Doctors at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone understand the importance of good nutrition in improving lung development and function, especially in premature babies with a low birth weight. Our neonatal nutritionists ensure that newborns obtain the calories they need in the hospital and at home, helping them to recover from chronic lung disease with few developmental complications.
IV, or intravenous, nutrition allows a baby to receive fluids, protein, sugars, fats, and minerals through a catheter that is placed into a vein in the arm. This method of feeding is often used immediately after birth for very premature babies who are being treated in the neonatal intensive care unit and have an underdeveloped digestive system that cannot yet absorb nutrients.
For babies who have a functional digestive system but cannot eat normally because of oxygen therapy with a mechanical ventilator, nutrition may be delivered through a thin plastic tube inserted through the nose or mouth into the stomach. Insertion of a feeding tube is a nonsurgical procedure that can be done quickly and painlessly by a nurse.
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