Nursing mothers need more of certain nutrients. If you decide to breast-feed your baby, be sure to mark the "I am lactating¾6 months or less" box on your Personal Information Form when the baby is born. And if you breast-feed longer than six months, you should mark the "I am lactating¾more than 6 months" box when your baby passes the half-year mark.* Finally, when you stop breast-feeding, make sure both boxes are unchecked.
(If you're lactating while pregnant, check "I am pregnant" in the Personal Information Form; then ask your doctor to help you edit your Personal Daily Allowances to cover both conditions.)
Checking the boxes for lactation will automatically change your Personal Daily Allowances (PDAs) to the following levels, most of which are recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board. If your doctor prescribes different levels, you can change your PDAs with the Personal Daily Allowance Editor.
(Note: In the rare event that you're over 50 and breast-feeding, some of your PDAs may revert to those for lactating women of age 50 and younger. For details, jump to the Help topic on each nutrient cited below.)
Until recently, some of the Recommended Dietary Allowances changed during the second six months of lactation. This is no longer true, but Diet Power asks you to specify which stage you are in, so that it can tailor your Food for Thought items accordingly.
How Your PDAs Change During Lactation
Copper rises from the 1000 micrograms prescribed during pregnancy to 1300 micrograms.
Dietary fiber rises from 26 grams to 29 grams if you're 18 or younger, from 25 grams to 29 grams if you're 19 to 50, and from 21 grams to 29 grams if you're 51 or older.
Folate drops from the 600 micrograms prescribed during pregnancy to 500 micrograms.
Iron drops from the 27 milligrams prescribed during pregnancy to 10 milligrams if you're 18 or younger, or to 9 milligrams if you're 19 or older.
Magnesium drops from the figure prescribed during pregnancy. For mothers 18 and younger it falls from 400 milligrams to 360; for mothers 19 to 30, from 350 to 310; and for mothers over 30, from 360 to 320.
Manganese rises from the 2.0 milligrams specified during pregnancy to 2.6 milligrams.
Niacin drops from the 18 milligrams prescribed during pregnancy to 17 milligrams.
Pantothenic acid rises from the 6 milligrams prescribed during pregnancy to 7 milligrams.
Protein does not automatically change, but you may need to reset your PDA yourself. See "Your Daily Allowance" in Protein.
Riboflavin rises from the 1.4 milligrams (1400 micrograms) prescribed during pregnancy to 1.6 milligrams (1600 micrograms).
Selenium rises from the 60 micrograms prescribed during pregnancy to 70 micrograms.
Vitamin A rises from 750 micrograms RE to 1200 micrograms RE if you're 18 or younger. If you're 19 or older, it rises from 770 micrograms RE to 1300 micrograms RE.
Vitamin B6 rises from the 1.9 milligrams prescribed during pregnancy to 2.0 milligrams.
Vitamin B12 rises from the 2.6 micrograms prescribed during pregnancy to 2.8 micrograms.
Vitamin C for women of ages 19 to 50 rises from the 85 milligrams prescribed during pregnancy to 120 milligrams. For women 18 or younger it rises from the 80 milligrams prescribed during pregnancy to 115 milligrams. (These figures are for nonsmokers. For smokers, each figure will be 35 milligrams higher.)
Vitamin E rises from the 22 International Units (IU) prescribed during pregnancy to 28 IU.
Zinc rises by one milligram from the amount prescribed during pregnancy¾ from 12 to 13 milligrams if you're 18 or younger, from 11 to 12 milligrams if you're 19 or older.
Your calorie allowance will not automatically change¼
…if you're already using Diet Power and check "I am lactating" in the Personal Information Form. As you continue using the program, however, it will notice the rise in your metabolic rate and adjust your calorie budget accordingly. By contrast, if you report lactating when you first enroll in Diet Power, the program will start you off with a daily budget 650 calories higher than normal for your age and size. This, too, will change as the program learns how many calories you and your baby actually need.