Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 2007
Publication Date: January 1, 2008
Citation: Heird, W.C. 2008. Nutritional management of preterm infants postdischarge. In: Duggan, C., Watkins, J.B., Walker, W.A., editors. Nutrition In Pediatrics. 4th edition. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker Inc. p. 395-402. Technical Abstract: The usual recommendation for feeding prematurely born infants is to provide sufficient nutrients to support rates of growth and nutrient accretion equal to intrauterine rates. The protein and energy intakes required to achieve this goal, provided the intakes of all other necessary nutrients are adequate, are approximately 2.8 g/kg/d and 462 to 504 kJ (110 to 120 kcal)/kg/d, respectively. However, many infants do not tolerate the enteral intake necessary to provide these requirements until 2 to 3 weeks of age and do not regain birthweight until approximately the same age. By this time, their weight, even if appropriate for gestational age (AGA) at birth, is usually less than the tenth percentile of the gestational, or postmenstrual, age reference. As a consequence, unless rates of growth higher than the intrauterine rates are achieved after birthweight is regained, these infants will remain small at discharge relative to the fetus of the same postmenstrual age.