Setting standards for pre-term infant nutrition: Nutrition in neonatal/paediatric care

Approaches to feeding pre-term babies vary; we are evaluating the health and growth effects of improved, standardised nutritional care in preterm infants and children with inflammatory bowel disease.

It is assessing the effect of a systematic approach to nutritional care of preterm infants in improving nutrition, growth, body composition and neurodevelopmental outcomes. 

Key investigator: Dr Alison Leaf

The SPIN 1 study provided detailed characterisation of nutritional intakes and growth in the neonatal period. The subsequent SPIN 2 study has followed a prospective cohort of very preterm low birthweight infants born in Southampton during 2012, who were involved in a complex intervention to improve nutrient intakes.

Two additional studies are in progress, assessing growth and nutrition in infants born with gastroschisis, and assessing the value of arm circumference as a marker of nutritional status in preterm neonates.