Human Milk Intake
Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months, followed by the introduction of appropriate complementary foods and continued breastfeeding, as recommended by the World Health Organization and UNICEF, are cornerstones in infant nutrition. However, only limited information is available on the quantities of human milk consumed and the time of introduction of other foods into the infants’ diet. The lack of information is, at least partly, due to the difficulties involved in assessing intake of human milk. The IAEA supports the application of the deuterium oxide ‘dose-to-mother’ technique, which measures the average volume of human milk consumed by the baby for 14 days, without interrupting the normal feeding pattern. Please visit the related links for more information on the theoretical background as well as the practical application of the deuterium oxide ‘dose-to-mother’ technique.
Stable Isotope Technique to Assess Intake of Human Milk in Breastfed Infants IAEA Human Health Series No. 7; 2010, 67 pp. International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria.
The stable (non-radioactive) isotope technique has been developed to assess intake of human milk in breastfed infants. The practical application of the stable isotope technique, based on analysis of deuterium by Fourier transform infrared spectrometry (FTIR), is presented in this book.
More languages available: Spanish Edition, French Edition
IAEA E-learning modules
- Guidelines for evaluation and analysis of data from IAEA projects using nuclear and isotopic techniques to assess body composition and infant feeding practices
- Guidance notes on evaluation of data in the Excel spreadsheet to calculate human milk intake by breastfed infants
- Note d’orientation sur l’évaluation des données dans une feuille de calcul Excel pour calculer la prise du lait maternel par les nourrissons allaités au sein
- Notas guía en la evaluación de los datos de la Hoja Excel para calcular el consumo de leche humana por los lactantes alimentados al seno materno
- Analysis of Deuterium Enrichment by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometry (FTIR). Presentation 1 - Theory. Presentation 2 - Practice.
- Human milk intake template for Portable FTIR April 2015 (Office 2010)
- Spreadsheet for calculating human milk intake from FTIR data (Office 2010)
- Spreadsheet for calculating human milk intake from FTIR data (Office 2007)
- Spreadsheet for calculating human milk intake from FTIR data (Office 1997-2003)
- Spreadsheet for calculating human milk intake from IRMS data (Office 2010)
Web Articles on Breastfeeding
- Infants Consume Less Breast Milk in Households with Insecure Food Access, IAEA Research Project Finds - 23 July 2019
- IAEA Research Project Confirms WHO Recommendation on Benefits of Exclusive Breastfeeding by HIV-positive Mothers (18 April 2018)
- World Breastfeeding Week 2017: Understanding Breastfeeding Patterns Through Nuclear Science (August 2017)
- Benefitting Babies and Moms: Nuclear Techniques to Assess Breastfeeding Practices
- For Healthier Babies AND Moms: IAEA Celebrates Mother’s Day
- India Champions Exclusive Breastfeeding With the Help of Nuclear Techniques
- IAEA Impact: South Africa improves exclusive breastfeeding monitoring using nuclear technique
- 15 Years Forward: The 3rd Conference of African Nutrition Societies plots a course for sustainably improving nutrition
- Technical Cooperation Project Success Story – supporting exclusive breastfeeding in the Dominican Republic