Brief description about NUTRIENT NEEDS DURING LACTATION.
The lactating mother requires additional energy for the production
of milk which is calculated from the volume of milk secreted, its energy
content and the efficiency of conversion of food energy to milk energy.
Based on the optimal output of 850 ml/day, energy content of 65 k.cal
/ 100 ml of breast milk and conversion efficiency of 80 percent, the
additional allowance recommended during first six months of lactation
is 550 k.cal / day. This is after taking into account the energy contribution
from fat stores deposited during pregnancy. Most Indian mothers
continue to lactate even after six months but the milk production is
reduced. Hence ICMR has recommended an additional allowance of
400 k.cal / day for the period from 6 -12 months of lactation
For production of milk, protein requirement also increases, as the
produced milk contains 1.15g of proteins /100ml. The recommended
additional protein intake during lactation is 25g per day for 0-6 months
and 18g per day for 6-12 months
ICMR has suggested an intake of 45g of visible fat per day.
Although the total fat in breast milk is not influenced by the mothers
diet, the composition of milk fat does. The fat also provides energy
density to meet the higher energy requirement during lactation
Mothers milk contains 30-40 mg of calcium per 100 ml. Since
about 850ml of milk is produced, around 300mg of calcium is secreted
through milk per day. Therefore the additional intake of calcium is
essential to enable the retention of 300mg of extra calcium daily. Since
the dietary calcium retention in lactating women is 60 percent, ICMR
has recommend 1000 mg of calcium per day for a lactating mother.