Human Milk: Composition, Clinical Benefits and Future Opportunities
In this presentation, José Saavedra reviews the global picture in terms of the rate of breastfeeding. He looks at how long infants are breastfed for and the way they receive their feeds. Lower income countries have a higher rate of exclusive breastfeeding, but these areas also have higher rates of malnutrition. In these countries, there is a high use of inappropriate feedings in addition to breastmilk.
The presentation reviews the composition of breastmilk and poses the question – what is relevant in breastmilk for today’s world? In terms of the creation of infant formula, do we know what parts of human milk we should be copying?
How we feed our infants is as important as what we feed them. Bottle feeding, whether the bottle contains expressed breastmilk or formula, has been proven to cause excess weight gain because it is difficult to read satiety cues. We have a lot to learn about the behavioural and mechanical aspects of breastfeeding.