During the last trimester the fetus has a growth rate that is three times greater than a term baby. The dilemma is that preterm babies are born with high energy requirements and low reserves of macronutrients. Furthermore, individual metabolic status, organ maturity and health can vary greatly.
Because of this, one feeding regimen cannot be applied to all.
According to ESPGHAN* there are three weight classes of preterm baby that each require different nutritional management to mimic intrauterine growth:
* Agostoni et al.(2010) Enteral nutrient supply for Preterm Infants: Commentary from the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Committee on Nutrition. JPGN Vol. 50, No. 1 P 85-91.
Protein recommendations and the preterm dilemma
An optimal protein to energy ratio is essential for healthy growth. This is why protein recommendations are often expressed in gram protein per 100 kcal, as well as grams protein per kilogram per day.
If left unchecked, high energy requirements and combined with low protein reserves can result in a protein deficit that can limit growth and arrest development.
Miris gives a relevant measurement of protein status by excluding non-protein compounds such as urea. This helps simplify optimal protein nutrition for each preterm baby.
The protein level in human milk must be checked to see it matches babies’ needs. ESPGHAN indicates that preterm babies have a protein deficit that is linked to their weight.
Variation between mothers and donors can further add to protein deficits of extreme low weight babies. Miris Human Milk Analyser helps clinicians decide if more protein is needed.
Measure with Miris