The UC San Diego Health NICU developed individualized enteral advancement tables (iEAT) based on work done at Utah Intermountain Healthcare. Our tables are based on the principle that smaller, more fragile infants will take longer to feed fully, to avoid most of the intestinal complications we fear. These tables can be used to generate feeding progression plans for babies according to their birth weight category. The infant birth weight is entered, which generates an individualized daily feeding plan from minimal enteric feeds through to "full feeds.” The addition of vitamins and fortifiers is also incorporated into the advancement tables. Recently we have extended our iEATs all the way to term age to provide the same simplicity in nurse-driven feeding.
Please note that these tables are guidelines; individual infants may need to move slower or faster, depending on their health and feeding tolerance. If an infant is growing more rapidly than expected, consider generating a new table. If the feeding progression is too slow, consider advancing every 12 hours instead of every 24 hours (e.g., for a full-term IUGR infant). At UC San Diego Health, iEAT has been working extremely well, but other institutions may need to adapt it to their own nutritional program.
To use the tables:
- Select a table based on the birth weight of the infant
- Enter the infant's birth weight in the highlighted (yellow) field to populate the feeding advancement (blue column).
- Print and close window. Do not save the document. Repeat steps and edit the weight as needed for the next infant.
Tables by birth weight: