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close this bookEnergy and Protein requirements, Proceedings of an IDECG workshop, November 1994, London, UK, Supplement of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (International Dietary Energy Consultative Group - IDECG, 1994, 198 pages)
close this folderReport of the working group on energy requirements for pregnancy and lactation
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View the documentPregnancy
View the documentLactation


1. It was agreed that the 1985 principles of calculating energy needs of lactation were appropriate:
Maternal needs (BMR × PAL) ± D body fat + energy transfer in milk
2. Any changes in activity are accounted for in the BMR × PAL calculation.
3. The agreed assumptions are: milk volumes as in Table 12 of the paper by Prentice et al; energy density = 2.8 kJ/g (with revised justification) and efficiency = 80% (with revised justification).

4. The primary recommendations should make no allowance for possible post-partum weight loss. A secondary recommendation should make an allowance of 500 g/month fat loss over the first 6 months post partum. Recommendations after 3 months will differ for women whose infants continue to receive breast milk as the only source of milk. The final recommendations are listed in Table 12 of the paper by Prentice et al.

Future research needs

1. Future research could usefully concentrate on special situations (e.g. working and exercising women).
2. The effects of supplementation on lactational performance remain controversial. In particular, the effect of fat intake on milk fat content is of interest.
3. The relationship between maternal BMI and energy intake and weight changes in lactation need further investigation.
4. As for other groups, there is a need for more information on PAL values for women around the world.