World Journal of Nutrition and Health
ISSN (Print): 2379-7819 ISSN (Online): 2379-7827 Website: Editor-in-chief: Srinivas NAMMI
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World Journal of Nutrition and Health. 2020, 8(1), 1-6
DOI: 10.12691/jnh-8-1-1
Open AccessArticle

Longitudinal Changes of Human Milk Nutrient Content in the First 6 Months of Lactation

Kiboi Willy1, , Kimiywe Judith1 and Chege Peter1

1Department of Food, Nutrition and Dietetics, Kenyatta University, Nairobi, Kenya

Pub. Date: February 04, 2020

Cite this paper:
Kiboi Willy, Kimiywe Judith and Chege Peter. Longitudinal Changes of Human Milk Nutrient Content in the First 6 Months of Lactation. World Journal of Nutrition and Health. 2020; 8(1):1-6. doi: 10.12691/jnh-8-1-1


Human milk is considered to be the optimal source of nutrition during the first six months of a child’s life. Since the milk is the only source of nutrition for the first six months of an infant’s life, understanding its composition remains a matter of public health concern. Further, few studies have determined the breast milk composition of lactating mothers in African countries. The aim of this research was to assess longitudinal changes of human milk nutrient content in the first 6 months of lactation. A longitudinal descriptive study with repeated measures was adopted by the study. Breast milk nutrient composition was assessed among lactating mothers at the 1st and the 5th month of lactation. The milk energy, lactose, protein, lipids, vitamin A, calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron was assessed at the two time points of lactation (first and fifth month). A total of 104 mature breast human milk samples were collected and analysed for energy and the selected nutrients at the two stages of lactation. Significant differences in the mean nutrient content of proteins (p value = 0.029), vitamin A (p value = 0.004) and iron (p value = 0.015) was observed between the first and the fifth month of lactation. A downward trend in the mean nutrient content for protein was observed while an upward trend was observed for both vitamin A (retinol) and iron between the 1st and 5th month of lactation. Human milk nutrient content varies longitudinally in the first six months of lactation. Studies investigating the causes of the variations are critical in improving the quality of human breast milk and ultimately the growth and development of a child.

human milk lactating mother infant nutrient composition

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