Analysis of breast milk: methods, methods of analysis and recommendations

Breast milk is the first food that enters the body of a newborn. It is a nutrient fluid that is produced by the mammary glands of a woman. There are situations that require an analysis of breast milk, in order to determine its qualitative indicators and make sure of the absence of pathological microorganisms in the composition.

What is it like?

The first few days after the birth of the baby from the mammary glands of women is allocated not milk, but colostrum. It is quite nutritious and less fatty. With the help of colostrum the baby's organism is populated with a useful microflora and adapts to the external environment.

It has a laxative effect, promotes the rapid recovery of the child's body after physiological jaundice, gives rise to a strong immune system, contains the largest number of proteins, immunoglobulins and ascorbic acid.

Actually, milk appears 3-5 days after the birth of the baby. Its composition:

  • Water - up to 85%;
  • Proteins - up to 1%;
  • Fats - up to 5%;
  • Carbohydrates - about 7%;
  • Hormonal active substances;
  • Macro and microelements;
  • Vitamins.

The composition of breast milk varies depending on the age of the child. Up to six months the baby has a high demand for fats and proteins, which decreases after reaching 6 months. So, the milk becomes less fat, the amount of proteins decreases. In parallel, there is an increase in carbohydrates, minerals, necessary for the correct formation of the musculoskeletal and nervous system.

Microorganisms in milk

It was believed that the mother's milk was completely sterile, but numerous studies have shown that it contains opportunistic strains of microorganisms that can inhabit the skin, mucous, intestinal tract of a person without harm to it. Under certain circumstances, for example, in the case of a decrease in immunity, when supercooled, in the post-infectious disease period, the bacteria become a pathogenic microorganism, beginning to multiply actively.

When the latter get into the baby's body during feeding, they provoke the development of a number of diseases:

  • Enterocolitis;
  • Inflammatory diseases of the skin and mucous membranes;
  • Dysbiosis.

How to identify the pathogen?

To clarify the nature and type of pathogens that provoke the development of pathological conditions in the baby, it is possible if you pass breast milk to the analysis. This is a specific test that allows not only to detect the presence of pathogenic microflora, but also to determine its sensitivity to antibacterial drugs.

Breast milk for analysis to hand over to all women who are breastfeeding, do not need. Indication is the suspicion of the presence of an infectious process in the baby's body and inflammatory conditions from the mammary glands of the mother.

Analysis of breast milk is carried out in the following cases:

  • Frequent purulent rashes on the baby's skin;
  • Manifestations of dysbiosis;
  • Regularly appearing impurities of mucus and green impregnations in the feces of the baby;
  • Signs of the inflammatory process from the mammary gland of the mother (pain, hyperemia, fever, presence of purulent discharge from the nipple);
  • A low weight gain in a child in combination with one of the above conditions.

Milk collection rules

To pass the analysis of breast milk, you must follow certain rules when collecting it:

  1. Prepare a container for the material. This can be purchased at the pharmacy special cups or jars of glass, but previously boiled with lids.
  2. For each breast there should be an individual container marked.
  3. Wash your hands and chest with soap.
  4. The first 10 ml should be expressed separately, as they are not used for research.
  5. Next, 10 ml from each gland to express in separate containers and tightly close the lids.

Analysis of breast milk will be the most revealing results, if the material is delivered to the laboratory within 2 hours after its collection. Usually the result is ready in a week.

Feeding in the determination of microorganisms in milk

The World Health Organization does not consider the presence of pathogenic microorganisms in mother's milk as a reason for refusing breastfeeding, since all these bacteria stimulate the production of antibodies from the female body, and they, in turn, get into the digestive tract of the baby, protect it.

In the case of microorganisms, but the absence of inflammatory processes in the mother, breastfeeding is considered safe.

If staphylococcus is found, antibacterial drugs are prescribed to the mother, while the least toxic is preferred (cephalosporins, macrolides, penicillins). At the time of taking antibiotics, the baby is recommended to apply to a healthy breast, regularly decanting the patient.

In case of detection of signs of staphylococcal infection, both the mother and the child are given therapy to both. The child's pathological process is manifested in the following:

  • Conjunctivitis - eyes sour, there is a purulent discharge in the corners, accompanied by swelling and hyperemia;
  • Omphalitis - puffiness and redness of the navel, presence of a purulent discharge;
  • Staphyloderma - vesicles on the skin with purulent contents, surrounded by hyperemic whisk;
  • Enterocolitis - liquid stool up to 10 times a day, feces with an admixture of blood and mucus, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting.

Evaluation of results

Analysis of breast milk can have 4 results options:

  1. There is no growth of microflora. Such a result is very rare, since in most cases milk is not sterile.
  2. Presence of conditionally pathogenic microflora in acceptable quantities. This means that in milk there is a small number of microorganisms that do not pose a danger to the body of the mother and child.
  3. The presence of pathogenic microflora in the number of colonies is less than 250 cfu / ml. This means that dangerous strains have been sown, but their level is within the limits of the norm, which means it is safe.
  4. The presence of pathogenic microflora in the number of colonies is more than 250 cfu / ml. This option requires treatment and refusal of breastfeeding.

Of representatives of pathogens, the following can be sown:

  • salmonella;
  • E. coli;
  • Cholera vibrio;
  • Klebsiella;
  • Fungi of the genus Candida;
  • Staphylococcus aureus;
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

Whichever indicators are indicated on the form of the analysis, the treatment of the results should be done by the attending physician.

Analysis for determination of fat content

Fat content is an important indicator on which the saturation and well-being of a child depends. Its insufficiency leads to the fact that the baby does not gain weight in weight, and high fat content can be a provoker of dysbiosis.

For the right result it is necessary to collect "back" milk. This is the nutrient fluid that enters the body of the child after the "front", containing a large amount of water and lactose. Milk is treated with sulfuric acid, which provokes the precipitation of fats. The fat level is determined using a butyrometer. Analysis of breast milk for fat content has the following norm values: 3.5-3.8%.

Other studies

There are a number of analyzes of breast milk to determine the qualitative and quantitative indicators of the composition:

  • Estimation of specific gravity;
  • Level of antibodies.

1. Determination of the specific gravity of breast milk

The indicators specify the ratio of proteins and fats. Depending on how mature the milk, the figures may vary. The material for the study is collected 1-1.5 hours after the baby is fed. In the laboratory, the milk is poured into a glass vial and immersed in it with a hydrometer. The evaluation of the results depends on the temperature of the room in which the study is carried out.

The normal values are 1,026-1,036, provided that the temperature is 15 ° C. When the temperature is increased or lowered with each degree, 0.001 is added or subtracted to the results, respectively.

2. The level of antibodies in breast milk

The level of immunoglobulins in mother's milk differs in different periods of a child's life. In the first days after birth, while the mammary glands produce colostrum, the amount of immunoglobulin A is greatest. Decreases by the end of the first week and keeps at this level for 8-10 months.

Insignificant amounts contain immunoglobulins M, G, interferon, interleukins, macrophages, lymphocytes.

Where to take breast milk analysis

Studies are conducted in private clinical laboratories. Their cost depends on the method used and the technologies used. You can surrender the material on your own initiative or on the recommendation of a doctor who ordered a referral for analysis. Breast milk, the sterility of which has value for the mother, is an important part of shaping the baby's future health, which means that every effort should be made to preserve lactation as long as possible.

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