BACKGROUND: In excess of 1% of all children born in Norway in the course of a year, have a birth weight below 1500g (VLBW). We wanted to get an overview of the literature that exists within the field of nutrition of VLBW infants. There is currently no national guidelines for the nutrition of VLBW infants.
METHODS: We searched for articles in PubMed and Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and chose articles written in Norwegian, English and French.
RESULTS: There is great variation in practice for the nutrition of premature infants with VLBW in the different Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) worldwide. The themes we have examined in more detail are human milk versus formula, different strategies in relation to early and aggressive nutrition, as well as the recommended amount of supplements of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, fluid, electrolytes, vitamins and minerals. When it comes to supplements, we have included both enteral and parenteral nutrition.There is a need for further research to establish national guidelines that are evidence-based.