ABSTRACT Human pregnancy is associated with major changes in calcium and bone metabolism and in bone mineral status before and after gestation. The changes are compatible with the uptake and mobilization of calcium by the maternal skeleton to meet the high requirement for fetal growth and for breast-milk production. Breast-feeding is accompanied by decreases in bone mineral status, increases in bone turnover rate, and reductions in urinary calcium excretion. These effects are reversed during and after weaning, and, in several skeletal regions, bone mineral content ultimately exceeds that measured after delivery. By 3–6 mo after lactation, the postpartum changes in bone mineral status of women who breast-feed largely match those of women who do not, regardless of the duration of lactation.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 71, No. 5, 1312S-1316s, May 2000
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