Research Corner: Neonatal Microbiome and Feeding Readiness in NICU

Wanted to share this fascinating article just published about the neonatal microbiome. Abstract below. Article attached. Some take a ways: Important that we advocate for and facilitate KMC ( kangaroo mother care) and use of expressed breastmilk when possible. And advocate for our involvement early on for those fragile infants for whom weaning respiratory support will  be a prominent initiative, and safe and successful feeding remain the most complex task required for discharge to home.

Hope this informs your practice like it did mine.

Nursing care of the neonate in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is complex, due in large part to various physiological challenges. A newer and less well-known physiological consideration is the neonatal microbiome, the community of microorganisms, both helpful and harmful, that inhabit the human body. The neonatal microbiome is influenced by the maternal microbiome, mode of infant birth, and various aspects of NICU care such as feeding choice and use of antibiotics. The composition and diversity of the microbiome is thought to influence key health outcomes including development of necrotizing enterocolitis, late-onset sepsis, altered physical growth, and poor neurodevelopment. Nurses in the NICU play a key role in managing care that can positively influence the microbiome to promote more optimal health outcomes in this vulnerable population of newborns.

 

Rodriguez, J. et al  (2017). The Neonatal Microbiome: Implications for Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurses. MCN: The American Journal of Maternal/Child Nursing, 42(6), 332-337.

Catherine

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