Medela Cares

Medela Cares is a continuation of our company's long history of caring for moms, babies, communities and our environment. These programs are an authentic, integrated expression of our mission, supported through corporate social responsibility with mission-aligned partners.

Medela Cares logo. Our People. Our Planet. Our Society.

Medela Cares is a continuation of our company's long history of caring for moms, babies, communities and our environment. These programs are an authentic, integrated expression of our mission, supported through corporate social responsibility with mission-aligned partners.

Medela believes in the life-giving benefits that breast milk can provide moms, babies, families, and communities. Sharing and promoting these benefits is an essential part of our commitment to ensuring babies have a healthy start while supporting mothers in achieving breastfeeding success. We recognize that many are not able to breastfeed for as long as they’d like because of barriers to access and historical obstacles caused by racism and discrimination. Understanding where and why these disparities exist allows Medela and the breastfeeding community to offer the targeted support, access, and education needed for improvement. We actively seek to foster a community of support that is necessary to reduce breastfeeding health disparities and support moms on their breastfeeding journeys.

In 2021, Medela Cares donated more than $255,000 in products to benefit 32 nonprofit organizations. Through this ongoing work, Medela Cares has provided breastfeeding support to nonprofit organizations across the United States, giving more than $4,000,000 since our inception in 2015.

Learn more about Medela Cares around the world.

Closing the Breastfeeding Disparities Gap

Overall, the United States is making improvements in breastfeeding rates and infant health. However, some communities continue to experience disparities. Despite improvements in breastfeeding initiation rates, there are disparities in African American and Hispanic communities where initiation and duration rates continue to be lower than other demographics, demonstrating a need for targeted support.

This divide cannot be ignored, and it is the reason Medela has committed to providing targeted support to communities impacted by breastfeeding disparities. Poverty also has an impact on breastfeeding. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that infants eligible for and receiving the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) are less likely to ever be breastfed than those who are not on the program. Additionally, Black women are more likely to have incomes <100% of the poverty level when compared to white women (49.3% versus 17.8%). They are also more likely to receive WIC (78.2% versus 34.1%) (CDC).

The CDC has identified a number of other complex factors and characteristics which influence a woman's breast milk feeding journey, including:

  • Issues with lactation and latching
  • Concerns about infant nutrition and weight
  • Mother’s concern about taking medications while breastfeeding
  • Unsupportive work policies and lack of parental leave
  • Cultural norms and/or lack of family support
  • Unsupportive hospital practices and policies

Additionally, a CDC report cited inadequate sharing of breastfeeding information from healthcare providers and lack of access to professional breastfeeding support as barriers that Black mothers disproportionately face when it comes to breastfeeding.

Although there is no single solution to supporting breastfeeding moms, the U.S. Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding outlines 20 key actions to improve breastfeeding and support. The report suggests that as communities, employers, healthcare providers, governments, and non-profit organizations implement strategies to support breastfeeding, all women who choose to breastfeed will benefit. The CDC Guide to Breastfeeding Interventions also offers recommendations and program examples to assist states, territories, and communities in supporting mothers to begin and continue

Protecting the Environment

As part of our commitment to the environment, Medela Recycles launched in 2015 to provide moms with an easy and environmentally-friendly solution to properly dispose of their breast pump. This program has successfully recycled more than 52,000 breast pumps! Recycle your Medela breast pump.

Medela recycles logo

As part of our commitment to the environment, Medela Recycles launched in 2015 to provide moms with an easy and environmentally-friendly solution to properly dispose of their breast pump. This program has successfully recycled more than 52,000 breast pumps! Recycle your Medela breast pump.

Supporting Breastfeeding Families

Ronald McDonald House®

 Forty percent of families staying at Ronald McDonald House locations around the globe have a child in the NICU. To provide greater ease and comfort to RMHC® families while reducing the stress of having a baby in the NICU, Medela provides the same high-quality equipment available in the hospital for their stay at select Ronald McDonald House locations, with the goal of giving families caring for a baby in the NICU one less thing to worry about. To date, Medela has provided more than 200 hospital-grade, multi-user breast pumps to several Ronald McDonald House programs across the USA. Learn more about how we support around the world.

 

 

Medela Cares and Ronald McDonald House Charities

March of Dimes

Medela USA is a long-standing partner of the March of Dimes mission to help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies. Since 2008, Medela and its employees have raised more than $154,000 to fund research, education and advocacy efforts for March of Dimes. Additionally, we support and engage in the organization’s efforts to address the racial disparities and social determinants of health that contribute to preterm birth and maternal mortality.

 

 

Medela Cares and March of Dimes partnership. Our People. Our Planet. Our Society.

Good+Foundation

Medela proudly supports new and expectant mothers by making contributions to Good+Foundation. Through their financial and product donations, Medela helps facilitate Good+Foundation’s mission of dismantling multi-generational poverty by providing tangible goods to low-income families. Since 2010, Medela and its sister brands have provided more than $3.6 million in product donations to Good+Foundation, including tens of thousands of items including breast pumps, nursing accessories, and nursing tanks.

These donations allow Good+Foundation’s program partners like Nurse Family Partnership to provide resources and bilingual breastfeeding education as families prepare for a new baby.

 

 

Medela Cares and the Good+Foundation.

Educating U.S. Policy Makers

Medela working with congressional leaders, advocates, healthcare professionals and communities about the importance of breast milk.

We work actively to protect and expand access to breast milk feeding supplies, education and support for all mothers across the United States. We do this by speaking with congressional leaders, advocates, healthcare professionals and communities about the importance of breast milk and encouraging mothers and their care circles in their decision to provide their babies with breast milk.

Below is how Medela has been working to support breast milk feeding families across the United States.

Medela engages congressional offices, federal agencies, and stakeholder groups in Washington, D.C. about the importance of breast milk feeding and its economic impacts.  To bring awareness to this important issue, Medela partnered with the March of Dimes to host a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. where a panel of physicians discussed various aspects of human milk. The briefing was attended by more than 50 people representing congressional offices and other organizations active in health policy discussions. Access the information shared with policymakers.

Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care

Medela actively participates as a key stakeholder of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care that exists in the U.S. House of Representatives. Through this forum, policymakers from across the nation and across the political spectrum promote policies to improve birth outcomes for mothers and children.  Over several years, Maternity Care Caucus co-chairs Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) have rallied support for language Medela proposed calling attention to the health benefits of breastfeeding for families, the cost savings associated with higher breastfeeding rates, and the importance of access to quality supplies and services  The caucus has also advanced critical legislation to help moms traveling through airports with breast milk, pumps and parts, along with legislation to extend break time for nursing mothers to cover all employees.

DEMAND Act

Moms and babies should get the support they need to continue breastfeeding when separated from their homes due to a federally declared disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is the federal agency charged with providing emergency support to families displaced from their homes by tornados, hurricanes, wildfires, and other disaster situations. Medela learned in 2019 that tornado response volunteers offering free support to breastfeeding families were told that infant formula, but not breastfeeding support, could be made available by FEMA. Medela is proud that Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and John Katko (R-NY) introduced bipartisan legislation called the Delivering Essentials to Mothers Amid Natural Disasters (DEMAND) Act. The legislation would require that the supplies and services needed to help support breastfeeding is specifically highlighted and covered for assistance through the FEMA individual assistance program.

PUMP Act

Prior to a 2021 U.S. House of Representatives vote to pass the PUMP Act (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers) Medela provided information to Members of Congress explaining the importance of break time for nursing mothers. The fact is most moms who breastfeed need to express milk at least every few hours to maintain their milk supply and meet their breastfeeding goals. Medela is also actively engaged in discussions with Senate leaders hoping to pass this legislation for it to become law during the 117th Congress.

WIC Policy

Medela believes that moms who choose to breastfeed should have access to comprehensive lactation support. This support is especially important in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which provides federal grants to states for nutrition education, food, and healthcare for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women. Medela is currently working to educate policymakers regarding the importance of making breastfeeding supplies and services as readily available as free infant formula.

Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) Guidelines

Medela believes that comprehensive lactation support services should include access to all the counseling, education, and breast milk feeding equipment and supplies needed during the antenatal, perinatal, and postpartum stages to ensure the successful initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding. Medela has worked with the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care to support efforts to enhance the health insurance coverage guidelines issued by the federal government around the provision of breastfeeding supplies and services. Access to quality breastfeeding services and supplies will improve health outcomes and reduce health costs for moms and babies.

Maternal and Infant Mortality

Research notes that Chicago had a higher rate of infant mortality than the rest of the U.S.1 We also know that Black women today are three to four times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy, compared to white women.2 This reality is unacceptable. At Medela, it is our view that breast milk feeding and access to breast milk in critical care situations is only a small part of what can make a big difference in the lives of families, the long-term well-being of babies, and our community. Medela partnered with the March of Dimes and University of Chicago/UIC Health to host a panel discussion in Chicago with local clinicians in an effort to bring awareness and enact change in maternal and infant health outcomes. This event was attended by more than 250 members of the community.

Read the full transcript from the 2019 event.

Human Milk and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Medela provided evidence to congressional leaders showing how infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) benefit from access to breast milk. NAS is a term for withdrawal symptoms infants may experience because of prenatal use of opioids or other substances by their mothers.7 Breast milk reduces the duration and cost of treatment associated with NAS, in addition to protecting infants from the most common and costly illnesses and conditions experienced during the first year of life. 7-11 Read the October 2017 report from the General Accountability Office.

Supporting Breastfeeding Families

Ronald McDonald House®

 Forty percent of families staying at Ronald McDonald House locations around the globe have a child in the NICU. To provide greater ease and comfort to RMHC® families while reducing the stress of having a baby in the NICU, Medela provides the same high-quality equipment available in the hospital for their stay at select Ronald McDonald House locations, with the goal of giving families caring for a baby in the NICU one less thing to worry about. To date, Medela has provided more than 200 hospital-grade, multi-user breast pumps to several Ronald McDonald House programs across the USA. Learn more about how we support around the world.

 

 

Medela Cares and Ronald McDonald House Charities

March of Dimes

Medela USA is a long-standing partner of the March of Dimes mission to help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies. Since 2008, Medela and its employees have raised more than $154,000 to fund research, education and advocacy efforts for March of Dimes. Additionally, we support and engage in the organization’s efforts to address the racial disparities and social determinants of health that contribute to preterm birth and maternal mortality.

 

 

Medela Cares and March of Dimes partnership. Our People. Our Planet. Our Society.

Good+Foundation

Medela proudly supports new and expectant mothers by making contributions to Good+Foundation. Through their financial and product donations, Medela helps facilitate Good+Foundation’s mission of dismantling multi-generational poverty by providing tangible goods to low-income families. Since 2010, Medela and its sister brands have provided more than $3.6 million in product donations to Good+Foundation, including tens of thousands of items including breast pumps, nursing accessories, and nursing tanks.

These donations allow Good+Foundation’s program partners like Nurse Family Partnership to provide resources and bilingual breastfeeding education as families prepare for a new baby.

 

 

Medela Cares and the Good+Foundation.

Educating U.S. Policy Makers

Medela working with congressional leaders, advocates, healthcare professionals and communities about the importance of breast milk.

We work actively to protect and expand access to breast milk feeding supplies, education and support for all mothers across the United States. We do this by speaking with congressional leaders, advocates, healthcare professionals and communities about the importance of breast milk and encouraging mothers and their care circles in their decision to provide their babies with breast milk.

Below is how Medela has been working to support breast milk feeding families across the United States.

Medela engages congressional offices, federal agencies, and stakeholder groups in Washington, D.C. about the importance of breast milk feeding and its economic impacts.  To bring awareness to this important issue, Medela partnered with the March of Dimes to host a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C. where a panel of physicians discussed various aspects of human milk. The briefing was attended by more than 50 people representing congressional offices and other organizations active in health policy discussions. Access the information shared with policymakers.

Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care

Medela actively participates as a key stakeholder of the bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care that exists in the U.S. House of Representatives. Through this forum, policymakers from across the nation and across the political spectrum promote policies to improve birth outcomes for mothers and children.  Over several years, Maternity Care Caucus co-chairs Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) have rallied support for language Medela proposed calling attention to the health benefits of breastfeeding for families, the cost savings associated with higher breastfeeding rates, and the importance of access to quality supplies and services  The caucus has also advanced critical legislation to help moms traveling through airports with breast milk, pumps and parts, along with legislation to extend break time for nursing mothers to cover all employees.

DEMAND Act

Moms and babies should get the support they need to continue breastfeeding when separated from their homes due to a federally declared disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is the federal agency charged with providing emergency support to families displaced from their homes by tornados, hurricanes, wildfires, and other disaster situations. Medela learned in 2019 that tornado response volunteers offering free support to breastfeeding families were told that infant formula, but not breastfeeding support, could be made available by FEMA. Medela is proud that Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Representatives Lauren Underwood (D-IL) and John Katko (R-NY) introduced bipartisan legislation called the Delivering Essentials to Mothers Amid Natural Disasters (DEMAND) Act. The legislation would require that the supplies and services needed to help support breastfeeding is specifically highlighted and covered for assistance through the FEMA individual assistance program.

PUMP Act

Prior to a 2021 U.S. House of Representatives vote to pass the PUMP Act (Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers) Medela provided information to Members of Congress explaining the importance of break time for nursing mothers. The fact is most moms who breastfeed need to express milk at least every few hours to maintain their milk supply and meet their breastfeeding goals. Medela is also actively engaged in discussions with Senate leaders hoping to pass this legislation for it to become law during the 117th Congress.

WIC Policy

Medela believes that moms who choose to breastfeed should have access to comprehensive lactation support. This support is especially important in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, which provides federal grants to states for nutrition education, food, and healthcare for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women. Medela is currently working to educate policymakers regarding the importance of making breastfeeding supplies and services as readily available as free infant formula.

Women’s Preventive Services Initiative (WPSI) Guidelines

Medela believes that comprehensive lactation support services should include access to all the counseling, education, and breast milk feeding equipment and supplies needed during the antenatal, perinatal, and postpartum stages to ensure the successful initiation and maintenance of breastfeeding. Medela has worked with the Congressional Caucus on Maternity Care to support efforts to enhance the health insurance coverage guidelines issued by the federal government around the provision of breastfeeding supplies and services. Access to quality breastfeeding services and supplies will improve health outcomes and reduce health costs for moms and babies.

Maternal and Infant Mortality

Research notes that Chicago had a higher rate of infant mortality than the rest of the U.S.1 We also know that Black women today are three to four times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy, compared to white women.2 This reality is unacceptable. At Medela, it is our view that breast milk feeding and access to breast milk in critical care situations is only a small part of what can make a big difference in the lives of families, the long-term well-being of babies, and our community. Medela partnered with the March of Dimes and University of Chicago/UIC Health to host a panel discussion in Chicago with local clinicians in an effort to bring awareness and enact change in maternal and infant health outcomes. This event was attended by more than 250 members of the community.

Read the full transcript from the 2019 event.

Human Milk and Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

Medela provided evidence to congressional leaders showing how infants with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) benefit from access to breast milk. NAS is a term for withdrawal symptoms infants may experience because of prenatal use of opioids or other substances by their mothers.7 Breast milk reduces the duration and cost of treatment associated with NAS, in addition to protecting infants from the most common and costly illnesses and conditions experienced during the first year of life. 7-11 Read the October 2017 report from the General Accountability Office.

References

1 http://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Health_Statistics/NCHS/Dataset_Documentation/DVS/periodlinked/LinkPE15Guide.pdf

7 The Helping to End Addiction and Lessen (HEAL) Substance Use Disorders Act of 2018. Section 201: Caring Recovery for Infants and Babies.

8 Meier PP, Bode L. Health, nutrition, and cost outcomes of human milk feedings for very low birthweight infants. Adv Nutr. Nov 2013;4(6):670-671

9 Johnson TJ, Patel AL, Bigger HR, Engstrom JL, Meier PP. Economic benefits and costs of human milk feedings: a strategy to reduce the risk of prematurity-related morbidities in very-low-birth-weight infants. Adv Nutr. 2014;5(2):207-212

10 Vohr BR, Poindexter BB, Dusick AM, et al. Persistent beneficial effects of breast milk ingested in the neonatal intensive care unit on outcomes of extremely low birth weight infants at 30 months of age. Pediatrics. Oct 2007;120(4):e953-959

11 AAP. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. Mar 2012;129(3):e827-841