More than 380,000 babies are born prematurely each year in the U.S. according to 2016 data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). This correlates to just under 1 in every 10 babies born in the U.S. Factors contributing to the increased survival of premature infants include prenatal corticosteroid therapy and early surfactant therapy to reduce the incidence of respiratory distress syndrome. Nutrition therapy plays a vital role in minimizing morbidity and mortality and optimizing growth and development.
Julie Stefanski, MEd, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CDCES, FAND is a SME Writer focused on topics related to food, nutrition & dietetics for Relias. She is a registered dietitian nutritionist and has been a certified diabetes educator since 2003. Ms. Stefanski earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and a master's degree in Adult Education with a special focus on distance learning. She was an adjunct instructor in the Stabler Department of Nursing at York College of Pennsylvania for 13 years. Stefanski is the owner of Stefanski Nutrition Services where she specializes in pediatric nutrition, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues and sports nutrition. Stefanski serves as national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
Patti Perks, MS, RDN, CNSC has over 15 years experience in neonatal nutrition support in the NICU at the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital in Charlottesville, VA. She is involved in numerous quality improvement initiatives, and provides nutrition education to staff and students. She is a founding board member of the Virginia Neonatal Nutrition Association, a nonprofit that provides educational and networking opportunities for healthcare providers.
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