Korean J Perinatol.  2016 Mar;27(1):1-7. 10.14734/kjp.2016.27.1.1.

Nutritional Strategies for Optimal Growth of Small for Gestational Age Infants: Updates

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. hyrang@snubh.org


Babies born small for gestational age (SGA) are at risks of developing growth failure and impaired neurodevelopment as long-term outcomes when nutritional supply is inadequate during postnatal period. However, metabolic outcomes and cardiovascular risks later in life also do matter when excessive nutritional intake induces rapid catch-up growth after birth. Preterm infants born SGA and still small at hospital discharge need more nutrients than term infants to catch up within the first 2 years, whereas term infants born SGA should be cautious in gaining weight anytime. Therefore, nutritional strategies for optimal growth of SGA infants should be planned individually based on evidences.


Small for gestational age; Preterm infant; Term infant; Growth; Nutrition

MeSH Terms

Gestational Age*
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature


1). Barone G., Maggio L., Saracino A., Perri A., Romagnoli C., Zecca E. How to feed small for gestational age newborns. Ital J Pediatr. 2013. 39:28.
2). Tudehope D., Vento M., Bhutta Z., Pachi P. Nutritional requirements and feeding recommendations for small for gestational age infants. J Pediatr. 2013. 162:S81–9.
3). Thureen PJ. The neonatologist's dilemma: Catch-up growth or beneficial undernutrition in very low birth weight in-fants—What are optimal growth rates? J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007. 45:S152–4.
4). Hales CN., Ozanne SE. The dangerous road of catch-up growth. J Physiol. 2003. 547:5–10.
5). Anderson MS., Hay WW. Intrauterine growth restriction and the small for-gestational-age infant. Avery GB, Mac-Donald MG, Seshia MMK, Mullett MD, editors. Avery's neonatology: pathophysiology and management of the newborn. 6th ed.Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005. p. 490–522.
6). Su BH. Optimizing nutrition in preterm infants. Pediatr Neonatol. 2014. 55:5–13.
7). ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition: Aggett PJ., Agostoni C., Axelsson I, et al. Feeding preterm infants after hospital discharge. A commentary by the ESPGHAN committee on nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2006. 42:596–603.
8). Ehrenkranz RA., Dusick AM., Vohr BR., Wright LL., Wrage LA., Poole WK. Growth in the neonatal intensive care unit influences neurodevelopmental and growth outcomes of extremely low birth weight infants. Pediatrics. 2006. 117:1253–61.
9). Carver JD. Nutrition for preterm infants after hospital discharge. Adv Pediatr. 2005. 52:23–47.
10). Corpeleijn WE1. Kouwenhoven SM., van Goudoever JB. Optimal growth of preterm infants. World Rev Nutr Diet. 2013. 106:149–55.
11). Hack M., Schluchter M., Cartar L., Rahman M., Cuttler L., Borawski E. Growth of very low birth weight infants to age 20 years. Pediatrics. 2003. 112:e30–8.
12). Lapillonne A., O'Connor DL., Wang D., Rigo J. Nutritional recommendations for the late-preterm infant and the preterm infant after hospital discharge. J Pediatr. 2013. 162(3 Suppl):S90–100.
13). Ziegler EE. Meeting the nutritional needs of the low-birth-weight infant. Ann Nutr Metab. 2011. 58(Suppl 1):8–18.
14). Yang HR., Choi CW., Kim BI., Seo JK., Choi SA., Kim SY. Clinical significance of the nutritional support team for preterm infants in a neonatal intensive care unit. Korean J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2009. 12:39–45.
15). Lemons JA., Bauer CR., Oh W., Korones SB., Papile LA., Stoll BJ, et al. Very low birth weight outcomes of the National Institute of Child health and human development neonatal research network, January 1995 through December 1996. NICHD Neonatal Research Network. Pediatrics. 2001. 107:E1.
16). Griffin IJ., Cooke RJ. Nutritionofpreterminfantsafterhospital discharge. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2007. 45(Suppl 3):S195–203.
17). McCormick FM., Henderson G., Fahey T., McGuire W. Multinutrientfortificationofhumanbreastmilkforpreterm infants following hospital discharge. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010. 7:CD004866.
18). Young L., Morgan J., McCormick FM., McGuire W. Nutrient-enriched formula versus standard term formula for preterm infants following hospital discharge. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012. 3:CD004696.
19). Queensland Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Guidelines Program. Queensland Maternity and Neonatal Clinical Guideline: Term small for gestational age baby. 2010.
20). Fewtrell MS., Morley R., Abbott RA., Singhal A., Stephenson T., MacFadyen UM, et al. Catch-up growth in small-for-gestational-age term infants: a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2001. 74:516–23.
21). Morley R., Fewtrell MS., Abbott RA., Stephenson T., Mac-Fadyen U., Lucas A. Neurodevelopment in children born small for gestational age: a randomized trial of nutrient-enriched versus standard formula and comparison with a reference breastfed group. Pediatrics. 2004. 113:515–21.
22). Ounsted M., Moar VA., Scott A. Neurological development of small-for-gestational age babies during the first year of life. Early Hum Dev. 1988. 16:163–72.
23). Rao MR., Hediger ML., Levine RJ., Naficy AB., Vik T. Effect of breastfeeding on cognitive development of infants born small for gestational age. Acta Paediatr. 2002. 91:267–74.
24). Lee PA., Chernausek SD., Hokken-Koelega AC., Czernichow P. International Small for Gestational Age Advisory Board. International Small for Gestational Age Advisory Board consensus development conference statement: management of short children born small for gestational age, April 24-October 1, 2001. Pediatrics. 2003. 111:1253–61.
25). Ong KK. Catch-up growth in small for gestational age babies: good or bad? Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes. 2007. 14:30–4.
26). Clayton PE., Cianfarani S., Czernichow P., Johannsson G., Rapaport R., Rogol A. Management of the child born small for gestational age through to adulthood: a consensus statement of the International Societies of Pediatric Endocrinology and the Growth Hormone Research Society. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2007. 92:804–10.
Full Text Links
  • KJP
export Copy
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
Similar articles
Copyright © 2023 by Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors. All rights reserved.     E-mail: koreamed@kamje.or.kr