ONGOING STUDIES

We’re currently enrolling chest/breastfeeding individuals into the following studies:

Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We are studying human milk from individuals who have exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Much is unknown about COVID-19 and whether the virus and the medications used to treat it can be transmitted from mother to baby via human milk. Please consider joining our study to help us better understand COVID-19 and its treatment during chest/breastfeeding. Participation involves providing a human milk, nasal, saliva, blood and stool sample from parent, and nasal, blood and stool sample from child. Not all samples are required. Download the study flyer (haga clic aquí para español). To join the study, visit our Participate page.

COVID-19 Vaccines
We’re studying human milk from people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. Little is known about the use of this new vaccine by chest/breastfeeding parents and whether the immunity that a parent develops is passed to their baby in chest/breast milk. Please consider joining this study to help us gather this critical information. Participation involves providing up to 7 milk samples in the 45 days after receiving the vaccine, phone interviews, release of medical records for both parent and baby, and mailed or online questionnaires about baby’s development. For more information, download our Study Flyer. To join the study, visit our Participate page.

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 chestfed 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 chestfeeding. 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 chestfeeding, 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 chestfeeding, and 40 chestfeeding 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 chestfeeding 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 https://mommysmilkresearch.org/meds-study.

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 chest/breastfeeding 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.

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 chest/breastfeeding 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 chest/breastfeeding 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)
  • Chest/breastfeeding History (Chest/breastfeeding 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
  • ITSEA
  • MCHAT

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 chest/breastmilk to future research. Learn more about how you can get involved and request human milk samples for your research project.