Managing the nutritional needs of preterm and ill newborns, especially the very low birthweight (VLBW) infant, has never been easy. Although the incidence of postnatal growth failure has improved over the last decade, there remains an unacceptably high rate of growth failure (50%) for VLBW infants. In the past several years there has been considerable basic science and clinical research on the nutritional needs of preterm infants and the optimum ways to provide that nutrition to prevent nutritional and growth deficits and ensure ideal multiorgan and system outcomes. New evidence suggests nutrition in the first two weeks of life may be critical.
The 2018 update of the Nutritional Support of the VLBW Infant Toolkit was developed to provide rapid assessment of current nutritional practices, outline evidence-based best practices, and enable rapid multidisciplinary improvement cycles to improve nutritional outcomes for premature newborns. We have added important new references, streamlined recommendations, and targeted the best resources.