Extensive study of breast milk and infant growth : Protocol of the Cambridge baby growth and breastfeeding study (CBGS-BF)

Olga, Laurentya; Petry, Clive J.; Diepen, Janna A. van; Prentice, Philippa M.; Hughes, Ieuan A.; Vervoort, Jacques; Boekhorst, Jos; Chichlowski, Maciej; Gross, Gabriele; Dunger, David B.; Ong, Ken K.


Growth and nutrition during early life have been strongly linked to future health and metabolic risks. The Cambridge Baby Growth Study (CBGS), a longitudinal birth cohort of 2229 mother– infant pairs, was set up in 2001 to investigate early life determinant factors of infant growth and body composition in the UK setting. To carry out extensive profiling of breastmilk intakes and composition in relation to infancy growth, the Cambridge Baby Growth and Breastfeeding Study (CBGS-BF) was established upon the original CBGS. The strict inclusion criteria were applied, focusing on a normal birth weight vaginally delivered infant cohort born of healthy and non-obese mothers. Crucially, only infants who were exclusively breastfed for the first 6 weeks of life were retained in the analysed study sample. At each visit from birth, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, and then at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 36 months, longitudinal anthropometric measurements and blood spot collections were conducted. Infant body composition was assessed using air displacement plethysmography (ADP) at 6 weeks and 3 months of age. Breast milk was collected for macronutrients and human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) measurements. Breast milk intake volume was also estimated, as well as sterile breastmilk and infant stool collection for microbiome study.