The effect of advanced maternal age upon human milk fat content

Moran Hausman Kedem, Dror Mandel*, Keren Armoni Domani, Francis B. Mimouni, Vered Shay, Ronella Marom, Shaul Dollberg, Lea Herman, Ronit Lubetzky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Little is known about the effect of maternal age on human milk (HM) composition. This study was designed to study fat content, estimated by creamatocrit (CMT), in HM collected in the first 2 weeks of life in older (≥35 years) compared with younger (<35 years) mothers. Study Design and Methods: Ninety lactating mothers (48 older, 42 younger) of newborns were recruited within the first 3 days of delivery. CMTs were measured at 72 hours, 7 days, and 14 days after delivery for HM in a capillary tube after centrifugation at 5,366 g for 5 minutes. Results: The groups did not differ in terms of maternal height and diet, infant birth weight, gestational age (GA), or pregnancy weight gain. They differed significantly in terms of maternal age and parity. Mean colostrum CMT was significantly higher in the group of older mothers. Colostrum CMT correlated positively with maternal age (R 2=0.11, p=0.006) and inversely with GA (R2=0.1, p=0.03) but did not relate with either maternal weight or body mass index. CMT at age 7 days and 2 weeks was not affected by maternal age or GA. In multivariate regression analysis colostrum CMT correlated significantly only with maternal age and GA (R2=0.3, p<0.001). Conclusions: Colostrum fat content of older mothers is much higher than that of younger mothers and inversely related with GA at delivery. This increase in colostrum fat content obtained from mothers with advanced age may be due to increased fat synthesis and excretion in milk, reduced water content of milk, or a combination of both.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-119
Number of pages4
JournalBreastfeeding Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2013


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