Nutrition of preterm infants after hospital discharge

Ian J. Griffin, Richard J. Cooke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Growth failure in preterm infants remains extremely common despite advances in neonatal care. Many, or even a majority, leave the hospital with weights below the 10th centile for age. Because of this, the possibility of nutritional interventions to improve postdischarge growth has been considered. A variety of interventions have been tested in randomized controlled trials in formula-fed infants. Although the studies vary in design and in the intervention used, on balance the evidence supports the use of fortified formulas in formula-fed preterm infants after hospital discharge. Specially designed postdischarge formulas and preterm infant formulas seem equally efficacious. The situation for infants fed human milk is much less clear. Although the postdischarge growth in human milk-fed infants is not as good as in formula-fed infants, no interventions have been examined in human milk-fed infants in a randomized study, to our knowledge. We are unaware of any evidence that any of the commonly proposed nutritional interventions in human milk-fed infants after hospital discharge are either safe or efficacious. In the absence of such evidence, it seems prudent to avoid untested interventions in this population and to concentrate our efforts on the encouragement of breast-feeding after hospital discharge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number4 SUPPL. 3
StatePublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Catch-up growth
  • Growth
  • Nutrition
  • Preterm infants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology
  • Histology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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