Student NameLynn Chen
Faculty Mentor NameDr. Dominick Lemas
CollegeCollege of Medicine
MajorNutritional Sciences
MinorViolin Performance
Research InterestsNutrition, Pediatrics, Pregnancy
OrganizationsDream Team, Friends of the Library
Hobbies and InterestsPlaying Violin, Cooking, Reading, Traveling

Research Project

Impact of mother’s diet during 3rd trimester of pregnancy on human milk composition at 2 weeks postpartum.

Mature human milk is primarily composed of carbohydrates and lipids with some protein and minerals. Research has shown that the specific nutrient ratios within human milk are regulated by the mother’s body for the proper development of fetus during pregnancy and infant after birth. Due to the importance of maternal milk for fetal development, there is a need for further investigation on how maternal actions, such as diet, impact the nutrient composition.
The Healthy eating index (HEI) has emerged as a feasible method to evaluate how adult dietary patterns impact health outcomes. The goal of this proposal is to investigate how maternal HEI during 3rd trimester of pregnancy contributes to the composition of human milk at 2-weeks postpartum.
To address the goal of this proposal, I will use HEI score as a predictor for the composition of human milk with a focus on lipids, carbohydrates, and minerals. Data specific to this research proposal include multi-day self-reported dietary records that mothers will complete at 36-38 weeks of pregnancy and human breast milk samples that are collected after 2-weeks postpartum.