Feeding intolerance and necrotizing enterocolitis are relatively common occurrences in very low birthweight infants in the NICU. Fear of these disorders can significantly affect decisions regarding initiation, advancement, and withholding of enteral feedings. Lack of sufficient enteral feedings and complications related to parenteral nutrition increase neonatal morbidity, thereby emphasizing the need for safe evidence-based feeding decisions and guidelines. Unfortunately, evidence to guide feeding practices is often limited, making clinical decisions and the formulation of guidelines difficult. This article discusses controversies regarding the enteral feeding of very low birthweight infants and includes current scientific evidence supporting and/or refuting specific feeding practices.
Scientifically Based Strategies for Enteral Feeding in Premature Infants
Drs Murgas Torrazza and Li have disclosed no financial relationships relevant to this article. Dr Neu has disclosed that he serves as a consultant to Abbott Nutrition, Mead Johnson, Medela, and Fonterra Foods; he receives honoraria from Nestlé and Danone; and he has research grants with Covidien and Gerber. Dr Parker has disclosed that she has a research grant 1R01NR014019-01A1 from N1NR. This commentary does contain a discussion of an unapproved/investigative use of a commercial product/device.
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Leslie A. Parker, Josef Neu, Roberto Murgas Torrazza, Yuefeng Li; Scientifically Based Strategies for Enteral Feeding in Premature Infants. Neoreviews July 2013; 14 (7): e350–e359. https://doi.org/10.1542/neo.14-7-e350
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