A knowledge of gastrointestinal development is important when caring for premature infants. These infants have different digestive capability requiring different approaches to attain full enteral nutrition. In addition, during the development of the gastrointestinal tract, there is a risk of various types of anomalies that may impact the feeding method, even in term infants.
Future installments on this topic will address neonatal feeding protocols, gastric tube use and management and necrotizing enterocolitis and the enteral nutrition needs of the premature infant will be addressed in detail.
Gastrointestinal Development: Preparation for Enteral Feeds