Your Baby is Not What You Eat

January 8, 2019 by: Pediatrics for Parents staff

The Question: How much does maternal diet affect the nutritional composition of breast milk?

The Study: This meta-analysis looked at studies of maternal diet and the nutritional content of breast milk. Of the 36 studies that met the study requirements, 17 looked at the maternal dietary effects on fatty acids in breast milk, and 19 looked at a diverse number of nutritional factors.

The Results: The results were diverse. They found three studies that supported a link between maternal fish consumption and levels of docosahexaenoic acid (an omega-3 fatty acid), and two that found a link between dietary vitamin C and breast milk levels of the vitamin.

Comment: This study supports the idea that we have a lot to learn about the effect of maternal diet on breast milk composition and nutrient values. It also demonstrates how difficult it is to do good nutritional studies.

Read More: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 09/16