Human milk is known to be a pathway towards long-term health for both parent and child. The specific mechanisms for how this communication works have been studied, and today many researchers believe that messenger RNAs and stem cells contribute in many ways to appropriate developmental pathways for the baby and cause gene activation that promotes health for life. mRNA in human milk can also be influenced by the time of day and even the timing of the baby’s delivery, becoming adaptive for the baby’s unique needs. Not only do these messenger RNA communicate important genetic information to the baby via human milk, changes in the parent’s body via mRNA occur during lactation responding to a new “mothering” focus during the period of lactation. This may impact the parent’s postpartum mental states, adaptation to stress, and changes in fatty acids. This presentation highlights some of the fascinating studies that demonstrate the myriad of ways that stem cells and mRNA during lactation become the ultimate communicators, affecting change for years to come.
- Identify at least two properties in human milk that act as communication tools within the body.
- List one way that mRNA in human milk has a protective effect on the baby.
- List at least one way mRNA shifts occur in the parent during lactation.