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Pre-mature infants 

A pre-mature baby may present with growth difficulties, inadaquate vitamin and mineral stores. Our job is to ensure your child is getting all the nutrients it needs to thrive! 

A Dietitian can help ; 

Dietitians assess premature babies to see if their nutrition and feeding are adequate. They focus in particular on those babies who are failing to thrive. The high-risk patients, those most at risk of poor growth and development, tend to be the most immature premature babies. 

Specifically, dietitians can address feeding or hydration issues that come up due to prematurity or problems that may result after surgery. 

What are some of the common questions parents of premature babies ask dietitians?

Many parents want information on basic feeding strategies, specifically about:

  • when and how to start a baby on solid foods

  • how long to spend on feeding

  • how much children should be eating and drinking

  • evaluating and changing a feeding plan

  • how to breastfeed a baby who was premature

  • how to supplement breastfeeding

  • when and how to wean from breastfeeding

  • how to know if a breastfed baby is getting enough nourishment

  • how much weight a baby should be gaining

Some of these issues may seem straightforward, but they become more complicated when a premature baby has been very sick and the family is under the stress of that sickness. Some parents might have had the experience of raising other healthy children, but find the issues are different for their ill premature baby.

Depending on your baby’s condition, the dietitian may recommend boosting their formula or food with extra calories. They may help organize a feeding tube to help your baby get the nutrients they need if they cannot take in enough food by mouth or need supplemental feeding. The dietitian can also arrange for special diets or special nutritional products, if your baby is taking certain drugs that affect nutrition intake or has a surgical complication like a shortened small bowel.

They can also provide guidance on how to feed your child appropriately at home.