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Higher-volume feedings help postnatal growth in preterm infants

  • June 29, 2020
Higher-volume feedings were determined to help postnatal growth in preterm infants.

Close-up, nurse's hands wearing blue safety gloves are tending to a premature baby in a neonatal incubator in the Regional Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), 2019.Findings from a randomized clinical trial determined that preterm infants who received higher-volume feedings improved postnatal growth as compared to those who did not.

Published in The Journal of Pediatrics, higher-volume feedings increased growth velocity, weight, head circumference, length and mid-arm circumference compared with usual-volume feedings without adverse effects.

The randomized clinical trial with 1:1 parallel allocation included 224 infants with a birth weight of 1,001-2,500 grams born at less than 32 weeks’ gestation. The infants were randomized to receive either a higher than normal or a usual-volume feeding after reaching full enteral feedings.

“Higher-volume feedings may be a safe and effective way to improve postnatal growth in very preterm infants,” said Colm Travers, M.D., principal investigator of the study and an assistant professor in the Division of Neonatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “The increase in all growth measurements among infants in the higher-volume group compared with the usual-volume feedings group lets us better understand how we can help preterm infants grow without adverse effects.”