After birth, the nutritional supply through the umbilical cord ceases. Premature infants do not immediately tolerate full enteral feedings, yet they retain high nutritional needs for both growth and metabolic maintenance. Parenteral nutrition should therefore be initiated as quickly as possible after premature birth, thereby reducing the dependence on endogenous substrates. Intrauterine studies show very high amino acid uptake, clearly exceeding accretion rates. Studies covering the early neonatal period demonstrate that the initiation of high-dose amino acid administration directly after birth is safe and effective, even at low energy intakes. Future research should reveal whether usage could be improved through better amino acid solutions or by providing more energy via lipids from birth onwards as well.

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Seminars in Fetal & Neonatal Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

te Braake, F., van den Akker, C., Riedijk, M., & van Goudoever, H. (2007). Parenteral amino acid and energy administration to premature infants in early life. Seminars in Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, 12(1), 11–18. doi:10.1016/j.siny.2006.10.002