Background & aims: Aggressive parenteral nutritional practices were implemented in clinical practice over a decade ago to prevent early growth retardation in preterm infants. We aimed to study adherence to current nutritional recommendations in a population of very preterm infants, and to evaluate growth in early life. Methods: Preterm infants (gestational age <30 weeks and birth weight <1500 g) were included in a prospective observational cohort study. Data on parenteral and enteral intake were collected on days 1-7, 14, 21 and 28 (d28) of life. Growth data were collected at birth, at moment of maximal weight loss (dip), and either at discharge from the neonatal intensive care unit or at d28, whichever came first. Nutritional intakes were compared to recommendations of current guidelines. The target growth rate was 15-20 g/kg/d. Results: Fifty-nine infants (63% male) were included. Median gestational age was 27 3/7 (interquartile range 25 6/7;28 4/7), and birth weight was 920 g (720;1200). Median macronutrient intakes were within or above the targets on all study days, but energy targets were not met before day 5. Median growth rates were 9.5 and 18.1 g/kg/d, when calculated from respectively birth and dip to discharge/d28. Eight (14%) versus 46 (78%) infants met the growth targets, when evaluated from respectively birth and dip to discharge/d28. Conclusions: In this cohort, only energy intake up to day 5 was lower than recommended. Growth targets were achieved in the majority of the infants, but only when evaluated from dip onward, not from birth.

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Keywords Energy, Low birth weight, Neonatal intensive care unit, Parenteral nutrition
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Journal Clinical Nutrition
Roelants, J.A, Joosten, K.F.M, van der Geest, B.M.A. (Brigitte M.A.), Hulst, J.M, Reiss, I.K.M, & Vermeulen, M.J. (2017). First week weight dip and reaching growth targets in early life in preterm infants. Clinical Nutrition. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2017.08.023