Growth and feeding practices to newborn with very low weight along the first year of life – descriptive study



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Introduction: Very low birth weight (VLBW) premature infants, after hospital discharge, require careful evaluations of their health condition, once they are vulnerable to risks and damages due to their immaturity. Objective: To investigate the evolution of VLBW babies during their first year of life. Method:  A prospective descriptive-exploratory study, of the cohort type, accomplished with seven children evaluated through home visits: 15 days after the hospital discharge, and at 3, 6, and 12 months of life.  During visits the babies' anthropometry was carried out, and information about breastfeeding, feeding practices and health conditions was collected. Results: The average weight and gestational age at birth were 1295g and 30 weeks respectively, and they had 49 days average time of hospital admission. T Right after discharge, five babies receiver mother’s milk in association to infant formula, and at the second home visit, two of them were exclusively on mother’s milk.  All of the children, at some time, presented growth percentile below average, and two babies needed to return to hospital, twice. Implications for nursing: Follow-up of these babies after hospital discharge is essential for the early diagnosis of alterations in the growth and development process, besides favoring the support and attendance to the particularities of such clientele.