Research & Practice

Identifying Feeding Practices and Nutritional Requirements for Low Birth Weight Infants in Low-and Middle-Income Countries

Roughly 20 million babies are born each year with low birthweight (LBW), defined as a birthweight of less than 2500 grams. The vast majority of these births occur in low-resource settings. LBW infants experience higher rates of mortality, morbidity, and poor growth as compared to infants with birthweights above 2500 grams. Through direct and indirect causes, LBW contributes to 60-80% of neonatal deaths. Many of these deaths are preventable with improved feeding practices. However, there is limited data to inform guidance around optimal feeding practices for this vulnerable population.

This project explored current feeding practices and nutritional requirements of LBW infants. Through a formal desk review, the project reviewed the current literature and guidance available on optimizing nutritional outcomes in LBW infants, including evaluating feeding, and the use of supplementation, fortification, and alternative feeding methods, such as the use of donor human milk. The results of the search will provide a framework for identifying and filling the critical gap in guidance around feeding LBW infants.

Materials Available

Project Type(s): MPH Practicum, PH Concentration Poster

Author(s): Sam Vinci

Program(s): Master of Public Health, RDN Training

Year: 2019