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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Dietary Protein Intake, Breast Feeding and Growth in Human Milk Fed Preterm Infants

1
Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
2
Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
3
Adelaide Medical School, Discipline of Paediatrics, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5001, Australia
4
Neonatal Medicine, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Adelaide, SA 5006, Australia
5
Centre for Perinatal Medicine Flinders Medical Centre and School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA 5042, Australia
6
School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5064, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(6), 1196; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15061196
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 1 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in the First 1000 Days)
Protein intakes of preterm infants are frequently below recommendations, but few studies report accurate intakes due to the difficulty of analysing human milk clinically. This observational analysis from a randomised trial of infants born <31 weeks’ gestation, investigating two levels of protein fortification, reports protein intakes compared with requirements and determines the association of direct breastfeeding on growth. Ninety-two infants (median gestational age 28 weeks, Interquartile range (IQR) 26–29; mean birth weight 1040 g, SD 300 g) were studied. Infants born weighing <1000 g were underfed protein compared with recommendations (median (IQR) intake of 3.0 (2.0–3.7) g/kg/day in week 2 versus recommendation of 4–4.5 g/kg/day), while those born weighing ≥1000 g met recommended protein intakes after the first week of life (median (IQR) intake of 3.7 (3.0–4.0) g/kg/day in week 2 versus recommendation of 3.5–4.5 g/kg/day). A moderate, negative correlation between the mean number of breast feeds and change in rate of weight gain (r = −0.37, p = 0.001) was found. Protein intakes of infants <1000 g did not meet recommendations and all infants were underfed protein and energy in the first week of life. Current protein fortification is inadequate for infants born <1000 g. Exploratory analysis showed faltering rate weight gain associated with increasing number of breast feeds and these results warrant confirmation. View Full-Text
Keywords: breast feeding; dietary proteins; enteral nutrition; infant–premature; milk–human; weight gain breast feeding; dietary proteins; enteral nutrition; infant–premature; milk–human; weight gain
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Tonkin, E.; Miller, J.; Makrides, M.; McPhee, A.J.; Morris, S.A.; Gibson, R.A.; Collins, C.T. Dietary Protein Intake, Breast Feeding and Growth in Human Milk Fed Preterm Infants. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 1196.

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