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Breastfeed Med. 2015 Nov;10(9):433-6. doi: 10.1089/bfm.2015.0072. Epub 2015 Jul 14.

Human Milk Macronutrients Content: Effect of Advanced Maternal Age.

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1 Department of Pediatrics, Dana Dwek Children's Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center , Tel Aviv, Israel .
2 Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University , Tel Aviv, Israel .
3 Department of Neonatology, Lis Maternity Hospital, Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center , Tel Aviv, Israel .
4 Department of Neonatology, Shaare Zedek Medical Center , Jerusalem, Israel .



Little is known about the effect of advanced maternal age upon macronutrients of human milk. This study was designed to study contents of macronutrients (fat, lactose, and protein) in human milk collected in the first 2 weeks of life in older (≥35 years) compared with younger (<35 years) mothers.


Seventy-two lactating mothers (38 older, 34 younger) of newborns were recruited within the first 3 days of delivery. Macronutrient contents were measured at 72 hours, 7 days, and 14 days after delivery using infrared transmission spectroscopy.


The groups did not differ in terms of maternal prepregnancy weight, height, and diet or infant birth weight or gestational age. They differed significantly in terms of maternal age and maternal weight after pregnancy. Fat content in colostrum and carbohydrate content in mature milk were significantly higher in the older mothers group. Moreover, carbohydrates in mature milk correlated positively with maternal age. Fat content at an infant age of 7 days and 2 weeks was not affected by maternal age. There was no significant relationship between maternal body weight for height (or body mass index) and energy, protein, fat or lactose content at any stage.


Fat content of colostrum and carbohydrate content of mature milk obtained from mothers with advanced age are elevated compared with those of younger mothers. Moreover, there is a positive correlation between maternal age and carbohydrate content in mature milk. The biological significance of our findings is yet to be determined.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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