Energy and Water Needs for Lactating Women
Breastfeeding is one of the most important times in a young child's life. It establishes the immune system and ensures proper nutrition and growth. For this reason, it is also vital for women who lactate to understand their energy and water needs. It may be assumed that these will increase during lactation, since the body is using both energy and water to produce lactation.
Butte, Wong, and Hopkinson use measures of total energy expenditure (TEE), the output of milk energy and the mobilization of energy from tissue stores to determine the needs of women who lactate. To determine this, the researchers included 24 participants who were well-nourished and exclusively breastfeeding at three months after birth. Specific components that were measured included TEE, BMR, and physical activity levels. These levels were the same for both lactating and non-lactating women. For the lactating women, the researchers found that milk energy output was 2.02 ± 0.33 MJ/d, which resulted in total energy requirements during lactation to the order of 12.0 ± 1.4 MJ/d, as opposed to 10.6 ± 2.1 MJ/d in non-lactating women. For these women, it was found that energy needs were met by the diet...
Since producing milk includes the use of water resources in the body, these need to be replenished by a higher water intake.
Since water is the most common element in the body (Martinez, 2014), it is vital to ensure a good balance between water and food intake within the body, especially in situations where water is used to produce extra fluids for a baby. To ensure the health of both the mother and baby, therefore, fluid replenishment is of great importance. While 60- 17% of the water in the human body is found in the cells, the rest occurs within the circulatory system. Most water within the body is replenished by intake, where individuals generally ingest between 2.5 and 3 liters. Recommendations for intake vary between countries.
In Martinez's study, which he conducted among pregnant and lactating Mexican women, he found that 54% of lactating women consumed less than the amount of fluids recommended for a person in this condition per day. Furthermore, these women also tend towards a higher intake of sugary fluids, including…
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