Past research

Vitamin D Status of Preterm Infants at 4 Months Post Hospital Discharge

The aim of this study was to investigate the vitamin D status of preterm infants at 4 months post hospital discharge, and describe the factors affecting these concentrations.

Preterm birth and survival rates are increasing in New Zealand and around the world. Vitamin D is one nutrient that accumulated in the final stages of gestation and so subject to shorter gestational lengths, pre term babies subsequently suffer from decreased nutrient quantity in utero.

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Iron Status of Preterm Infants after Hospital Discharge

The aim of this study was to investigate the iron status of preterm infants in Auckland, New Zealand at four months after discharge from hospital.

Preterm infants are at an increased risk of developing iron deficiency after discharge due to their shortened gestational length, increased requirements for rapid growth, and excessive blood losses through phlebotomy. Optimising preterm infant iron status after discharge is important as poor iron status has been associated with negative health and neurodevelopmental outcomes later in life. Only preterm infants born before 32 weeks gestation or with a birth weight less than 1800g currently receive routine iron supplementation after discharge from Auckland City Hospital; however there is a lack of evidence to determine whether this is best practice.

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Feeding Practices and Growth of Preterm Infants after Hospital Discharge

The aim of this study was to identify current breastfeeding, complementary feeding, feeding practices and growth of preterm infants after hospital discharge until twelve months corrected age.

Preterm infants (those born <37 weeks’ gestation) are an increasing group of infants unique in their physiological, developmental and nutritional needs. Majority of previous research in the preterm infant has focused on interventions within the hospital setting. Recently the lack of research in the post discharge period has been highlighted. The period after discharge poses a vulnerable period as previous intensive care, growth and nutritional monitoring of the infant are no longer readily available despite being a vulnerable group of infants.

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