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Indian J Pediatr. 1997 May-Jun;64(3):379-82.

Macronutrient and energy content of breast milk of mothers delivering prematurely.

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Department of Pediatrics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Nagar, New Delhi.


The protein, lactose, fat and energy contents of the fore-milk of mother with term (n = 23) and preterm (n = 29) infants were estimated on postpartum days 3, 7, 14 and 21. During the first 4 weeks of lactation, the mean (+/- SD) energy (Kcal/dl), protein (g/dl), fat (g/dl) and lactose (g/dl) levels of the preterm milk were: 56.39 (+/- 7.99), 2.17 (+/- 0.66), 2.30 (+/- 0.48) and 5.78 (+/- 0.99), respectively. The same for term milk were: 59.39 (+/- 8.30), 1.99 (+/- 0.70), 2.48 (+/- 0.53) and 6.24 (+/- 1.08), respectively. The differences in composition between the term and preterm milk were not significant. The composition of breast milk showed changes over the first 3 weeks of lactation. With increasing post-partum days, there was a decline in protein content while fat, lactose and energy contents increased. These trends were more pronounced for preterm milk than term milk. The macronutrient composition and energy estimates of preterm breast milk of Indian mothers in this study may be useful for calculation of nutritional intake by premature neonates fed on expressed breast milk.

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