This 1.5 hour online course developed by Paula Sisk, PhD, RD, IBCLC discusses how human milk feeding in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants is associated with lower risk of the serious and life threatening complications of prematurity. Multiple biological mechanisms function to protect infants against bacterial and viral infections and subsequent inflammation. However, VLBW infants have high nutrient requirements which human milk alone cannot meet. Calcium, phosphorus, and protein requirements are especially high and are challenging to meet with human milk. The dietitian’s role in promoting human milk feeding as well as possible approaches to meeting nutrient needs and achieving optimal growth in VLBW infants are discussed.
- Identify benefits of human milk feeding
- Discuss the possible biologic mechanisms
- Describe benefits and interventions to meet nutrient needs