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Study on breastfeeding and yeast-based supplements

PhD student Lily Jia weighing her son Cooper.

A Massey University researcher is looking for breastfeeding women to participate in a study to find out if a yeast-based supplement affects breast milk production or changes milk composition.

Human nutrition researcher Lily Jia is seeking 80 breastfeeding mothers in the Manawatū area whose babies are one to four months old. The women will be randomly assigned to take either a yeast-based supplement or placebo for four weeks.

Ms Jia used to worry about her milk supply when breastfeeding her first baby, leading her to pursue this study as part of her PhD.

“Breastfeeding mothers often worry about their milk supply and some of them take special foods or herbal products (known as galactagogues) for the purpose of improving milk production,” Ms Jia says. “Yeast products are available on the market and are promoted as galactagogues. Some women make them into lactation cookies, smoothies or other drinks and others may take tablets or the other forms of yeast supplements.

“However, there is no scientific evidence to show they actively work.”

Participants will meet with the researcher three times and express milk from one breast four times over three hours to evaluate the amount of milk and analyse the milk composition. The women will also complete online questionnaires, be asked about their perception of milk supply, and report on the baby’s feeding, health and wellbeing.

This study will recruit women until August 31, 2020.

If you are interested in this study, please contact Lily via email or phone 0221910568.

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