The last 20 years has seen dramatic improvements in the survival of preterm infants due to improved antenatal and neonatal care. Closer attention to nutrition means early parenteral nutrition and mother’s own milk are considered as standard of care. Many uncertainties remain however, such as optimal macronutrient intakes for longer term cognitive and metabolic outcomes, and the optimal probiotic regime to reduce the risk of necrotising enterocolitis. Nutrition involves macronutrients and micronutrients, immunonutrients, microbiomic aspects and nutrient delivery. It is also clear that there are behavioural and psychological aspects, and strongly held beliefs for parents and professionals that affect practice. While many healthcare professionals (HCPs) are aware of several key nutritional concepts on the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), many HCPs lack a concise, systematic approach. This article provides a brief approach to nutritional assessment for use on the NICU summarised as ABCDE: A—anthropometry, B—biochemistry, C—clinical, D—dietary intakes, E—environment and evaluation.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.