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Influence of Defatting and Pasteurization on Nutrients and Oxidative Stress Markers in Human Milk

It is well known that the best nutritional option for infants is human milk, and that when breastfeeding is not possible, human milk banks are a possible alternative. However, in the case of infants with fat transport disorder like chylothorax, defatting of human milk is mandatory. The aim of the study was to reduce milk fat content without reducing other nutrients, increasing oxidative stress, or introducing harmful microorganisms. In this prospective, cross-sectional, observational study, we examined the influence of defatting and pasteurization of 50 donor samples on fat, macro- and micronutrients, as well as on oxidative stress markers. Low-temperature centrifugation proved to be very efficient in defatting, reducing the concentration of triglycerides by 85% and cholesterol by 50%. The macronutrients (proteins, albumin, and Immunoglobulin A) did not undergo significant changes due to defatting and pasteurization procedures, while iron decreased by 36%. However, as the majority of iron is retained, this result does not remarkably change the milk composition. Furthermore, oxidative stress markers and antioxidant levels were unchanged, and the milk result was microbiologically safe. Cold milk centrifugation proved to be an effective technique that allows the reduction of human milk lipids. The determination of triglycerides and cholesterol can be used as an indicator of skimming. This procedure is not accompanied by substantial modifications of other components present in the milk.

Social Support for Breastfeeding Practice During the COVID-19 Second Wave in Thailand: A Cross-Sectional Study

Since December 2020, the second wave of COVID-19 in Thailand has had a considerable impact, and mothers have struggled to receive breastfeeding support in hospitals. In this situation, there has been limited research that addresses social support for breastfeeding and the influences of support in determining breastfeeding outcomes. (1) To describe the influence of COVID-19 on social support for breastfeeding and breastfeeding practices in the Thai context, and (2) to examine breastfeeding duration with different levels of social support from families and healthcare providers. This descriptive, cross-sectional online survey design was part of a larger multi-methods project about breastfeeding behaviors and experiences among postpartum mothers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Online questionnaires were administered from August to November 2021 to participants (N = 390) who were from three provinces in Thailand and had given birth 6-12 months prior to the survey. Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months was observed in less than half of the participants (n = 146, 37.4%). Perceptions of breastfeeding support were generally high overall among both family (Mdn = 45, IQR = 7) and healthcare providers (Mdn = 43, IQR = 7). Participants who perceived more breastfeeding support from families than the median had significantly longer exclusive breastfeeding durations than those who perceived less breastfeeding support than the median (z = -2.246, p = .025). The same pattern was present for breastfeeding support from healthcare providers (z = -2.380, p = 0.017). While the exclusive breastfeeding rate was better than the pre-pandemic rate, successful breastfeeding was more common when participants perceived that they had received breastfeeding support. Policymakers should execute breastfeeding support systems along with COVID-19 management.

The Human Milk Metabolome: A Scoping Literature Review

Human milk is a complex source of nutrition and other bioactives that protects infants from disease, holding a lifetime of beneficial effects. The field of metabolomics provides a robust platform through which we can better understand human milk at a level rarely examined. To Identify, describe, synthesize, and critically analyze the literature within the past 5 years related to the human milk metabolome. We conducted a scoping literature review and quality analysis of the recent science reflecting untargeted metabolomic approaches to examining human milk. We searched six databases using the terms "breast milk," "metabolome," "metabolite," and "human milk," Out of more than 1,069 abstracts, we screened and identified 22 articles that met our inclusion criteria. We extracted data related to the study author, geographic location, research design, analyses, platform used, and results. We also extracted data related to human milk research activities, including collection protocol, infant/maternal considerations, and time. Selected studies focused on a variety of phenotypes, including maternal and infant disease. Investigators used varying approaches to evaluate the metabolome, and differing milk collection protocols were observed. The human milk metabolome is informed by many factors-which may contribute to infant health outcomes-that have resulted in disparate milk metabolomic profiles. Standardized milk collection and storage procedures should be implemented to minimize degradation. Investigators may use our findings to develop research questions that test a targeted metabolomic approach.

Perspectives From a Career in Breastfeeding Research, Mentorship, and Advocacy: An Interview With Karen Wambach

Karen Wambach recently retired from a distinguished career in nursing education and breastfeeding research in the United States, practicing her craft during the formative years of the field of lactation consulting. Her research focused on the description of biopsychosocial influences on breastfeeding initiation and duration, as well as interventions for promoting and supporting breastfeeding among vulnerable childbearing populations, for example, adolescent mothers. Her research career trajectory mirrors the development of breastfeeding research more broadly. She began with descriptive studies and theory testing, which included the development of the Breastfeeding Experience Scale quantifying early breastfeeding problems. She then moved on to randomized clinical trials of breastfeeding education/support for adolescent mothers, and finished her funded research using a multi-behavioral, technology-based education and support intervention to promote breastfeeding, healthy lifestyle, and depression prevention in adolescent mothers. As researcher and educator in a clinical science area, she has supported evidence-based practice and translational science through her work as lead editor of many editions of the textbook Breastfeeding and Human Lactation. She is a consummate teacher, having mentored many upcoming researchers during her teaching career, and directed the undergraduate nursing honors program and PhD program at the University of Kansas School of Nursing in the United States. She also believes in serving her profession and has been an active member of American Academy of Nursing, the Midwest Nursing Research Society, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and the Neonatal Nursing and the International Lactation Consultant Association, including serving on JHL's Editorial Review Board for many years. (This conversation was recorded on October 14, 2022 then transcribed and edited for readability. EC = Ellen Chetwynd; KW = Karen Wambach).

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