Introduction: This study aimed to determine the relationship of maternal dietary
intake with human milk nutritional composition, among Malay mothers during the
postpartum period of exclusive breastfeeding. Methods: Human milk samples (20-
30ml) were collected from mothers (n=32) at least once monthly for six months
postpartum. Macronutrients and fatty acids contents were determined using
proximate analysis and gas chromatography methods, respectively. Maternal
dietary intakes were recorded using the multiple-pass diet recall method prior
to each milk sampling and were analysed using the Nutritionist ProTM software.
Associations between the milk composition and maternal diet were tested using
Spearman correlation. Results: The energy content ranged between 49.6-59.2
kcal/100ml, protein 1.3-1.4 g/100ml, carbohydrate 6.5-9.7 g/100ml and total
fat 6.5-9.7 g/100ml. The polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated fatty
acids concentrations were 10.5-19.1 %, 40.6-43.5 %, and 38.0-49.7 %, respectively.
During confinement (first month postpartum), total energy and total fat content of
human milk were the highest whereas total carbohydrate was the lowest, compared
to the rest of the exclusive breastfeeding period. In contrast, intakes of total calorie
and total fat were the lowest, whereas protein was the highest during this period.
However, no associations were detected between human milk nutritional contents
and maternal dietary intake. Conclusion: In our study population, the composition
of maternal diet and nutritional content of human milk differed between confinement
and post-confinement periods. However, the association between maternal diet and
human milk composition itself warrants further investigation.