Associate Professor Donna Geddes works at the world renowned Hartmann Human Lactation Research Group in the University of Western Australia. Some of the most fascinating and exciting research in the field of breastfeeding and lactation have come from this home grown research team.

We recently reached out to Donna to ask her to share her insights into breastfeeding and lactation. We hope that you find the information that she provided useful!

Donna is a True Research Expert

Donna comes from a medical imaging background but now heads up the research group. She travels all over the world presenting their latest research findings.

Medela was lucky to have her speak at our Australian Symposium in 2016.

In this video, Donna tells us about the recent studies which looked at whether babies who are born preterm sucked at the breast the same way as babies born at full term.


Donna’s Work Provides Valuable Insights for Mums and Professionals

Donna’s work is important because, although full breastfeeding is the ultimate aim for all preterm infants, to ensure they receive the full benefits of human milk, babies who are born preterm face several challenges with learning to breastfeed.

In order for health professionals to help babies and mums achieve breast feeding, it is essential to have a good understanding of how preterm babies suck during a breastfeed. This study aimed to measure and describe the sucking dynamics of the preterm breastfeeding baby.

Preterm Babies Suck the Same Way as Full Term Babies

The study showed that all babies use vacuum to remove milk from the breast, whether they were term or born preterm.

Donna stated that the “main problem with early weaning is linked back to how the baby removes milk from the breast” and we now know that there is “an enormous variability in the preterm infant but that they all suck the same way; using vacuum. But preterm infants suck with less strength”.

Donna shared that in the study the preterm babies were “not taking a lot of milk [from the breast], so it’s really important that we top those babies up and preserve the mother’s milk supply so they can go home and maintain breastfeeding”

Further research is required to tell us the factors that influence a preterm baby’s milk intake during a breastfeed.

Donna Geddes will be presenting at the Medela Asia Pacific Breastfeeding and Lactation Symposium in May 2018Click here to buy tickets.

What questions do you have about breastfeeding? How would you describe your breastfeeding experience so far? Let’s have a chat here or on our Medela Australia Facebook page.

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