MILK Study


Mothers and Infants LinKed for Healthy Growth

Congratulations Mom and Welcome Baby!

This study is being conducted by Dr. Ellen Demerath Ph.D. Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, Patricia Fontaine, M.D. Senior Clinical Investigator at Health Partners Institute for Education and Research, and David Fields, Ph.D. at University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences. It is funded by the National Institute for Child Health and Development (NICHD).

Study Purpose

The purpose of this study is to learn more about how breast milk is related to mother and infant weight gain and body composition (the amount of muscle and fat that is in your body). About 360 mothers/infants pairs will take part in this study from Minnesota and Oklahoma, with about 225 participants from Minnesota and 135 from Oklahoma.

Study Developments

We are busy working with the data we’ve collected so far! Below are some recent findings and statistics from the MILK study:

Preliminary Data: The MILK study's first subjects

Preliminary Data: The MILK study's first subjects

Completed all 3 visits8932
Average age of baby in weeks when mom went back to work99
% of study babies with big brothers/sisters60.2%64.5%
% of study babies that are first babies39.8%35.5%
% of moms still exclusively breastfeeding at three months86.4%96.9%
% of moms still exclusively breastfeeding at six months75.9%65.6%
Average baby body fat % at 1 mo16.2%19.7%
Average baby body fat % at 3 mo23.3%23.5%
Average baby body fat % at 6 mo34.4%34.7%
Breast milk fat content % at 1 mo4.9%5.5%
Breast milk fat content % at 3 mo4.7%5.5%
Infant Feeding Resources

For more information on breastfeeding and infant nutrition practices, visit our feeding resources page!

Another on the way?

Stork with baby

If you're pregnant again and interested in enrolling your new little one in the Milk Study, we'd love to hear from you!

Happy birthday!

Happy BirthdayOur MILK Study babies began turning TWO this November
Happy 2nd birthday to all of our wonderful participants!

Contact us

Further study participation

Many of you have inquired as to how you and your children can participate in other research studies here at the University of Minnesota. The Institute of Child Development (ICD) conducts many studies with children of various ages.

Enroll in the ICD participant pool