Preterm infants are at risk for poor growth while in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and after discharge from the NICU. The main objective is to reach the body composition and rate of growth of a normal fetus/infant of the same post-menstrual age during the first entire year of life. In case of human milk, the limited data do not provide convincing evidence that feeding preterm infants after discharge with multi-nutrient fortified human milk, compared with unfortified, affects important outcomes including growth rates during infancy. Conversely, if formula-fed, post discharge formulas produce short term advantages in growth rate but no long term advantages are demonstrated. It is very important to establish a feeding plan and a follow up for all preterm babies who are discharged from NICU in order to recognize as soon as possible any growth deficit.
Preterm; Growth; Human milk; Post-discharge formula.