Human Milk Analyser shows that the lactation period affects protein levels in preterm breastmilk

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This study measured the composition of preterm human breastmilk, particularly the protein content, with the MIRIS Human Milk Analyser, compared our results with published values and determined the relationship between protein content and lactation period.


We analysed 83 samples of 24-hour pooled human milk from 76 mothers who delivered preterm infants weighing under 1500 g at less than 32 weeks of gestational age. The milk's protein, fat and energy were measured by the MIRIS Human Milk Analyser and compared to reference values. The relationship between protein content and lactation period was quantified.


On average, the samples contained 1.1 ± 0.37 g (0.2–2.2 g) of protein, 3.2 ± 0.85 g (range 1.1–6.1 g) of fat, 6.6 ± 0.34 g of lactose (5.5–8.0 g) and 60 ± 11 kcal (39–94 kcal) of energy per 100 mL. The wide variations in macronutrient content were not influenced by the gestational age of the infant and the lactation day results from 70 of the mothers correlated inversely with the protein content (p < 0.0001; r = −0.42). The MIRIS proved useful, but some adjustments are needed.


Variations in macronutrients were high in the breastmilk of women who delivered preterm babies and the protein content decreased with lactation. With adjustments, the MIRIS might provide a helpful tool for individualised fortification.

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