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Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Jul;48(1):44-9.

Energy metabolism, body composition, and milk production in healthy Swedish women during lactation.

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Department of Medical Nutrition, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden.


Variables of relevance to energy requirements during reproduction were studied in 23 healthy lactating Swedish women. Body composition and resting metabolic rate (RMR) were studied before pregnancy and three times postpartum. Energy intake was studied before pregnancy and, together with breast-milk production, 2 mo postpartum. The women gained 5.8 +/- 4.2 kg fat during pregnancy and their average fat content was unchanged during the first 2 mo of lactation whereas a slight loss (1.7 +/- 4.2 kg) occurred during the following 4 mo. RMR increased slightly during lactation in spite of a decrease in fat-free body weight 2 and 6 mo postpartum. Energy intake increased during lactation (280 +/- 440 kcal/d). The women produced 740 +/- 150 g breast milk/d containing 0.64 +/- 0.08 kcal/g. The results indicate that current estimates of energy needs during lactation may be too high.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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