Nutritional Support of Very Low Birth Weight Infants in a Tertiary Center in a Developing Country

Manar Al-lawama, Haneen Abu Alrous, Haitham Alkhatib, Abdelkareem Alrafaeh, Zaid Wakileh, Bushra Alawaisheh, Aseel Saadeh, Jumana Sharab, Eman Badran, Abla Albsoul-Younes


Background: Very low birth weight infants (VLBWIs) are at high risk for nutritional deficiency. Enteral feeding is usually challenged by increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The nutritional needs of VLBWIs are usually dependent on parenteral nutrition during early postnatal life. This study aimed to evaluate the nutritional service of VLBWIs at Jordan University Hospital.

Methods: This was a prospective follow-up study of VLBWIs with birth weight ≤ 1,500 g. Data were extracted from medical charts and laboratory database.

Results: In total, 43 VLBWIs met our inclusion criteria; of them, 21% were extremely low birth weight infants (ELBWIs). The mean gestational age was 29 weeks, and the mean birth weight was 1,218 g. The mean age of starting feeds was 3 days. Mean full feed age is 2 weeks. The most common side effect of total parenteral nutrition (TPN) was hypertriglyceridemia (35%).

Conclusions: Nutritional care of VLBWIs is well established in our center. Initiating fortification earlier and working to increase mother’s own breast milk supply is vital to improve growth in low resource setting.

J Clin Med Res. 2019;11(4):283-288


VLBWI; Enteral nutrition; TPN; Developing country

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