Medela University

We invite you to explore the Medela University where you will find online courses for healthcare professionals on breastfeeding & lactation. Please note that all courses are free of charge.

Medela University

We invite you to explore the Medela University where you will find online courses for healthcare professionals on breastfeeding & lactation. Please note that all courses are free of charge.

If you are a healthcare professional from the United States or Canada, please click here for access.

Click a course below to explore the educational content provided or go directly to the externally-hosted Medela University.

Physiology of the lactating breast: Building and maintaining milk supply

This is the fourth module in the physiology of the lactating breast series. Following secretory activation, the lactating breast enters the build phase of lactation. You will learn how daily milk production rapidly increases through a dynamic of supply and demand, with a full milk supply being established between 2 and 4 weeks post-partum.
The module with also cover best practices to support building and establishing a copious milk supply. These include frequent and effective milk removal, how oxytocin plays a key role in milk transportation and factors that inhibit and support milk ejection. Relevance to practice for both breastfeeding and pump-dependent mothers will be described.

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Physiology of the lactating breast: Secretory activation

This is the second module from the anatomy and physiology of the lactating breast series.
Evidence based care, established from an understanding of the basic principles of lactation and mammary gland function is imperative to improve breastfeeding rates and subsequently the health and wellbeing of breastfeeding women, infants’, and their families.
This lesson is part of the anatomy and physiology of the lactating breast series and aims to understand the physiological breast changes from neonate to the end of pregnancy, focusing on breast growth during pregnancy known as secretory differentiation.
This series aims to develop an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the lactating breast to drive timely and effective secretory activation to establish a copious milk supply through lactation best practices.
This course is CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified.

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Medela´s Breastfeeding & Lactation Symposium 2023

This is the first module from the anatomy and physiology of the lactating breast series.
Evidence based care, established from an understanding of the basic principles of lactation and mammary gland function is imperative to improve breastfeeding rates and subsequently the health and wellbeing of breastfeeding women, infants’, and their families.
This series aims to develop an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the lactating breast to drive timely and effective secretory activation to establish a copious milk supply through lactation best practices. This lesson focuses on the anatomy of the lactating breast.
This course is CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified.

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Physiology of the lactating breast: Secretory activation

This is the third module from the anatomy and physiology of the lactating breast series. In this lesson you will learn the science around secretory activation. Moreover, you will learn how lactocytes (milk-making cells) activate milk synthesis to establish a copious milk supply through: Early, frequent and effective breast stimulation during the critical window after birth.
Evidence based care, established from an understanding of the basic principles of lactation and mammary gland function is imperative to improve breastfeeding rates and subsequently the health and wellbeing of breastfeeding women, infants’, and their families.
This course is CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified.

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Medela´s Breastfeeding & Lactation Symposium 2023

Medela’s Breastfeeding & Lactation Symposium 2023 featured a world-class agenda for healthcare professionals keen to learn about the latest scientific evidence in the field of human milk and lactation towards improving the quality of lactation care and infant feeding.
International speakers provided most recent advances in the topics of lactation as a biological system, research in the mother-breast milk-infant “triad” and initiation of lactation best practice in the neonatal unit and Maternity Ward as well as focused on the need of prioritizing own mother’s milk and collecting standardized metrics to improve infant outcomes in the neonatal unit.

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The role of antenatal screening and postnatal point-of-care testing in maximizing milk production and extending lactation with Prof Donna Geddes

Several anatomical, metabolic, and psychosocial factors, not routinely identified in pregnancy are associated with reduced exclusivity and duration of breastfeeding. Identification of pregnant women at high risk of low milk production creates a window for early targeted education and intervention. This screening in combination with point-of-care milk testing that can detect delayed secretory activation, breast inflammation or infection, and low milk production, directly informs lactation care that may optimize breastfeeding outcomes.

These advances in clinical lactation practice are urgent due to the increasing prevalence of pregnancy complications that we have found to be associated with low milk production. Furthermore, it is critical that fundamental research is carried out to elucidate which biological mammary gland pathways are dysregulated during these complications in order to develop evidence-based interventions to improve lactation outcomes.

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Disparities seen in breastfeeding with Rose Horton

Black women and birthing people have the lowest rate of breastfeeding in the United States than in regions of Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America. There is a stereotypical belief among healthcare workers that Black women do not want to breastfeed, with an ensuing lackluster attempt to support them in their feeding choices and remove barriers to ensure success. Let's have a candid conversation and change the narrative.

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Prenatal colostrum expression and collection: A creative and empowering approach to enhance breastfeeding outcomes with Staci Gallman

Breastfeeding provides immense health benefits for both infants and mothers. It is also acknowledged as a key strategy to improve public health; yet our exclusive breastfeeding rates remain suboptimal. In this course, we will discuss prenatal colostrum expression and collection as an intervention that has the potential to enhance breastfeeding outcomes.

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Improving Mothers’ Own Milk Provision at NICU Discharge: Optimizing Achievement of Secretory Activation and Coming to Volume as Key Strategies with Paula Meier

Embedded in this approach is evidence that the mammary gland undergoes essential programming during the first two weeks postpartum, which can be measured with biomarkers, and is essential to long-term mothers’ own milk (MOM) provision. Clinical strategies that target the early postpartum period will be highlighted, including species-specific mammary gland stimulation, monitoring of MOM biomarkers of secretory activation and assessment of coming to volume. Additionally, the distinction between impaired secretory differentiation and delayed/impaired secretory activation in this population will be discussed, with application to NICU mothers who have multiple inflammation-based morbidities that increase the risk for lactation problems.
This course is CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified.

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Early Initiation as Standard of Care: Meeting lactation goals in healthy and at-risk populations

In some vulnerable populations, such as late preterm, lack of effective breastfeeding may not be recognized, resulting in delayed or impaired milk production. This course will cover the evidence behind appropriate lactation initiation, especially in at-risk populations, and how we can best support parents to meet their lactation goals.
This course is CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified.

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Evidence and best practices to increase the use of mothers’ own milk in the NICU: Focus on secretory activation and coming to volume

This presentation highlights the newest evidence that mothers’ own milk is “personalized medicine” for NICU infants, and summarizes why donor human milk feedings do not yield the same beneficial outcomes. Given that there is no optimal substitute for mothers’ own milk, strategies to prioritize its availability in the NICU are essential. This session targets the first two weeks post-birth as a critical period that includes secretory activation and achievement of coming to volume in breast pump-dependent mothers of NICU infants, and includes evidence, best practices and the newest ongoing research in this area.
This course is CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified

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Deciding when & how often to express human milk in the immediate postpartum period

In this webinar we discuss maternal-neonatal risk factors where expression of human milk should be implemented in the first 3 days of life to support an optimal milk supply.

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Human connection within perinatal palliative care

Pregnancy is usually a time of great joy and hope; but when complications are identified, it can become a time of great hardship and uncertainty. Those experiencing such a pregnancy often feel lost and don’t know where to turn for support. This is especially true as they sift through information and are faced with decisions not usually required during pregnancy. Perinatal Palliative Care provides an interdisciplinary team approach to support families while they make loving decisions for their child. In this presentation we will discuss fostering human connection and helping families determine what is most important to them in this journey.

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Infant pain management: Can we do better in 2022?

This webinar will briefly describe an approach to developing a comprehensive pain program for infants. It will define infant pain and its short and long term consequences while offering evidence based approaches to care. An in-depth review of sucrose, non-nutritive sucking and breastfeeding will further guide clinical practice. Thought provoking suggestions will be shared and opportunity for group problem solving will be encouraged.

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Human Milk: hints to increase its utilization in the neonatal period

Own mother's milk is a low cost intervention as high dose and long exposure reduce the incidence of chronic infant co-morbidities. However the breastfeeding journey might be challenging at the beginning, particularly in high-risk populations such as mothers with a preterm infant. In this webinar you will learn which best practices have proven to be efficient to initiate lactation and increase the dose of mother's own milk on the NICU. Moreover you will learn more about how to personalize pasteurized Donor Human Milk with strategies able to restore and modulate the intestinal microbiota.

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The Importance and Benefits of Human Milk Banking

All babies deserve access to the best nutrition possible. For very low birthweight babies, breast milk is not just the best nutritional source, it can be a medical necessity. But not all mothers are able to breastfeed. Human Milk Banks provide a valuable service to ensure the most fragile infants have access to human milk to help them heal and thrive when mom's own milk isn't available or not enough to feed her baby.

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Safe handling of human milk within healthcare facilities

Learn about the latest recommendations, research, and best practices with regards to human milk handling within the healthcare setting and consider ideas to implement within your hospital to improve patient safety.

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Helping all families make informed feeding choices

On February 26, 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released a key report on the 55-billion-dollar formula industry and its negative impact on breastfeeding decisions. This webinar highlights key findings of the report and provide clinicians with tools to teach families why human milk matters. It is critical that families are presented with scientific evidence about the differences between human milk, donor milk and infant formula.

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After the loss of an infant - Suppression of breast milk supply

With an infant's demise the missing piece in bereavement care, is suppression of breast milk supply. This course provides safe lactation suppression strategies and delivers information on support services and breast milk donation.

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Changing the prenatal and intrapartum care paradigm to improve lactation initiation during COVID-19 pandemic

This course will address why the current prenatal care paradigm is inadequate to prepare families for their lactation journeys and present solutions. Antenatal lactation risk assessment is essential as well as a proactive approach to lactation initiation. Research, case studies and tools will be shared with the audience.

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Helping families identify and build prenatal and post birth breastfeeding support teams

This course will provide the learner with examples of how to use this research in clinical practice and help families identify and build breastfeeding support teams. In addition, an emphasis will be placed on the need to change the current prenatal care paradigm to help families prepare for lactation so they can meet their personal goals for the provision of human milk and breast/chest feeding.

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Hitting the target – Transitioning the NICU baby from trophic feeds to feeding at the breast

In this course we will discuss the breastfeeding journey of the very low/extremely low birth weight baby in the NICU. Breastfeeding for these tiny babies starts at birth. Early oral care with colostrum, skin-to-skin care, early and consistent exposure and time at the mother’s breast, infant-driven feeding, and prioritization of at-breast feeding will be discussed. Discussion on engaging mother, family, NICU staff and providers to create an environment and culture of breastfeeding inclusiveness and support of exclusive human milk will be infused throughout this presentation.

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Mother’s milk markers: How do we measure, predict (and modify) lactation success

This course will briefly review the biology of early lactation, the evidence and feasibility behind measures and biomarkers of lactation success, and explore how biomarkers might be utilized clinically to improve lactation outcomes.

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Hypolactation risk factors, diagnosis, and treatment

This one hour course will outline the educational gap of exocrine breast physiology among health care providers. It will discuss risk factors for hypolactation and include management strategies to treat suboptimal milk volumes.

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Mother's own milk vs donor human milk

This course discusses the value of human milk for both term and premature infants and the importance of mother’s own milk (MOM) vs donor human milk (DHM) especially for the vulnerable infant population. It focuses on the importance of initiating, building, and maintaining sufficient volumes of MOM. This is an effort to reduce economic impact as well as concerns with DHM use, which will also be reviewed. Education and support for the clinical professional as well as for the family will be offered.

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Nipple shields: Creating a supportive approach

In this course, lactation consultant Donnianne Noble, explores the possible impacts of nipple shield use on the breastfeeding dyad. A thorough look at current research and social perceptions of nipple shield use will be explored. A focus on improving underlying latch problems, avoiding common nipple shield pitfalls and suggestions for optimal education and follow-up will be discussed.

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The impact of COVID on human lactation in the black community

This course seeks to present the lived experience from Black birthing people as they navigated breastfeeding/chestfeeding in a COVID world. Our goal is to reshape and reimagine the breastfeeding experience for Black women by highlighting their triumphs over their struggles.

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Protecting human milk and breastfeeding in a COVID-19 world & beyond

The COVID-19 pandemic raised many questions with respect to breastfeeding and changed the clinical care of childbearing families. This course aims to identify strategies to protect lactation physiology and ensure that all families in need receive equal access to evidence-based lactation education, care and technical assistance.

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Protecting the feeding experience of the neonate

One of the most common practices in the NICU is the use of a gastric tube for enteral feedings. However, there are known risks to the use of a tube that will be addressed and discussed in this course. Clinical practices that involve parents in the tube feeding of their infant, decrease pain associated with the feeding experience and some recent research that may lead to earlier discharge while maintaining patient safety will be discussed as well.

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Racial disparities in maternal health outcomes - Strategies to narrow the gap

This course encourages, motivates, and inspires others to take on similar initiatives to address racial disparities in maternal health care and implement quality and safety measures to improve outcomes for pregnant and post-partum women.

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Safe handling of human milk within healthcare facilities

Learn about the latest recommendations, research, and best practices with regards to human milk handling within the healthcare setting and consider ideas to implement within your hospital to improve patient safety.

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Test weighing of breastfeeding premature & medically complex infants

This course discusses the state of the science of test weighing to measure breast milk intake for premature and medically complex infants. It also covers barriers and facilitators of the use of test weighing in the high-risk nursery setting to support breastfeeding at the breast. From an initial publication on the development of an accurate test weighing technique, this course also reviews the experiences with use of the technique and recommendations for clinical practice.

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The antibody response against SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) in human milk

In this course, Dr. Powell will describe the human milk immune system, focusing on the antibody response after infection or vaccination, and the functions of those antibodies for infants, or as a potential therapeutic for all. Specifically, you will learn about current research on the human milk antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and very recent data on the milk antibody response following vaccination against COVID-19.

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The psychosocial impact of COVID-19 on NICU families

In this course, we will learn more about the direct and indirect impact of COVID-19 on NICU families and explore strategies to provide family-centered care to support families during COVID-19 and beyond.

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The science of human lactation – from discovery to translation

In this talk, Professor Geddes will discuss her research which uses the latest technology to investigate breastfeeding patterns, explore why some women feel pain during breastfeeding, and as well, understand how our vulnerable preterm babies feed at the breast. She will discuss what to expect when breastfeeding, ways to overcome pain experienced during breastfeeding by some women, and will outline how milk changes in response to the mums and the baby’s health to protect them both. With this knowledge we can reassure or advise breastfeeding mums with more confidence along their breastfeeding journey.

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