Correlation Between Human Milk Composition and Maternal Nutritional Status

Rocz Panstw Zakl Hig. 2018;69(4):363-367. doi: 10.32394/rpzh.2018.0041.


Background: Human milk is the optimal nutrition for newborns and infants during the first period of their life – from birth to 6-th month. It contains a uniquely quantitative and qualitative balanced nutrients profile. Composition of breast milk is dynamic and may vary according to maternal nutritional status.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate associations between human milk composition and maternal nutritional status.

Material and methods: One-day milk samples were provided by exclusively breastfeeding mothers (n=40) at the first month of lactation. Protein – total and true, fat, carbohydrate, dry matter and energy content were determined using the Human Milk Analyzer by MIRIS. The anthropometric measurements (current body weight, height) were used to calculate current body mass index (BMI). On this basis, we assessed nutritional status of examined population.

Results: For the majority of women (75%, n=30) currently BMI value was in range of 18.5-24.9 kg/m2, for the rest of women it was ≥ 25 kg/m2. The median macronutrient composition per 100 ml of mature breast milk was 7.0 g for carbohydrate, 1.1 g for protein, 3.5 g for fat, 11.9 for dry matter and energy content was 66.0 kcal. Maternal body mass index was positively related to lipid, dry matter and energy breast milk content (p<0.05).

Conclusions: The majority of examined women in the first month of lactation was in normal state of nutrition. For the rest of women BMI values indicated for overweight. Our results confirm correlation between human milk composition and maternal nutritional status, especially in matters of energy value and fat content in human milk.

Keywords: breastfeeding; body mass index (BMI); human milk composition; macronutrients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Composition / physiology*
  • Body Weight
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lactation / physiology*
  • Maternal Nutritional Physiological Phenomena
  • Milk Proteins / analysis
  • Milk, Human / chemistry*
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Young Adult


  • Milk Proteins