How the Medela Transfer Lid Can Help Your NICU Today

Angela Groshner, MSN, RN, CCRN, CBC / December 2020

Many Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) are faced with barriers to opening or creating space for a dedicated human milk room due to the already designed structure and lack of available space.  This can cause great variation from one hospital to the next, despite current recommendations. In fact, the current recommendations from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2019) are to have a separate, designated room for the preparation and handling of human milk and formula, and should:

• Have appropriate physical separation from direct patient care areas;

• Have the preparation area divided from the storage and anteroom areas; and

• Be used solely for the purpose of preparing human milk and formula by aseptic technique.

How Do the Medela Transfer Lids Help?

No matter where your NICU is in the milk room journey, the Medela Transfer Lid can help get you one step closer to handling milk in a safe and convenient way. Vulnerable infants in the NICU often receive their feedings through a feeding tube rather than eating by mouth. “Ultimately, the area of most concern in the bedside administration of expressed human milk [HM] is to ensure safe delivery to the patient” (Steele & Collins, 2019, p. 209).  While bedside preparation remains the reality for many, there are steps that can be taken to improve current practice.

“Medela’s products and educational resources are driven by the commitment to enhance mother and baby health through the life-giving benefits of breast milk” (Medela AG, 2020).  Medela strives to provide the necessary tools to allow safe handling and delivery of human milk. Now available in both oral and ENFit® connections, the Transfer Lid offers non-contact transfer of human milk from commonly used containers to enteral syringes. Features of the Medela Transfer Lid are:

• Non-contact breast milk transfers from both Medela and most commonly used containers

• Reduces opportunity for touch contamination of breast milk

• Prevents spills or loss of breast milk

• Access to every last drop of breast milk

• Easier ENFit or oral syringe milk transfers

• Sterile and ready to use

• For Enteral Feeding Only, not for I.V. use

So there you have it, the Transfer Lid sets a new standard for human milk enteral feeding preparation in the hospital setting - not only for reduction in preparation contamination, but so many other focus areas in this realm.  With or without the amenity of having a designated human milk preparation room in your NICU, implementing small steps towards best practice make a big difference.   

One thing I have heard from many clinicians is their desire for the transfer lid to be compatible with the well-known human milk fortifier, Prolacta bottles.  The Prolacta bottles feature a non-standard threading, which creates incompatibility with standard ring attachments.  Based on the manufacturer’s recommendations for preparation with Prolacta, once the human milk is swirled together within the bottle, it is then ready to use or transfer into aliquot feedings.  So, it has been my recommendation to many to instead transfer the human milk/Prolacta mixture into a standard storage bottle and utilize the Medela Transfer Lid to prepare enteral feedings.  This process allows for all syringe feedings to be prepared in a consistent manner, rather than developing a separate process for Prolacta fortified feedings, or forcing staff workarounds.

The Medela Transfer Lid and Added Peace of Mind

As we continue to battle COVID-19, extra vigilance is necessary to ensure safe handling and management of expressed human milk, especially in the hospital setting. The resounding recommendation of the CDC, UNICEF, WHO and AAP is breast milk is the cornerstone of infant survival – it is much more than food – as breast milk boosts the baby’s immune system and prepares the baby for lifelong health.  By eliminating touch manipulation with use of a straw or dipping a syringe into the milk; and/or environmental exposure when pouring into a syringe for enteral feeding preparation, the Medela Transfer Lid offers a no-contact transfer of expressed breast milk, offering reassurance during uncertain times.

References

Steele C, Collins E. (Eds). (2019).  Infant and Pediatric Feedings: Guidelines for Preparation of Human Milk and Formula in Health Care Facilities. (3rd ed.). Chicago, IL: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA). (2020). Milk Handling for COVID-19 Positive or Suspected Mothers in the Hospital Setting. Retrieved from https://www.hmbana.org/file_download/inline/a593dd72-be78-471e-ae5e-6490309108fd

Medela AG. (2020). The life-giving benefits of breast milk. About Medela. https://www.medela.com/company/about/breastfeeding-philosophy

Prolacta BioScience. (n.d.). Preterm nutrition products. Human Milk Products. https://www.prolacta.com/en/products/preterm-nutrition-products/

About the Author

angela-groshner-headshot-medela

Angela Groshner, MSN, RN, CCRN, CBC, began her career 9 years ago in neonatal intensive care. She has been a neonatal nurse for the past 7 years and has served in nursing leadership roles within the NICU. Angela also provided community nursing for low income pregnant women, and children birth to three years, in effort to promote healthy prenatal outcomes and improve the development of young children. Her experience in those roles has driven her love for improving clinical practice and educating clinicians, especially as it relates to advancements in practice and outcomes in the neonatal population. Angela currently works as a Clinical NICU Specialist for Medela LLC.