Hay WW Jr. Nutritional Support Strategies for the Preterm Infant in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Pediatr Gastroenterol Hepatol Nutr. 2018;21(4):234-247. doi:10.5223/pghn.2018.21.4.234
The goal of nutrition of the preterm infant is to “provide nutrients to approximate the rate of growth and composition of weight gain for a normal fetus of the same postmenstrual age and to maintain normal concentrations of blood and tissue nutrients” (American Academy of Pediatrics 2014). Failure to provide the necessary amounts of all of the essential nutrients to preterm infants has produced not only growth failure, but also increased morbidity and less than optimal neurodevelopment. This continues to be true despite many efforts to increase nutrition of the preterm infants. In contrast, enhanced nutrition of very preterm infants, both intravenous and enteral, beginning right after birth, promotes positive energy and protein balance and improves longer term neurodevelopmental outcomes. The benefits are long lasting too, particularly for prevention of later life chronic diseases.
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