Korean J Community Nutr.  2022 Aug;27(4):273-285. 10.5720/kjcn.2022.27.4.273.

Dietary Status of Preterm Infants and the Need for Community Care

Affiliations
  • 1Student, Department of Food and Nutrition, Kookmin University, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Korea University College of Medicine, Ansan, Korea
  • 3Director, Nutrii Co., Ltd. Research Institute of Food&Life Cycle, Seoul, Korea
  • 4Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea
  • 5Professor, Department of Pediatrics, Korea University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 6CEO, Nutrii Co., Ltd. Research Institute of Food&Life Cycle, Seoul, Korea
  • 7Professor, Department of Foods and Nutrition, Kookmin University, Seoul, Korea

Abstract


Objectives
This study compared the nutritional intakes of early and late preterm infants in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and at home. The dietary problems and the need for community care services for premature infants were further investigated.
Methods
This is a cross-sectional and descriptive study on 125 preterm infants and their parents (Early preterm n = 70, Late preterm n = 55). The data were collected by surveying the parents of preterm infants and from hospital medical records.
Results
No significant differences were obtained between the early and late preterm infant groups when considering the proportion of feeding types in the NICU and at home. Early preterm infants were fed with a greater amount of additional calories at home and had more hours of tube feeding (P = 0.022). Most preterm infants had feeding problems. However, there was no significant difference between early and late preterm infants in the mental pain of parents, sleeping, feeding, and weaning problems at home. Many parents of preterm babies had no external support, and more than half the parents required community care to take care of their preterm babies.
Conclusions
Regardless of the gestational age, most preterm infants have several problems with dietary intake. Our study indicates the need to establish community care services for preterm infants.

Keyword

premature infant; infant nutrition disorders; infant health; community care service; community support
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