Nutrition is vital, especially in the first couple weeks of life, as nutrition leads to weight gain. Without proper weight gain, newborns are at risk for delays in mental development.
Investigators are examining the effects nutritional factors related to infant growth and development, especially related to human milk. They are also studying the effects early maternal conditions and maternal nutrition have on infant growth and development.
How Taking DHA Supplements Affects Mom’s Breast Milk
DHA is a fatty acid important for neonatal neuro- and immune development. This study found that women with low dietary DHA intake who took supplements had increased DHA concentrations in their donor milk, with no adverse outcomes. Infants fed the donor milk received dietary DHA levels that closely mimic normal levels seen during the third trimester.
Access an abstract of this study: Randomized Controlled Trial of Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation in Midwestern U.S. Human Milk Donors. Breastfeed Med. 2012 May 8. [Epub ahead of print]
How Maternal-Infant Interaction and Its Impact on Neurodevelopment May Be at Risk for Preemies
This article explains how interactions between mothers and healthy infants impact the regulation of infant neurobiological processes (in the context of Schore’s theory) and identifies threats to these processes for premature infants.
Access an abstract of this study: Schore's Regulation Theory: Maternal-Infant Interaction in the NICU as a Mechanism for Reducing the Effects of Allostatic Load on Neurodevelopment in Premature Infants. Biol Res Nurs. 2012 Jul 23. [Epub ahead of print]
Depressive Symptoms During Pregnancy and the Concentration of Fatty Acids in Breast Milk
The aim of the present study was to examine the association between depressive symptoms in pregnancy and the concentration of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) in breast milk. Findings suggest that depressive symptoms, even in the subclinical range, early in pregnancy are inversely associated with breast milk docosahexaenoic acid. This may have implications for the timing of screening and interventions for perinatal depression and the nutritional value of breast milk.
Access an abstract of this study: Depressive Symptoms During Pregnancy and the Concentration of Fatty Acids in Breast Milk. J Hum Lact. 2012 Jan 4. [Epub ahead of print]
Epidemiology: The Changing Face of Preterm Birth
The occurrence of preterm births rose steadily from 9.4% of all pregnancies in the United States in 1981 to 12.8% in 2006, before declining slightly in 2007 and 2008. Most of the increase was attributable to increases in multiple gestations. Recent research has sought to understand this condition by evaluating its familial occurrence and both clinical and pathologic information to derive an etiologically homogeneous categorization.
Access an abstract of this study: Epidemiology: The Changing Face of Preterm Birth. Clin Perinatol. 2011 Sep;38(3):339-50.
Maternal Preeclampsia and Neonatal Outcomes
This article reviews the current literature in the diagnosis and obstetrical management of preeclampsia, the outcomes of late-preterm infants, and potential strategies to optimize fetal outcomes in pregnancies complicated by preeclampsia.
Access an abstract of this study: Maternal preeclampsia and neonatal outcomes. J Pregnancy. 2011;2011:214365.