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Br J Nutr. 1986 Jul;56(1):49-58.

Yield and nutrient content of milk in eight women breast-feeding twins and one woman breast-feeding triplets.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Western Australia, Nedlands.


1. The milk yield of eight mothers each breast-feeding twins was determined by test weighing the mothers. Milk yield was determined at 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12 months post partum; however, only one mother was studied at all these times. 2. At 6 months post partum the milk yield for individual breasts of three mothers fully breast-feeding and four mothers partially breast-feeding their infants ranged from 0.84 to 2.16 kg/24 h and 0.42 to 1.39 kg/24 h respectively. The average frequency of breast-feeding for the mothers studied at 6 months post partum was 15.4 feeds/24 h. 3. The milk yield of one mother fully breast-feeding 2.5-month-old triplets was 3.08 kg/24 h and the infants were fed twenty-seven times in 24 h. 4. The concentration of lactose, protein and mixed fat in the milk from individual breasts of mothers fully breast-feeding their infants ranged from 65.6 to 82.2, 7.8 to 15.7 and 16.7 to 46.2 g/l respectively. For the three mothers partially breast-feeding 12-month-old infants the values ranged from 54.8 to 71.8, 14.2 to 19.9 and 4.7 to 40.5 g/l respectively. 5. At 6 and 12 months of age, the proportion of the total energy intake of the infants which was derived from breast milk ranged from 64 to 100% and 6 to 13% respectively. 6. It is concluded that the maximum potential milk yield for women may be higher than the often quoted value of 700-800 ml/24 h.

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