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Latest Findings in Breastfeeding Science Presented at Medela's 7th International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium

MCHENRY, Ill., April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Medela convened the 7th International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium in Vienna, Austria on April 20-21, 2012. The annual event, attended by an international audience of neonatologists, midwives and lactation consultants, highlighted the latest insights into breastfeeding science as part of Medela's long-term commitment to supporting breastfeeding women and their families through research and innovation. Notable research presented at the symposium included the latest scientific evidence on breastfeeding and medication; the unique properties of oligosaccharides in human milk; and the presence of stem cells in human milk.

"Medela is honored to support new research to help better understand the unique properties of human milk, and extremely pleased with the level and quality of research presented at this year's Symposium," said Leon Mitoulas, Head of Breastfeeding Research at Medela. "The areas of research discussed are highly compelling, and ever-evolving, and are of great importance to healthcare professionals and mothers alike."

Among the presenters was Thomas Hale, R.Ph., Ph.D., a Professor of Pediatrics and Assistant Dean of Research at Texas Tech University School of Medicine, who discussed the latest scientific advice around breastfeeding and medication, a topic that has become of growing concern to nursing mothers and their health care practitioners. Dr. Hale and his team estimate breastfeeding data is available for less than 33% of drugs available on the market today. To address this, they are researching the transfer mechanism of drugs into milk. Dr. Hale's initial research conclusions show that not all medications need to be stopped while breastfeeding, and effective alternatives can be taken, particularly in relation to anti-depressants and anti-psychotics.

Lars Bode, Ph.D., an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics from the University of California, presented important findings about the presence of oligosaccharides in human milk. Initial research conclusions show the high concentration of unbound oligosaccharides, complex sugars found in human milk that cannot be replicated in infant formula, may help prevent necrotizing entercolitis (NEC). This finding may explain why formula-fed, mainly pre-term infants are six times more likely to suffer from this life-threatening inflammatory bowel disease than infants fed with breastmilk.

Lastly, University of Western Australia doctoral candidate Foteini Hassiotou presented specific findings from her research that found stem cells from breastmilk have the potential to become other body cell types such as bone, fat, liver and brain cells. Stem cell researchers are hoping this could be one way to ethically and easily obtain pluripotent stem cells in a non-invasive manner, and researchers are excited and looking forward to better understanding the contribution that these cells can make to the health of infants.

As a long-time champion of breastfeeding, Medela is proud to convene this group of international experts to discuss the latest insights into breastfeeding science. This dedication to research is powered by Medela's commitment to breastfeeding, and to the support of nursing mothers and their families the world over.

For more information about this research and to see the presentations shown at Medela's 7th International Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium, please visit

About Medela

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.  

Media Contact:
Claudette Yasell

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