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Medela Announces Virtual Breast Milk Collection Campaign in Honor of Prematurity Awareness Month
Date:11/1/2012

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
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SOURCE Medela
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