Presentation Information

Rachel Walker

Breastmilk Fat Profile: Implications for Clinical Practice

Abstract:

The fat content of breastmilk is remarkably important for infant health outcomes. Therefore, it is important to understand what factors affect breastmilk fat profile. Total fat is the main determinant of energy in breastmilk, and varies with time of day, length of lactation, and duration of the feed. Maternal factors also influence milk fat, including BMI, parity, and diabetes. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, like docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid, are vital to the structure and development of the infant brain, and attaining the correct balance is important for optimal development. Breastmilk fatty acid concentration, especially the polyunsaturated fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid, are vital to infant brain development. Fatty acid concentrations primarily depend on diet and vary significantly between populations, but other maternal factors can also affect the fatty acid content of breastmilk.

Breastmilk fat content has significant implications for clinical practice. First, it is necessary to optimize clinical methods for human milk fat measurement, such as bedside human milk analyzers. Second, understanding milk fat variation will help optimize breastmilk fortification for infants in neonatal intensive care units. Finally, variability in donor milk also makes estimation of fat and energy in milk banks difficult, with important clinical implications for preterm infants who cannot receive mother’s own milk.

Live Presentation Schedule

Apr 20, 2021