Leading Lactation Insights - August 2022

Breast anatomy research image

The Leading Lactation Insights newsletter presents the latest breastfeeding topics and clinical practice solutions, addresses coding issues challenging the lactation community, features a lactation service, and announces upcoming webinars and conferences.


Breastfeeding Resources from UNICEF UK

Maria Lennon, MSN, CNM, IBCLC

There is an excellent website that has a multitude of resources for breastfeeding families and healthcare professionals on myriad topics relating to breastfeeding, parent-child relationships, pursuing the Baby Friendly Hospital designation and support for parents. Even though this site is from the United Kingdom, most of the resources are pertinent for healthcare professionals and parents in the United States and some information is translated into languages so they can be useful around the world or for specific communities in the US. Most are free, some with a nominal cost.

Some of these great resources include:

Breastfeeding Resources: numerous resources supportive of breastfeeding practices, videos on hand expression, posters, pamphlets, guidelines for medications and anesthesia, assessment tools for successful breastfeeding, and a booklet on  “Feeding Twins, Triplets and More”.

Bottle Feeding Resources: responsive feeding information sheet, assessment tools, guide to bottle feeding, introducing solid foods.

Relationship-Building Resources that cover a range of issues around supporting close and loving relationships between parents and babies; Guide to building a happy baby, skin-to-skin info, ”Baby I Love You” video; neuro-social evolution video.

Antenatal Care: Communication in pregnancy video; Guidance for Antenatal and Postnatal Conversations.

Neonatal Care: Resources for assisting with care for sick and preterm babies in neonatal units, Baby Friendly Initiative guidance for neonatal units; booklet, “You and Your Baby: Supporting Love and Nurture on the Neonatal Unit”, information and an assessment tool for breast milk expression.

Support for Parents: Sleep and night time resources to help parents care for babies at night, many resources available for download.

Foreign Language: Many educational info sheets are available in multiple languages for use in supporting parents with feeding and responding to their babies. Baby Friendly resources and Infant Feeding in Emergencies now available in Ukrainian.

Information on Various Trainings for healthcare professionals but these seem to be specific to the UK.

Going Baby Friendly – Specific guidance for both health centers and for midwifery and nursing curricula in universities. Includes information for healthcare professionals on the code of marketing of breast milk substitutes. This website is a “one-stop shop” and a good place to start when looking for a variety of educational resources for use with both parents and healthcare professionals.  

Resources link



Deciding When & How Often to Express Human Milk in the Immediate Postpartum Period

Presented by Darlene Silver, MSN, RN, IBCLC
Wednesday, August 17

Human Connection Within Perinatal Palliative Care

Presented by: Billie Winegard, MD & Amanda Butner, BSN, RN
Wednesday, September 14

Last Chance to Access 2021 Global Symposium On-Demand

Advancing Lactation Science to Improve Care ~ More than 1,400 registered attendees from all over the world.

Watch Recording

Recently Recorded Webinars:

World Breastfeeding Week

In celebration of this year's World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) and in line with the 2022 theme "Step up for Breastfeeding - Educate and Support", Medela is focusing on the wonders of breast milk throughout the entire week.

We have created an evidence-based podcast on breast milk titled The Amazing Science of Mother’s Milk. Based on our award-winning eBook, the six-part podcast focuses on what happens in a woman's body while breastfeeding, the composition of breast milk and its effects on mom and baby, and explores the myths and facts - amazing, fascinating and backed by science. 

Medela US is partnering with Good+Foundation

Medela US announced a buy one, give one campaign in recognition of World Breastfeeding Week. For every item purchased on Medela’s Amazon store between August 1 and August 15, Medela will donate one new mom essential item* to Good+Foundation, a non-profit organization and long-time Medela partner dedicated to providing essential equipment, products, clothing and educational services to families in need across the country.

According to the Good+Foundation, one in every four children served annually by Good+ donations are under the age of one, making donations of products that support breastfeeding critical. This partnership and initiative reflects Medela’s ongoing commitment to supporting new parents, from pregnancy through the breastfeeding journey.

Preemie Chats – Special Edition

On August 5th at 1:00 EDT, the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation (CPBF) will live stream a 2-hour special edition of their educational series Preemie Chats. Experts from across Canada will discuss how the pandemic affected breastfeeding, important steps to improve breastfeeding rates in the NICU, the science behind human milk feeding, and share a unique experience to increase community lactation support after infant loss. Click here to learn more and to register.

Medela Canada is partnering with Mamas for Mamas

Through the month of August, Medela Canada will also host a buy one, give one campaign benefitting moms in need. For all Medela purchases of $25 or more on Indigo.ca, Medela will donate one nursing bra+ to Mamas for Mamas, a non-profit organization providing essential equipment, products, clothing, and educational services to families in need.

 According to Mamas for Mamas, 53% of single mamas live under the poverty line in Canada.  “We thank Medela for being leaders in this change we need to see in the world, and for helping to evolve the landscape of poverty, one Mama at a time. Medela’s generosity will assist our breastfeeding mamas throughout Canada. Charity doesn’t solve poverty, community does.”     


* A minimum of 54,183 pieces of apparel and pacifiers will be provided
 +A Minimum of 5,000 pieces will be provided.

Breastfeeding, Motherhood, and Family:

It Takes A Village

Written by Ebonie Bailey, CD(DONA)

In this blog, Ebonie talks about her birthing experience with her third child, and how having a doula there helped her. She also shares about her efforts to help other moms through her company that offers doula services. Ebonie also talks about how moms can be helped by donating breast milk. Breastfeeding, Motherhood, and Family: It Takes a Village

August is Back to School Month

August is the month when a lot of kids head back to school. As a lactation professionals, we are here to help you grow your knowledge with a variety of educational options!

The Medical Affairs and Education Team has been working hard to bring relevant webinars to our customers each month. Is there a webinar that you missed? Are you interested in listening to a webinar again? We’ve got you covered! We offer two ways to listen to our recorded webinars. If you want to listen in and don’t need the 1.0 Nursing Contact Hour, click here to browse the list. Our other option offers Nursing Contact Hours. To view our online 24/7 courses which include our recorded webinars, click here. This option has a registration fee of $20.00 per credit hour. We are offering a promo code that will bring the cost down to just $5.00 per credit hour! At checkout enter promo code QM5E2E to receive the discount.

Receive the Latest Education Offers

Interested in joining our ecamp list so you receive the latest information about Medela educational offerings? Send your name, credentials, facility where you work, and email address to education@medela.com. We will add you to our ecamp list. We send out two ecamps per webinar and we do not sell your information.

Product Competency & Product In-Services for Professionals

Did you know that we offer competencies for our capital equipment products as well as a few other products? These competencies can now be found at the product page level of our website Medela.us and on the MedelaEducation.com page under Professional Resources, Research & Literature. These products are Symphony PLUS®, BabyWeigh™II, Waterless Milk Warmer™, Guardian Warmer®, Enteral Feeding Pump, and Nipple Shields. We also offer product in—services for these products so you can educate your staff when it is convenient for you! To register for those product in-services, click here.

Information and Troubleshooting Videos Now Available in Spanish

We are happy to announce that our information and troubleshooting videos for the Pump in Style with MaxFlow are now available in Spanish. Click here to view them.

Kin™ –Employer Solutions Program

Kin Stacked Logo

Kin offers a customizable, single-source solution from Medela and Mamava®, designed to make it easier for hospitals to support employees when they return to work after welcoming a new baby.

With the Kin program, your doctors, nurses, and staff get the support they need to successfully balance their career with breastfeeding and a growing family. You get an easy, measurable way to show your commitment to working moms—and a competitive advantage by providing a supportive, family-friendly environment that attracts and retains employees. For more information click here. You can also click here to watch a video about the program.


Breastfeeding Resources from UNICEF UK

Maria Lennon, MSN, CNM, IBCLC

There is an excellent website that has a multitude of resources for breastfeeding families and healthcare professionals on myriad topics relating to breastfeeding, parent-child relationships, pursuing the Baby Friendly Hospital designation and support for parents. Even though this site is from the United Kingdom, most of the resources are pertinent for healthcare professionals and parents in the United States and some information is translated into languages so they can be useful around the world or for specific communities in the US. Most are free, some with a nominal cost.

Some of these great resources include:

Breastfeeding Resources: numerous resources supportive of breastfeeding practices, videos on hand expression, posters, pamphlets, guidelines for medications and anesthesia, assessment tools for successful breastfeeding, and a booklet on  “Feeding Twins, Triplets and More”.

Bottle Feeding Resources: responsive feeding information sheet, assessment tools, guide to bottle feeding, introducing solid foods.

Relationship-Building Resources that cover a range of issues around supporting close and loving relationships between parents and babies; Guide to building a happy baby, skin-to-skin info, ”Baby I Love You” video; neuro-social evolution video.

Antenatal Care: Communication in pregnancy video; Guidance for Antenatal and Postnatal Conversations.

Neonatal Care: Resources for assisting with care for sick and preterm babies in neonatal units, Baby Friendly Initiative guidance for neonatal units; booklet, “You and Your Baby: Supporting Love and Nurture on the Neonatal Unit”, information and an assessment tool for breast milk expression.

Support for Parents: Sleep and night time resources to help parents care for babies at night, many resources available for download.

Foreign Language: Many educational info sheets are available in multiple languages for use in supporting parents with feeding and responding to their babies. Baby Friendly resources and Infant Feeding in Emergencies now available in Ukrainian.

Information on Various Trainings for healthcare professionals but these seem to be specific to the UK.

Going Baby Friendly – Specific guidance for both health centers and for midwifery and nursing curricula in universities. Includes information for healthcare professionals on the code of marketing of breast milk substitutes. This website is a “one-stop shop” and a good place to start when looking for a variety of educational resources for use with both parents and healthcare professionals.  

Resources link



Deciding When & How Often to Express Human Milk in the Immediate Postpartum Period

Presented by Darlene Silver, MSN, RN, IBCLC
Wednesday, August 17

Human Connection Within Perinatal Palliative Care

Presented by: Billie Winegard, MD & Amanda Butner, BSN, RN
Wednesday, September 14

Last Chance to Access 2021 Global Symposium On-Demand

Advancing Lactation Science to Improve Care ~ More than 1,400 registered attendees from all over the world.

Watch Recording

Recently Recorded Webinars:

World Breastfeeding Week

In celebration of this year's World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) and in line with the 2022 theme "Step up for Breastfeeding - Educate and Support", Medela is focusing on the wonders of breast milk throughout the entire week.

We have created an evidence-based podcast on breast milk titled The Amazing Science of Mother’s Milk. Based on our award-winning eBook, the six-part podcast focuses on what happens in a woman's body while breastfeeding, the composition of breast milk and its effects on mom and baby, and explores the myths and facts - amazing, fascinating and backed by science. 

Medela US is partnering with Good+Foundation

Medela US announced a buy one, give one campaign in recognition of World Breastfeeding Week. For every item purchased on Medela’s Amazon store between August 1 and August 15, Medela will donate one new mom essential item* to Good+Foundation, a non-profit organization and long-time Medela partner dedicated to providing essential equipment, products, clothing and educational services to families in need across the country.

According to the Good+Foundation, one in every four children served annually by Good+ donations are under the age of one, making donations of products that support breastfeeding critical. This partnership and initiative reflects Medela’s ongoing commitment to supporting new parents, from pregnancy through the breastfeeding journey.

Preemie Chats – Special Edition

On August 5th at 1:00 EDT, the Canadian Premature Babies Foundation (CPBF) will live stream a 2-hour special edition of their educational series Preemie Chats. Experts from across Canada will discuss how the pandemic affected breastfeeding, important steps to improve breastfeeding rates in the NICU, the science behind human milk feeding, and share a unique experience to increase community lactation support after infant loss. Click here to learn more and to register.

Medela Canada is partnering with Mamas for Mamas

Through the month of August, Medela Canada will also host a buy one, give one campaign benefitting moms in need. For all Medela purchases of $25 or more on Indigo.ca, Medela will donate one nursing bra+ to Mamas for Mamas, a non-profit organization providing essential equipment, products, clothing, and educational services to families in need.

 According to Mamas for Mamas, 53% of single mamas live under the poverty line in Canada.  “We thank Medela for being leaders in this change we need to see in the world, and for helping to evolve the landscape of poverty, one Mama at a time. Medela’s generosity will assist our breastfeeding mamas throughout Canada. Charity doesn’t solve poverty, community does.”     


* A minimum of 54,183 pieces of apparel and pacifiers will be provided
 +A Minimum of 5,000 pieces will be provided.

Breastfeeding, Motherhood, and Family:

It Takes A Village

Written by Ebonie Bailey, CD(DONA)

In this blog, Ebonie talks about her birthing experience with her third child, and how having a doula there helped her. She also shares about her efforts to help other moms through her company that offers doula services. Ebonie also talks about how moms can be helped by donating breast milk. Breastfeeding, Motherhood, and Family: It Takes a Village

August is Back to School Month

August is the month when a lot of kids head back to school. As a lactation professionals, we are here to help you grow your knowledge with a variety of educational options!

The Medical Affairs and Education Team has been working hard to bring relevant webinars to our customers each month. Is there a webinar that you missed? Are you interested in listening to a webinar again? We’ve got you covered! We offer two ways to listen to our recorded webinars. If you want to listen in and don’t need the 1.0 Nursing Contact Hour, click here to browse the list. Our other option offers Nursing Contact Hours. To view our online 24/7 courses which include our recorded webinars, click here. This option has a registration fee of $20.00 per credit hour. We are offering a promo code that will bring the cost down to just $5.00 per credit hour! At checkout enter promo code QM5E2E to receive the discount.

Receive the Latest Education Offers

Interested in joining our ecamp list so you receive the latest information about Medela educational offerings? Send your name, credentials, facility where you work, and email address to education@medela.com. We will add you to our ecamp list. We send out two ecamps per webinar and we do not sell your information.

Product Competency & Product In-Services for Professionals

Did you know that we offer competencies for our capital equipment products as well as a few other products? These competencies can now be found at the product page level of our website Medela.us and on the MedelaEducation.com page under Professional Resources, Research & Literature. These products are Symphony PLUS®, BabyWeigh™II, Waterless Milk Warmer™, Guardian Warmer®, Enteral Feeding Pump, and Nipple Shields. We also offer product in—services for these products so you can educate your staff when it is convenient for you! To register for those product in-services, click here.

Information and Troubleshooting Videos Now Available in Spanish

We are happy to announce that our information and troubleshooting videos for the Pump in Style with MaxFlow are now available in Spanish. Click here to view them.

Kin™ –Employer Solutions Program

Kin Stacked Logo

Kin offers a customizable, single-source solution from Medela and Mamava®, designed to make it easier for hospitals to support employees when they return to work after welcoming a new baby.

With the Kin program, your doctors, nurses, and staff get the support they need to successfully balance their career with breastfeeding and a growing family. You get an easy, measurable way to show your commitment to working moms—and a competitive advantage by providing a supportive, family-friendly environment that attracts and retains employees. For more information click here. You can also click here to watch a video about the program.



Updated AAP Policy Statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk

Maria Lennon, MSN, CNM, IBCLC

The American Academy of Pediatrics has updated its Policy on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk for the first time in a decade. Based on current evidence of benefits for both mothers and babies, the policy statement details the benefits of breastfeeding, its true contraindications and those that are not, the challenge of breastfeeding in the US, recommendations for breastfeeding for healthy as well as high risk infants, and the role pediatricians play in protecting, promoting, and supporting breastfeeding.

Since over 80% of women in the Unites States initiate breastfeeding, it has become the cultural norm. Research continues to confirm that breastfeeding and human milk are the normative standards for infant feeding and nutrition and should be considered the standard of reference to which all forms of infant feeding are compared. 

Rates of breastfeeding in the US show certain disparities, especially among non-Hispanic Black mothers and infants. There is a need to address implicit bias, structural bias, and structural racism to improve the health and well-being for all children and families.

The AAP still recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months before adding complementary foods, and now supports continued breastfeeding for two years or longer. Research has shown that breastfeeding for over a year continues to provide immunological benefits for the baby and is associated with decreasing mothers’ risk for diabetes mellitus type 2, hypertension, breast, ovarian and endometrial cancer.

Outcomes are improved for children who were breastfed; data show that otitis media, diarrhea, lower respiratory illness, SIDS, inflammatory bowel disease, childhood leukemia, diabetes mellitus, obesity, asthma, and atopic diseases occur less frequently.

For mothers and families who are unable to exclusively breastfeed, the statement mentions that special support is needed to help the parents overcome the disappointment that comes with difficulty breastfeeding.

The statement goes on to discuss contraindications to breastfeeding - classic galactosemia; in the US, mothers who are infected with HIV, human T-cell lymphotropic virus, untreated brucellosis or Ebola-virus. Special considerations regarding certain infectious diseases are discussed, as is guidance for mothers who use marijuana, alcohol, and tobacco. Other topics covered are maternal medications, radiologic procedures, hospital practices that increase breastfeeding initiation and duration, safe sleep, use of human milk for very low birth weight (VLBW) and late preterm infants, hyperbilirubinemia, adoption, surrogacy, and infants born to gender-diverse families. Due to the increase in rickets, supplementing all breastfed infants with Vitamin D 400 IU continues to be recommended.

At the end of the policy statement, some Key Recommendations are listed. Pediatricians are encouraged to become knowledgeable about breastfeeding management practices that support breastfeeding, to use current evidence-based resources to provide guidance, to advocate for policies that support breastfeeding families and address inequities in care delivery, and to partner with lactation specialists to support breastfeeding parents and children.

For more information and to read the policy statement click here



This month we are spotlighting Lydia K. Vasovich-Gmerek, BSN, RNC-NIC, IBCLC

Located in the San Francisco Bay area, Lydia K. Vasovich-Gmerek, BSN, RNC-NIC, IBCLC, is a staff RN at a level III NICU where she provides NICU and high-risk antepartum lactation services and care to families in need. As a NICU RN, she provides care across the continuum to the hospital’s tiniest babies while also providing lactation support and education to NICU parents and parents in the high-risk antepartum unit. When providing lactation care, Lydia offers anticipatory guidance based on each family’s unique needs and shares helpful information to support initiation and their overall lactation journey after their baby is born. 

Lydia also created a NICU pumping log for the families she serves, complete with milk target volumes for parents as many present with comorbidities that often predispose them to delay and decrease in milk supply. Additionally, she created a NICU breast pump prescription form that every NICU parent receives and is used to facilitate obtaining a breast pump through their insurance or WIC. Finally, Lydia also developed a convenient QR code for today’s parents that is used extensively throughout the NICU, antepartum unit, and the mother-baby unit. This code includes evidence-based information to help them learn best practices and techniques for initiating and maintaining lactation, as well as breastfeeding techniques for the preterm through full-term baby.

Lydia originally became a nurse after deciding to go into nursing right out of high school, inspired by a family member who was often ill and spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals. She notes that her first job was at a level III NICU and she is “still enjoying the fast-paced environment and helping parents throughout their baby’s hospitalization.” She also notes that she has been interested in lactation since becoming an RN and decided to pursue her IBCLC designation after her own children were in college. Her goal was to help NICU parents initiate and build their milk supply and be able to breastfeed their baby upon discharge, as she noticed that many NICU parents were unable to maintain their milk supply through a lengthy NICU hospitalization. She enjoys supporting families as well as coworkers throughout women's and children's departments. 

She shares that some current professional challenges include younger and younger parents with multiple comorbidities, difficulties that parents have with becoming and staying pregnant, and difficulties that parents have with providing their own milk for their premature baby. Hospital staffing challenges are also a common issue, with no dedicated IBCLC for the NICU and Lydia herself often pulled away from providing lactation care to instead provide direct patient care. She notes that she would love to see all personnel, including RNs, MDs, NPs, techs, and more, throughout women’s and children’s services receive ample training on the ten steps for the Hospital Infant Feeding Act, which will soon go into effect. Lydia says, “providing human milk, especially the parent’s own milk, is very important and recognized as decreasing Necrotizing Enterocolitis, promoting optimal brain development, growth, bonding, and improved overall outcomes.”

In her free time, Lydia enjoys gardening, hiking, helping Girl Scouts achieve their awards, and volunteering with the Doris Dillon School in Cambodia. Thank you for all that you do for the most vulnerable babies – and their families – throughout Northern California! If you have a question for Lydia you can email her at: Gmereklydia65@gmail.com


Thank you to this issue's contributors!

Maria Lennon, MSN, CNM, IBCLC

Nurse-Midwife, Perinatal Education Consultant - Sedona, AZ

Katie McGee, RN, BSN, IBCLC

Education Consultant - Westchester, IL

Kim Colburn, BPC

Medela U.S. Medical Education Specialist

Megan Quinn

Medela U.S. Corporate Communication Specialist

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