Background Current evidence supports progressive feeding in preterm infants. Due to lower necrotising enterocolitis risk, recent studies suggest starting total enteral feeding from birth in 30–33 weeks preterm infants. The feasibility of this practice is unclear.
Aim Explore feeding practices in 30–33 weeks preterm infants.
Design Prospective, multicentre, observational study recruiting 10 consecutive 30–33 weeks preterm infants from each of the eight UK hospitals.
Results Eighty infants received their first feed at median of 24 hours, achieving total enteral (without intravenous nutrition) and full feeds (≥150 ml/kg/day) at median of 5 and 8 days, respectively. Eleven infants who achieved total enteral feeding within 24 hours after birth achieved full feeds earlier (p=0.02) with shorter hospital stay (p=0.009) but were also of older gestation (p=0.004).
Conclusion Current early feeding approaches in 30–33 weeks preterm infants were found to be conservative. Total enteral feeding from birth is possible in these infants but further studies are needed.
- infant feeding
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Contributors All three authors equally contributed in preparing the manuscript.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data sharing statement Unpublished data on volume of enteral feeds increased per day are available from the corresponding author by email.
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