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Physiol Behav. 1993 Oct;54(4):641-8.

The caloric demand of lactation does not alter spontaneous meal patterns, nutrient intakes, or moods of women.

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Department of Psychology, Georgia State University, Atlanta 30303-3083.


The regulation of food and fluid intake in lactating women was examined by comparing maternal intake during lactation, 6 weeks postpartum, to intake in two groups of nonpregnant, nonlactating women. All subjects completed a questionnaire and then filled out a food-intake diary for seven consecutive days. Lactating women did not differ from body weight-matched, nonlactating controls in their total daily intakes or their meal patterns. However, they consumed a significantly smaller percentage of the recommended dietary allowances (RDA) per day than did their nonlactating counterparts. Lactating women were also significantly more calm both pre- and postmeal than were either of the control groups. These results indicate that the lactating women, at 6 weeks postpartum, did not increase their intake to compensate for the caloric demands of lactation. This may indicate that the lactating women catabolize weight gained during pregnancy faster than accounted for in the RDA, or that lactating women increase their metabolic efficiency.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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