We’re currently enrolling lactating individuals into the following studies:

Diversity of Human Milk & How It May Be Affected by Maternal Use of Antibiotics
Our team is examining the diversity of human milk by enrolling 480 nursing parents and their nursing infant who is less than 6 months old. Participation in this study includes phone interviews, self-collection of milk samples, self-collection of stool samples and skin swab samples from both the nursing parent and baby, self-collected samples from certain areas of the home, questionnaires about baby’s development, release of medical records, and weekly text messages inquiring about use of any prescription antibiotics and/or changes in nursing. Enrollment is open to persons residing in Southern California. See if you qualify. 

From the responses to the weekly text messages, our second goal is to identify 40 nursing parents who are prescribed an antibiotic while they are still lactating, and to enroll them in additional follow-up activities. We will also identify and enroll two comparison groups: 20 parents who are prescribed an antibiotic but are no longer lactating, and 40 lactating parents/babies without antibiotic exposure. For all three of these groups, additional samples will be collected from the parent, the baby, and their home. The goal is to learn whether and/or how prescribed antibiotics that are taken by a lactating parent affects human milk, and whether they have any effect on a baby’s growth and development.

Medications & Human Milk
We are enrolling people who are taking prednisone, nifedipine, escitalopram, or sertraline into a study of medications used in lactation. Our study is examining if these medications can be found in human milk and the best laboratory methods to detect them. Enrollment is open to persons residing in San Diego County, CA and Salt Lake County, Utah. Find out more about the study requirements at

Motegrity® (prucalopride)
Our team is examining whether Motegrity® (prucalopride), a medication taken for the treatment of functional constipation in adults, can be found in human milk. We’re looking for lactating individuals who are currently taking Motegrity®. Participation in this research study includes phone interviews, self-collection of human milk samples at different time points over a 24-hour period before and after taking a dose, questionnaires about baby’s growth and development, and releasing baby’s medical records. Volunteers receive up to $125 for completing the study. See if you qualify.

Project MPRINTs: Studying How Prescription Medications Alter Breast Milk and Affect Infants
There is no question that breast milk is good for infant health and development. But if a nursing mom needs to take a prescription medication, we still don’t know a lot about whether/how the medication affects the quality of breast milk, and whether/how this could then affect the infant. The goal of this study is to collect different biological samples from both a nursing mom and the breastfed infant so we can better answer these questions.

We’re looking for breastfeeding volunteers across the U.S. who are already taking a prescription medication as part of their routine healthcare; this can include but is not limited to an antidepressant or a monoclonal antibody. Participation involves both mom and baby providing a blood sample, a stool sample, and a skin swab. The breastfeeding mom is also asked to provide a breast milk sample and a saliva sample. All samples are collected by the mom from the comfort of their home and are then mailed to the study office. Participants will receive a $20 gift card to compensate them for their time. See if you qualify!

Veklury® (remdesivir)
Our team is examining whether Veklury® (remdesivir), a medication taken for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults, can be found in human milk. We’re looking for lactating individuals who are currently taking Veklury®. Participation in this research study includes phone interviews and self-collection of human milk samples, questionnaires about baby’s growth and development, and releasing baby’s medical records. The human milk collection schedule includes providing a milk sample five times in a 24 hour period while taking Veklury®, and then providing one milk sample per day for 7 consecutive days following your last dose of Veklury®. See if you qualify.

Donate to the Human Milk Biorepository 

Mommy’s Milk Human Milk Research Biorepository at UC San Diego is building a research database that will be used to evaluate human milk. As the first-ever human milk research biorepository in the nation, we are moving science forward through highly-trained researchers contributing to human milk breakthroughs and discoveries.

Since 2014, we have been collecting human milk samples and de-identified clinical data from lactating individuals across the U.S. These samples and data can be accessed by researchers to answer critical questions about human milk and its effects on infant and child health. Our biorepository depends on lactating parents providing a milk sample for future research projects. Did you know, one ounce of human milk can fuel 15 research studies!

Details About Our Research

Clinical data points that are collected include:

  • Maternal Age
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Education
  • Income
  • Primary Language
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Pregnancy History (Gravidity, Parity, SAB,TAB)
  • Lactating History (Lactating History and Duration)
  • Child Eating Habits (EBF, Formula, Solids)
  • Personal Medical History
  • Family Medical History
  • Child Age
  • Child Birth Weight, Length and Head Circumference
  • Child Apgar Scores
  • Preterm Birth
  • Delivery Mode
  • Child Current Weight, Length and Head Circumference (at the time of the milk sample)
  • Pediatric abnormalities
  • Maternal exposures (dose, frequency, dates for 7 days prior to collection)
  • Adverse Reactions
  • Maternal sleep habits
  • Maternal exercise habits
  • Milk sample collection conditions
  • EPDS score
  • STAI score
  • PSS-10 score
  • Food Frequency Questionnaire
  • ASQ
  • CDI

Sample Processing and Storage: Upon receipt, milk samples are aliquoted and transferred to the Altman Clinical and Translation Research Institute (ACTRI) Biorepository, where they are stored in -80 degree conditions. The ACTRI Biorepository was supported by the National Institutes of Health, Grant UL1TR000100 of CTSA funding prior to August 13, 2015 and is currently supported by Grant UL1TR001442 of CTSA funding beginning August 13, 2015 and beyond. For more information, visit the ACTRI Biorepository.

Find out more about donating a sample of human to future research. Learn more about how you can get involved and request human milk samples for your research project.