subject: breast pump

The Woman Helping Military Moms Breastfeed

The Woman Helping Military Moms Breastfeed

Back in the 1990s, when she had her first child, Robyn Roche-Paull was an aircraft mechanic in the United States Navy. She knew she wanted to breastfeed as long as possible, but her maternity leave was six weeks long, and then, in theory, she could be deployed to any part of the world. At that time, there was no military policy to facilitate pumping at her workplace, though she persevered. She would pump in the supply closet or the bathroom. “It was very, very difficult. The outlet I needed to plug my pump in was right by the bathroom door, and people would come in an out all the time—so the door was always opening to the hallway, with me standing right there,” she explains. Read More...

From Bench to Bedside: Translating Milk Science at the Clinician-Patient Interface

From Bench to Bedside: Translating Milk Science at the Clinician-Patient Interface

Emerging empirical research from chemistry, microbiology, animal science, nutrition, pediatrics, and evolutionary anthropology is accelerating our understanding of the magic of milk. Understanding the context and experiences of mothers of different races highlights the persistence of health care deficits that perpetuate breastfeeding disparities. Read More...

Milk Banking in the 21st Century

Milk Banking in the 21st Century

The Internet has facilitated many new arrangements in breast milk sharing. Without sterilization or pasteurization, breast milk can pass pathogens to infants, particularly if there is an opportunity for bacteria to grow during shipping. Modern human milk banks include both non-profit organizations and for-profit strategies. For-profit companies may increase the overall supply of human milk, but some argue that they create new problems.   When historians look back on the past 15 years, they will undoubtedly characterize the period through reference to widespread use of its defining technology: the Internet. Among its many benefits, the Internet is a perfect tool for aggregating many small scale and widely dispersed suppliers, and enabling buyers and sellers of obscure products to locate one another. It has therefore facilitated the exchange of human milk. From Craigslist postings to Facebook groups, individual altruism to cooperatives with exclusive sales agreements with private companies, the online exchange of milk now takes many forms. Elena Medo is the CEO of Medolac, one of the new for-profit human milk companies. She also founded (and left) the other main player, called Prolacta, and in doing so launched what she says was the first human milk website, where would-be donors could apply online, and those who passed initial screening then received house-calls for blood testing. Medolac sources all of its milk from a cooperative, but elsewhere in the tentacles of the Internet, it is perfectly possible for mothers to receive direct payment for milk based on peer-to-peer online exchange. This, of course, carries at least the potential risk of pathogen transfer, or that unscrupulous sellers might add cows milk or some other product to increase sales volumes. Some people, however—including the CEO of HMBANA (the Human Milk Banking Association of North America), John Honaman—are entirely against moneymaking out of breast milk, […] Read More...

MIT’s Hackathon Revolutionizes the Breast Pump

MIT’s Hackathon Revolutionizes the Breast Pump

Users invariably complain that breast pumps are uncomfortable to the point of painful, noisy and physically prevents them from performing other tasks. In both the verbal and adjectival sense, the breast pump sucks in its current forms! Which is why MIT Media Lab recently hosted a "hackathon"—a collective and competitive brain storming session with the aim of redesigning the breast pump from scratch. Among the offerings of the dozen or so teams that took part, two newfangled pump ideas have caught SPLASH!’s eye. Read More...