Optimizing the prebiotic profile of donor human milk for preterm infants:feasibility of a new donor milk matching strategy based on maternal secretorstatus
Breastmilk is the best nutrition for a premature infant. When a mother’s milk is not available, the best alternative is donor human milk (DHM). Currently, DHM is pooled together from different mothers and there is no matching process based on the unique genetics or needs of the infant. This project will examine the possibility of developing a rapid test to match DHM to be more like the milk of each preterm infant’s mother, based on a genetic marker. We think that by doing this, we can help the infant to have a healthier gut microbiome. The research that we are doing could help the NorthernStar Mothers’ Milk Bank to change their processes to better match the needs of the infants who they serve. Also, our findings will be shared with the Weston Foundation to enhance understanding and evidence of the benefits of providing human milk to enhance the gut microbiome.