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Nutrition\ during periods of critical development can influence long-term outcomes. UCLA Neonatologists are committed to providing an individualized approach to each infant's dietary requirements to ensure optimal growth and neurodevelopment. Our Neonatal Nutrition Team consists of neonatal dieticians, pharmacists, and lactation consultants who work closely with the NICU team, bedside nurses, and all sub-specialists.
Commitment to Human Milk
Our NICUs house a Milk Room where customized recipes are safely prepared for each infant in the NICU. When mother's milk is not available, our NICU provides donor milk to the most vulnerable infants. A human milk diet is associated with decreased infections and improved neurodevelopment in very preterm infants. In order to ensure that very preterm infants and infants with gastrointestinal disorders receive appropriate energy and protein, our NICU team has developed evidence-based nutritional protocols and a real-time system (embed in our electronic medical record) to track daily and weekly growth.
Treatment for Intestinal Failure and Prevention of Liver Injury
Preterm infants and infants with gastrointestinal disorders, such as gastroschisis, are at risk for intestinal injury requiring long-term intravenous nutrition (or parenteral nutrition). UCLA is well-known for its multi-disciplinary approach to intestinal failure and prevention of complications associated with intestinal failure such as infection and liver disease. This multi-disciplinary team consists of neonatologists, pediatric surgeons, pediatric gastroenterologists, dieticians, and social workers.
Neonatal Nutrition Research
UCLA neonatologists are vested in contributing to the field of neonatal nutrition. Areas of active research include: growth, body composition, a customized approach to breast milk diets, nutrition in the late preterm infant, gut microbiome, liver disease caused by prolonged parenteral nutrition and intravenous lipid emulsions.
Pediatric Intestinal Rehabilitation & Transplantation
UCLA researchers find new method for measuring treatment of rare liver disease in children - UCLA Health Newsroom
Six months of fish oil reverses liver disease in children with intestinal failure, study shows - UCLA Health Newsroom