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Medela Promotes Human Milk Consumption in NICUs to Address Health Risks Associated with Prematurity and Improve Infant Health
Date:9/17/2013

MCHENRY, Ill., Sept. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Medela today announced a call to share best practices to raise awareness about premature births and effective efforts to support human milk consumption with the goal of improving infant health. One in nine babies in the United States is born prematurely—more than in most developed countries.i Content of human milk can substantially improve outcomes for critically compromised and premature infants (preemies). Outstanding neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) across the country understand that a mother's breastmilk gives the baby one of the best health outcomes available. To recognize the critical role that NICU professionals play in providing access to human milk, Medela is looking for NICU facilities to share their best practices in facilitating human milk consumption across the United States.

Premature birth costs society more than $26 billion a yearii and takes a high toll on families. Premature babies, born before 37 completed weeks of pregnancy, are at risk of both moderate and severe health problems, as well as lifelong disabilities. Premature birth is the number one contributor to infant mortality. Human milk acts much like medicine to premature babies who are vulnerable to potentially fatal diseases such as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), an intestinal disease associated with a high mortality rate in the NICU, from merely being born too early.

Research shows that:

  • Length of stay was reduced from an average of 88 days to 73 days for babies fed more than 50ml/kg of breastmilk daily versus preterm formula.iii
  • Increasing average daily doses of human milk from less than 25 to less than or equal to 50 ml/kg/day for Very Low Birth Weight babies decreased NICU costs incurred by the
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  • SOURCE Medela
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