Optimizing nutrition in neonates with hypoplastic left heart syndrome is essential, given the high rate of growth failure in this population. Infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome are predisposed to nutritional deficiency as a result of their increased metabolic demand; however, early enteral feeding also increases the risk of serious gastrointestinal morbidity and mortality caused by poor intestinal perfusion. Consequently, providers have difficulty deciding when and how to safely feed these patients. A review of the literature found that implementation of a structured enteral feeding protocol may decrease the risk of gastrointestinal complications while also minimizing dependence on parenteral nutrition and decreasing length of hospital stay. As these studies were limited, further research is warranted to establish a best practice feeding protocol to decrease risk and optimize nutrition in this fragile population.

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