Your baby will first receive Parenteral Nutrition (PN) which is intravenous (IV) administration of nutrition. As soon as possible, your baby will begin to receive Enteral Nutrition (EN) which may be breastmilk or formula delivered to the gut via a tube. A trophic feed is small of amounts of EN given to prime your baby’s gut. This is done to stimulate your baby’s immature gut and get it working. NG tube and OG tube are some terms you might hear to describe the route in which your baby is being fed. Your baby may be fed small amounts of nutrition on a very frequent basis using a bolus feed which is when a syringe is used to send breastmilk or formula through the feeding tube, or on a continuous feed which is a constant rate of volume delivery.
You may be wondering how they determine how much they feed your baby at each feeding. The volume of nutrition delivered at each feeding is based on your baby’s weight. The more your baby grows, the more the volume increases for each feeding. As the amount of EN increases, the PN will be decreased until your baby achieves full enteral feeds which means your baby is getting all her nutrition from EN and no PN nutrition. Around 34 weeks postmenstrual age , your baby will be ready to transition to oral feeding – either by breast or bottle. This is a huge milestone and one that should be celebrated!