The effect of maternal habitus on macronutrient content of human milk colostrum

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

There is a paucity of studies on the impact of maternal body mass index (BMI) on macronutrient content of human milk colostrum (HMC). The objective of this study was to compare macronutrient content of HMC in healthy women of term infants in relation to their BMI. We hypothesized that mother habitus influences human milk colostrum content.

METHOD:

Colostrum was collected from 109 healthy mothers of hospitalized healthy term infants divided into four prepregnancy BMI groups: 12 underweight, 59 normal weight, 20 overweight, and 18 obese women between 24 and 72 h after birth. Macronutrient content was measured using mid-infrared spectroscopy.

RESULTS:

There were no significant differences in macronutrients between the BMI groups. We performed four separate stepwise backward multiple regression analyses taking into account fat, carbohydrate, protein or energy content as dependent variables and maternal BMI, parity, gestational age, infant gender, maternal age, maternal education, mode of delivery and time postdelivery. In these analyses, fat, carbohydrate and energy content were not related to maternal BMI, while protein content was significantly and positively correlated with BMI (P = 0.008) and negatively correlated with gestational age (P = 0.004) and time postdelivery (P < 0.001). Colostrum carbohydrate content was positively correlated with parity. Colostrum fat and energy content were negatively correlated with maternal age and positively correlated with parity.

CONCLUSION:

Most macronutrient and energy content of colostrum are unaffected by prepregnancy maternal BMI, with the exception of protein content that is positively related to maternal BMI.

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