For more than a decade, most lactation professions have been suggesting to families that diet matters very little in terms of human milk composition. We have told parents that they can essentially eat whatever they want, it does not matter to the bottom line. However, new studies imply that diet does matter in terms of the composition of fatty acids and essential nutrients available in milk that can potentially impact life-long health. Studies also show that changes in diet can lead to gene methylation, which impacts gene expression, and changes the oligosaccharide profile, shaping the microbiome. This presentation takes you on a tour of some recent research to better understand how maternal/parental diet (potentially prenatally through lactation) DOES play a role in human milk and how a parent’s diet can potentially influence a baby’s health.
Identify at least one way that maternal/parental diet can impact fatty acid profile in human milk.
List the primary reason changes in oligosaccharide profile in human milk can have health consequences in baby.
List at least three nutrient changes in human milk that can be influenced through maternal/parental diet.