Along with most aspects of neonatal care how, when and what is given as enteral feeds has evolved considerably over the last 2 decades. Feeds are started earlier and advanced more rapidly and they are much more likely to be human milk. Steriod administration pre delivery and surfactant post delivery resulting in preterm babies needing less intensive respiratory support has in part allowed this more liberal approach. However increasing evidence that using the gut carefully and wherever possible with breast milk will aid adaption to extra uterine life has also helped.
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