Cochrane Summaries

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No evidence that delayed introduction of progressive enteral feeds prevents necrotising enterocolitis in very low birth weight infants

Morgan J, Young L, McGuire W
Published Online: 
31 May 2013

Very preterm (< 32 weeks) or very low birth weight infants (< 1500 g) are at risk of developing a severe bowel disorder called necrotising enterocolitis. It is thought that one possible way to prevent this condition is to delay the introduction of milk feeds until several days (or longer) after birth. We found seven trials involving 964 infants that assessed the effect of delayed rather than early introduction of milk feeds for very preterm or very low birth weight infants. Data from these trials did not provide any evidence that delaying enteral feeding reduces the risk of necrotising enterocolitis.