Feeding the Premature Infant

Authored by: Cynthia Mundy , Jatinder Bhatia

Handbook of Nutrition and Food

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781466505711
eBook ISBN: 9781466505728
Adobe ISBN:


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Approximately 4 million neonates are born annually in the United States, and the prematurity rate has remained stable at approximately 12% over the past 10 years. 1 , 2 Advances in perinatal and neonatal medicine have allowed the age of viability to decrease although morbidity rates for these extremely premature infants remain significant. 3 Since the majority of somatic growth occurs in the final trimester of pregnancy, neonatal caregivers are challenged with providing adequate nutrition to simulate these later stages of pregnancy so understanding the principles of nutritional therapy becomes all the more important. Additionally, evidence supports adequate nutrition, and appropriate growth is directly related to improved neurodevelopmental outcomes 4 so the comprehension and implementation of proper nutritional management cannot be understated. This chapter will review the nutritional goals, nutrient requirements, and enteral and parenteral routes of nutritional therapy for this unique population.

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