1. Victor, Lorraine MS, RN, CNP

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Edited by Elizabeth Jones and Caroline King. Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2005. $46.95. ISBN 0-443-07378-3. 213 pp.


Feeding and Nutrition in the Preterm Infant is a well-written and easy-to-read book that will be a welcome addition to the bookshelves of neonatal intensive care units. The book describes preterm nutrition practices in neonatal units in the United Kingdom, but the authors successfully identify practice differences and similarities to the United States. The evidence-based approach to each chapter, with voluminous references, allows adaptation of information to specific policies and protocols related to feeding fragile neonates.


The purpose of Feeding and Nutrition in the Preterm Infant is to educate health professionals regarding the nutritional requirements and unique feeding issues of preterm infants from birth to discharge from the hospital. The primary emphasis is on the benefit of breast milk and breast-feeding, such as describing methods of transition from tube feedings and preparation for exclusive breast feeding or combination of breast-feeding and bottle feeding after discharge from the hospital.


Each chapter begins with a summary of recommendations, making it easy to find specific information on the fly. The chapter summaries are succinct. The book starts with a review of the benefits of breast milk to preterm infants and some potential risks from maternal medications or contamination by bacteria. Subsequent chapters focus on topics such as recommendations for protein, carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins, and trace elements or describing the mammary anatomy and physiology that clearly provides a framework for assisting mothers to successfully produce and pump breast milk for their infants. Ensuring the nutritional adequacy of human milk fed to preterm babies is discussed, and it is especially helpful in describing the limitations of breast milk, the required nutritional supplements for breast milk, and the appropriate fortification of breast milk. The "Feeding Development" chapter completes the circle of information required to understand preterm infants' readiness for feeding from breast and bottle.


Preterm infants encounter many difficulties in feeding and nutrition, including uncomfortable experiences in and around the mouth, necrotizing enterocolitis, feeding intolerance, and gastroesophageal reflux. These topics are reviewed as potential barriers to feeding the preterm infant in the chapter "Feeding Problems."


Throughout the book, the authors analyze relevant research and frequently comment on the reliability of cited studies. They also honestly identify their own opinions. Charts, graphs, tables, and pictures showcase important information in each chapter. Unfortunately, the chapter on human milk donor banks contains a map of the United States with several states mislabeled. Also, for the sake of completeness, a chapter on parenteral nutrition would have been a beneficial addition to provide an overall picture of nutrition of preterm neonates.


This book will be of interest to neonatal intensive care unit nurses, pediatric clinical nurse specialists, neonatal nurse practitioners, pediatric nurse practitioners, and lactation consultants. Parents with a desire to supplement information that they receive from their healthcare professionals may also be interested in portions of this book.