Background: Adequate foetal growth is primarily determined by nutrient availability, which is dependent on placental nutrient transport and foetal metabolism. We have used 1H nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to probe the metabolic adaptations associated with premature birth. Methodology: The metabolic profile in 1H NMR spectra of plasma taken immediately after birth from umbilical vein, umbilical artery and maternal blood were recorded for mothers delivering very-low-birth-weight (VLBW) or normo-ponderal full-term (FT) neonates. Principal Findings: Clear distinctions between maternal and cord plasma of all samples were observed by principal component analysis (PCA). Levels of amino acids, glucose, and albumin-lysyl in cord plasma exceeded those in maternal plasma, whereas lipoproteins (notably low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and lipid levels were lower in cord plasma from both VLBW and FT neonates. The metabolic signature of mothers delivering VLBW infants included decreased levels of acetate and increased levels of lipids, pyruvate, glutamine, valine and threonine. Decreased levels of lipoproteins glucose, pyruvate and albumin-lysyl and increased levels of glutamine were characteristic of cord blood (both arterial and venous) from VLBW infants, along with a decrease in levels of several amino acids in arterial cord blood. Conclusion: These results show that, because of its characteristics and simple non-invasive mode of collection, cord plasma is particularly suited for metabolomic analysis even in VLBW infants and provides new insights into the materno-foetal nutrient exchange in preterm infants.