Calma: from vision to reality
Research had clearly shown that when breastfeeding, the baby is able to maintain a vacuum, stay attached to the breast, breathe regularly and therefore remain stable and calm. With that in mind, Medela had the vision to develop Calma, a feeding device based on the baby’s natural milk-removing behaviour.
Calma’s integrated vacuum-controlled valve means, in particular, that the baby is required to create a vacuum for milk to flow, and employ a tongue movement similar to breastfeeding to remove milk.
During the development of Calma, research initiatives were established and have since produced three peer-reviewed journal articles: two with the Hartmann Human Lactation Research Group from The University of Western Australia (Geddes et al. 2011, Sakalidis et al. 2012) and the third with Dr Mizuno from Showa University, Tokyo (Segami et al. 2013).
Advantages for the baby
The key findings of this research, which scientifically compared breastfeeding and feeding with the vacuum release teat, were that both feeding methods were similar for the following outcomes:
- Tongue movement, nipple positioning and the use of vacuum to remove milk
- Coordination of sucking, swallowing, breathing and pausing
- Transfer rate of milk and the duration of the feed
- The mouth opening angle (attachment) and the jaw and
- Physiologic stability as measured by heart rate and oxygen saturation.