Preterm Nutrition Through Discharge: A Case-Based Challenge

Tara Bastek, MD, MPH, and pediatric nutrition specialist, Karen Varga, RD, LDN, CNSC, provide detailed information to underscore the significance of proper nutritional intake in the NICU. During this review, interactive cases track preterm infants through the NICU to discharge, presenting challenges and solutions that focus on the latest nutrient intake recommendations, and overcoming the potential for midgrowth failure while transitioning from parenteral to enteral nutrition during acute, convalescent, and discharge feeding phases. The cases address how to assess growth during significant transition phases or backfill growth with micronutrients. Individualized formula fortification strategies are also discussed to help parents and providers follow prescribed feeding plans to optimize long-term outcomes.

We recommend completing, Redesigning Postdischarge Nutrition in the NICU, prior to this course.

Target Audience:

This activity was developed for pediatric physicians, nurses, advanced practice clinicians, dietitians, and other healthcare providers who have an interest in newborns, infants, and toddlers.

Course Credit:

1.25 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM
1.25 ANCC Contact hour(s)
1.25 CA-BRN Contact hour(s)
1.25 CDR Contact hour(s)


Opens: 2023-07-18
Closes: 2025-07-18

This video material was originally presented to a live internet audience on June 23, 2021. It was reviewed for rerelease on July 18, 2023.

This activity is supported by an educational grant from Mead Johnson Nutrition.
  • Tara K. Bastek, MD, MPH

    Chair, Ethics Committee
    WakeMed Health and Hospitals
    Raleigh, North Carolina

  • Karen M. Varga, RD, LDN, CNSC

    Pediatric Nutrition Specialist
    WakeMed Health and Hospitals
    Raleigh, North Carolina

Learning Objectives

  • Link nutrient intake recommendations to the expected growth for preterm infants
  • Apply the latest evidence supporting preterm infant convalescent and discharge nutrition
  • Recommend novel approaches to convalescent and discharge feeds when a preterm infant is designated as at risk for growth failure or micronutrient deficiencies
  • Customize nutritional interventions to help close the growth failure gap in the NICU and at discharge
  • test