Human milk glucose, leptin, and insulin predict cessation of full breastfeeding and initiation of formula use Journal Article uri icon

abstract

  • Objective: We aimed to investigate prospective associations between milk bioactives related to metabolic health (glucose, insulin, leptin, C reactive protein [CRP], and interleukin 6 [IL-6]) and incident formula initiation at 3 and 6 months postpartum. Design: This study included 363 mother-infant dyads who were fully breastfed at 1 month and participated in the prospective Mothers and Infants Linked for Healthy Growth study from pregnancy to 6 months postpartum. Associations between milk glucose, leptin, insulin, CRP, and IL-6 at 1 and 3 months and incident formula feeding (FF) at 3 and 6 months, respectively, were tested using multiple logistic regression, adjusting for numerous potential confounders such as maternal age and prepregnancy body mass index. Results: At 3 months postpartum, 1-month glucose (odds ratio [OR] 0.45 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.27-0.75], p ≤ 0.01) and smaller decreases in glucose from 1 to 3 months (OR 0.51 [95% CI: 0.28-0.92], p = 0.03) were associated with lower odds of FF, whereas 1-month leptin (OR 2.30 [95% CI: 1.30-4.07], p < 0.01) and larger increase in insulin (OR 1.86 [95% CI: 1.23-2.81], p < 0.01) and leptin (OR 2.17 [95% CI: 1.29-3.68], p < 0.01) from 1 to 3 months were associated with increased odds of FF. At 6 months, insulin increases (OR 2.08 [95% CI: 1.03-4.17], p = 0.04) were associated with higher odds of FF. Conclusions: In a cohort of women with established lactation, 1-month milk glucose, insulin, and leptin predicted initiation of FF at 3 months. Early milk composition may provide a window into mammary gland function, allowing identification of women at risk of not meeting their breastfeeding goals.

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publication date

  • 2021