Sandra Lipsman, Kathryn G. Dewey, Bo Lönnerdal

Breast‐Feeding Among Teenage Mothers

  • Gastroenterology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology and Child Health

Information on breast‐feeding was obtained from 25 mothers recruited from four high school programs for teenaged parents. Subjects were visited monthly 1–9 times (mean 3.7 visits) during the first 10 months of lactation to measure infant growth and maternal dietary intake and to collect a breast milk sample. Of 24 mothers visited more than once, 21 (88%) breast‐fed for more than 3 months, and at least nine continued beyond 6 months. Compared to the nutrient content of milk samples from adult women, milk of teenage mothers was significantly lower in lactose, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and sodium. However, the differences in magnesium, calcium, and potassium may have been due to differences in the timing of sample collection. On the basis of infant growth, milk volume was judged to be adequate for 88% of the infants. Mean maternal energy and protein intakes were 2,897 kcal and 115 g, respectively; mean intakes of calcium, potassium, vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin C exceeded the National Research Council'S Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for lactation, while iron and thiamine intakes averaged 84% and 94% of the RDA, respectively. It is concluded that with active counseling teenage mothers are capable of successful lactation.

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