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There are many ways you can help children and their families get the care they need.
The Infant Follow-Up Program (IFUP) is open to all infants who have been patients in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children's Hospital and referring community hospitals, whose gestational age at birth was less than 32 weeks.
Typically the first visit to the IFUP happens when your child is between 6 and 12 months old. Earlier visits may be requested for specific medical, developmental, or social concerns. In fact, we have recently begun to see patients around three months from NICU discharge. We continue to follow children until they transition to preschool (usually around three years of age).
Each visit includes a medical and developmental evaluation and may include a consultation with a pediatrician, neonatologist (doctor specializing in newborn medicine), physical therapist, psychologist, social worker or pediatric neurologist.
Based on the results of the comprehensive evaluation, the team will provide feedback on your child's developmental progress. This feedback with include areas of strength and weakness for your child, as well as recommendations to enhance his or her development. Referrals are frequently made to Early Intervention programs, medical specialty services and community resources.
No. The Infant Follow-Up Program does not replace regular visits to your pediatrician. The program has been designed to complement the care provided by your pediatrician or community health center.
We provide consultation to families regarding development and medical issues that are specific to premature infants and Early Intervention provides direct services in your home. The IFUP performs a comprehensive developmental evaluation and gives feedback to families on the child's progress and recommendations for services and activities that can enhance his or her development. Early Intervention providers are welcome to accompany you on your child's visit to our program.
We usually see children, for the first time, when they are around 3 to 6 months corrected age (from their due date). The frequency of the visits ranges from once every 3 to 12 months and is adjusted to your child's changing needs.
Our clinic meets once a week on Tuesday. Since your child will be evaluated by several specialists, you can expect the visit to last approximately three hours
Yes. After your child's exam, the physician will provide you with feedback from the team's evaluation and also answer questions you might have. In addition, a written report of the visit will be mailed to you and your pediatrician, as well as other providers that you identify. We provide support in coordinating visits with other specialists, as well as with other community services your child might need.
We recommend you call us as soon as you get settled in at home because we make appointments several months in advance.
Contact our program coordinator, Jackie Cassel, at 617-355-6622. You may also email us at InfantFollowUp@childrens.harvard.edu or simply click the "Request an Appointment" button on the right-hand side of the screen.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”