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How minimal is “minimal” enteral feeding?
  1. S M McHale1,
  2. R McCarthy1,
  3. C P F O'Donnell1,2
  1. 1Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, The National Maternity Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  2. 2University College Dublin, Dublin,Ireland
  1. Correspondence to: Colm O'Donnell, National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, Dublin 2, Ireland; codonnell{at}

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Use of breast milk, early initiation of trophic (or minimal enteral) feeds and judicious advancement of feeds are strategies currently used in an attempt to prevent necrotising enterocolitis in preterm infants.1 Trophic feeds – typically 0.5–1 ml or 0.5–1 ml/kg of milk given intermittently – are used in an attempt to prevent gut atrophy and inflammatory responses associated with prolonged bowel rest2 and have been demonstrated to enhance feed tolerance and decrease time to reach full feeds.3 We were concerned …

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.