Impact of Maternal Anxiety on Human Milk Macronutrients Content: A Prospective Observational Study

Gili Palnizky Soffer, Maayan Siri, Laurence Mangel, Dror Mandel, Ronit Lubetzky*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The impact of maternal anxiety on the macronutrients content of human milk (HM) is unknown. We hypothesized that maternal stress generated by her infant's hospitalization will affect the mother's breast milk's macronutrients content. Materials and Methods: HM samples (2-3 mL) were collected from 21 mothers whose infants were hospitalized for 2-3 days between August 2016 and November 2017 due to neonatal fever. Samples were provided at three time points: first day of admission, second day of admission, and 1 week after discharge. The maternal anxiety level was measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Milk analyses for macronutrients were performed by infrared transmission spectroscopy. Results: Fat and energy contents of HM on day 7 were significantly higher compared with the day of admission (p = 0.019 and p = 0.022, respectively), whereas they were similar to values on day 2. The maternal anxiety level (STAI) at the time of infant admission was significantly higher than at 1 week after discharge (p < 0.001). There was no significant correlation between the changes in fat content and changes in the STAI score between admission and 1 week after discharge. Conclusion: Short infant hospitalization is associated with a significant rise in maternal stress; however, macronutrients content of HM remained unaffected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)572-575
Number of pages4
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • human milk
  • macronutrients
  • stress


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