Collection Campaign. As part of the campaign, Medela will donate a total of $30,000 in breastfeeding support products to neonatal intensive care units across the country.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, UNICEF, and the U.S. Surgeon General, breast milk provides the optimal nutrition for babies.i,ii,iii In the United States, the rate of premature births has been increasing, and this year more than 517,000 babies will be born premature.
"Breast milk for premature babies is critical, but breastfeeding in the NICU presents special challenges," says Carolin Archibald, president, Medela Inc. "We're thrilled to be able to support National Prematurity Awareness Month by donating products to several NICUs. The winning NICUs will be equipped with products to help mothers develop and maintain their breastmilk supply while their babies benefit from their milk."
Feeding human milk rather than formula in the NICU has been shown to reduce the length of hospital stay, days of oxygen therapy needed, and incidence of late-onset sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), ear infections, serious respiratory tract infections and gastroenteritis.
How the Campaign Works:
Throughout the month of November, participants can visit www.medelapreemieawareness.com to vote for their preferred Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). One NICU from each of six geographic regions will receive $5,000 worth of Medela products for their facility, including Symphony® Preemie+™ program cards, Symphony breastpumps, Waterless Milk Warmers™, Transport/Discharge Bags, BabyWeigh II™ scales. Voting is open to the general public and NICUs are encouraged to campaign for votes. Each person may vote only once and voting begins November 1 and continues through November 30. For full details on the promotion, please visit www.medelapreemieawareness.com.
Medela provides the most technologically advanced 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 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 personal breastpumps; breastfeeding accessories such as breast care products and specialty feeding devices. Most recently, Medela introduced 2-Phase Expression®, the only research-based breastpump technology that mimics a baby's nursing rhythm, resulting in faster let-down and milk flow.
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, the Benelux countries, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Sweden, Poland and Switzerland. www.medela.com
[i] American Academy of Pediatrics. Accessed August 7, 2012. http://www2.aap.org/breastfeeding/policyOnBreastfeedingAndUseOfHumanMilk.html.
[ii] UNICEF. Accessed August 7, 2012. http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/index_24824.html.
[iii] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed August 7, 2012. http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/.