Initiate, Build and Maintain your Breastmilk Supply with Innovative Breastpump Technology

We know that breastfeeding is the most natural thing between mum and baby, with human milk tailor made for human babies. However, for many mums it does not come easily and requires a warm chain of support, personal determination, expertise support and technology for every mum to achieve her personal goals.

Breastfeeding mum expressing breastmilk

Breastfeeding is not just about feeding, it’s an incredible bond of closeness - physical, emotional and psychological during the whole time that they feed their baby.

For thousands of years’ mother nature has given new mums the toolkit to continue to boost their baby’s immune system, neurological development when their immature babies are totally dependent on mum for their first year of life. However, some mums face the challenges very early on with an unexpected preterm delivery, medical maternal complications, breastfeeding difficulties and require expertise and technology to support the initiation and maintenance of milk supply so that they can feed their newborn infant mums liquid gold – human milk.

With the invention of breastpumps in the last 55 years we have seen technology move from hand / syringe pumps to the latest technology based upon scientific research to bridge the gap until mum and baby are able to breastfeed.

Medela is constantly researching ways to support mums who use breastpumps along all of their breastfeeding journeys from a night out, to returning to work or for the mum who (whatever her reasons are) exclusively pump. Through scientific and observational research Medela provides scientifically proven breastpumps that are specifically tailored to focus upon different stages in a mums breastfeeding journey mimicking and replicating newborn and established breastfeeding sucking behaviour.

Initiating Milk Supply – the prep work and science!

Mothers experience the same lactation processes whether delivering at term or prematurely. Secretory differentiation describes the development of the breast tissue in which the milk-producing cells are created (primarily during pregnancy). Secretory activation or 'milk coming in' represents their activation or ’turning on’ and the initiation of breast milk production (usually within 72 hrs of birth.

The milk production journey can therefore be described as a continuum of four phases: developing the breast tissue (develop phase), initiating milk production (initiate phase), building milk production (build phase) and finally, maintaining milk production (maintain phase).

Milk Production Journey
Breastfeeding facts

As a mother’s milk production proceeds the first few days, infant breastfeeding behaviour develops accordingly. In the early post-birth period, little milk is available to the infant. The infant’s sucking behaviour in the first few days after birth is more irregular, with alternating bursts of sucking and rest periods. As milk production increases, the infant begins to stimulate the breast milk flow with more rapid sucking, switching to a slower nutritive sucking once the milk begins to flow.

Once milk comes to volume it continues to build for the next 3-4 week, priming the milk cells to be a production line with a unique set of manufacturing instructions to protect and maintain mums supply. These early weeks are seen as critical in setting up the production line for longevity of milk supply and a goal of 750mls per 24hrs is a target for mums who are exclusively pumping by day 14 when their babies are unable to nurse directly on the breast due to prematurity or feeding difficulties.

Choosing the right Breastpump Software for You.

Medela now have standardised all new Symphony breastpumps and Symphony rental pumps to have the Symphony Plus card. This means that new mums don’t have to search, choose where they can source a Breastpump with the initiation or maintain program. One card has both software options for the early days after birth and the 2 phase following milk coming to volume around day 3 post-delivery. By combining the initiation and maintain program (rapid stimulation and slower expression pattern – 2 Phase ) your Breastpump does the work of mother nature when your baby is unable or not effective at feeding. As the pumping program feels so much like babies natural feeding behaviour it supports the transition between expressing and establishing breastmilk, supporting breastfeeding.

Check out our Symphony PLUS Rental link for more information on renting a Breastpump.

Breastfeeding milk production chart
Medela symphony breast pump

Initiation and Maintain Breastpump Technology

The Symphony Plus Breast Pump is unique in the way that the initiation technology replicates the natural sucking pattern of a term newborn infant.

The research-based pumping programs of Symphony PLUS have been developed specifically to support mothers of preterm and term infants to initiate, build and maintain an adequate milk production.

How does Initiation and Maintain technology work?

The Symphony initiation technology mimics the irregular and more rapid sucking and pausing pattern of a term born infant in the first days of lactation and supports pump-dependent mothers to successfully initiate milk production.

Newborn irregular suck pattern

The Symphony with its 2-Phase Expression technology mimics the term born infant's sucking pattern during established lactation to optimise milk output. This is known as the maintain program. Check out this video on how 2 Phase Expression works and why it is important.

Breastfeeding suck pattern

We have a range of Medela breast pumps that offer 2-Phase Expression technology for when breastfeeding is established.