Dilute versus full strength formula in exclusively formula‐fed preterm or low birth weight infants
There is evidence from three small, old trials at unclear risk of bias that use of dilute formula in preterm or low birth weight formula‐fed infants leads to an important reduction in the time taken for these infants to attain an adequate energy intake. There was no evidence of important differences in feeding intolerance. The impact on serious gastrointestinal problems, including necrotising enterocolitis, was not reported.
Preterm infants have fewer nutrient reserves at birth than full-term infants and often receive artificial formula feeds in the absence of expressed breast milk. The way in which feeds are introduced and advanced in preterm infants varies widely. This review assesses effects of dilute versus full-strength formula on the incidence of necrotising enterocolitis, feeding intolerance, weight gain, length of stay, and time to achieve full calorie intake in exclusively formula‐fed preterm or low birth weight infants.