Animal moms customize milk depending on baby's sex

Feb 14, 2014 by Lauran Neergaard

A special blend of mother's milk just for girls? New research shows animal moms customize their milk in surprising ways depending on whether they have a boy or a girl.

The studies raise questions for human babies, too, about personalizing formula and even about the that's used for hospitalized preemies.

Pediatricians have long stressed that is best for babies. But Harvard University evolutionary biologist Katie Hinde says her research shows it's a myth that mother's milk is pretty standard.

She said Friday that monkeys make richer milk for sons but more milk for daughters. The girls' milk contains more calcium, presumably for their faster-maturing bones. There also are gender differences in how the monkeys respond to a stress hormone in mom's .

Explore further: Cow moms favor daughters in milk production study

4.7 /5 (3 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cow moms favor daughters in milk production study

Jan 27, 2014

Sorry, boys. In the end, mothers favor daughters – at least when it comes to Holstein dairy cows and how much milk they produce for their offspring, according to a new study by Kansas State University and ...

What's best for very low birth weight babies

Aug 16, 2012

While the health benefits of breast feeding baby are well known, a new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Pediatrics finds that, for very low birth weight (VLBW) babies, a small amount of fortification can im ...

Study suggests poor mothers favor daughters

Jun 21, 2012

Poor mothers will invest more resources in daughters, who stand a greater chance of increasing their status through marriage than do sons, suggests a study in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Recommended for you

Orb-weaving spiders living in urban areas may be larger

Aug 20, 2014

A common orb-weaving spider may grow larger and have an increased ability to reproduce when living in urban areas, according to a study published August 20, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Eli ...

User comments : 0