Nutritional Support of the VLBW Infant

  Download Toolkit  |  Appendices

Human milk is a major factor in improving nutrition and long-term outcome for VLBW infants. This toolkit outlines best practices for establishing a source and continued access to a mother’s milk for her NICU infant. 

As human milk was felt to be a major factor in improving nutrition and long-term outcome for VLBW infants, Toolkit 1 (2005) provided a detailed list (divided into small steps) of best practices for establishing a source and continued access to a mother’s milk for her NICU infant. Toolkit 2 covered the other essential best practices, including parenteral nutrition, early enteral feeding, transition to oral feedings, discharge nutrition and continued breastfeeding. Understandably, there was some duplication.

The 2008 revised Nutrition Toolkit combines all of the best practices from the original 2 Toolkits, reorganized for easier access to specific issues, into 7 sections:  

  1. General principles/CQI
  2. Parenteral nutrition
  3. Establishing enteral nutrition
  4. Human Milk/Breastfeeding
  5. Transition to oral feedings
  6. Discharge planning/post-discharge nutrition
  7. Special/Controversial issues.

New research has reinforced the prior best practices - they have not changed. The appendices have also been reorganized by section, with additional examples and tools added.