NICU Follow-Up Programs
Your Baby’s Development Matters To You: And It Matters To Us.
The Power of Music Therapy
NICU Follow-up Care
NICU Follow-up Programs
We know that you are the most important person in your NICU graduate’s life, and that you will have the greatest impact on your baby’s development. The NICU Follow-up Program cares about how you and your baby grow together.
After going home from the NICU, your baby is at high risk for medical and developmental problems and we believe that he/she deserves the best possible follow-up program. When we identify medical and developmental needs as early as possible, we can provide the services and family support needed to make a lasting difference. We also support the medical needs of babies who have conditions such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) or neonatal abstinence syndrome (NAS).
Our team includes medical and developmental specialists who work with your pediatrician and other community providers. We carefully evaluate your baby and family’s needs at regular intervals in the first three years using the newest and best tools available.
Together, we can make the journey toward your child’s best outcome.
Your NICU Follow-Up Programs Team
We are an interdisciplinary team that addresses the medical, nutritional, neurological, developmental and social needs of patients in a single location.
Our staff has extensive experience in caring for high-risk and premature infants.
Our neonatal team includes:
- Pediatric Neurologist
- Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
- Physical Therapists (PT)
- Occupational Therapists (OT)
- Speech Language Pathologist
- Nurse Clinician
- Social Worker
- Registered Dietitian
- Lactation Consultant
Nathalie Maitre, MD, PhD, is a neonatologist and physician-scientist with a long-standing commitment to neurodevelopmental follow-up with passion for research impacting the long-term outcomes of NICU graduates.
Early Developmental Clinic
Our clinic cares for babies born early or with challenges at birth at risk for delays in growth and development. We offer the best and newest tests to identify and diagnose problems in the early years of development. We support babies and families with specialized services, immediate referrals, and continuing education, and provide care to toddlers with complex problems such as cerebral palsy and behavioral disorders until age 3. We also follow babies who began care in one of the other specialized clinic programs.
We specialize in babies diagnosed with moderate to severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) who need oxygen when going home. We partner with your pediatrician to help coordinate care and provide specialized services. We offer comprehensive care by a team of medical provider, dietician, nurse, and social worker, with all care and medication management tailored to help you support healthy grown and development of your child. All babies seen in BPD clinic are followed in the Early Developmental Clinic until age 3.
Neonatal Complex Care
In partnership with the Division of Complex Care, we see babies born early or with challenges at birth who require complex coordination of their medical care. We focus on growth, nutrition and coordination of care with all of your specialists and provide immediate referrals to physical, occupational, speech or feeding therapy or other clinics. We provide continuing education and care to toddlers with complicated problems and transition to the Nationwide Children’s Complex Care Program. All babies seen in the NNC program are followed in the Early Developmental Clinic until age 3.
We see babies who had certain exposures during pregnancy or after birth because they are at risk of developing medical symptoms when they go home or developmental delays. If necessary, we help wean your baby off medications and make sure your baby is doing well off of these. Your pediatrician can refer your baby to our clinic any time before age 3, if needed. All babies seen in the NAS program are followed in the Early Developmental Clinic until age 3.
Sounds of Love
Parents, you are your baby’s favorite singer in the world. Even if you don’t think you can sing, your babies do, and they want to hear you.
Singing, talking, and reading to your baby in the right way can:
- Help your baby grow
- Soothe your baby during stressful times
- Increase opportunities for hearing and language development
Our Sounds of Love program is when our NICU music therapists record your voice for your baby in case you can’t be at the bedside. The recordings are played for your baby at the right volume and for the right amount of time at each stage of their growth and will stay with them throughout their entire NICU journey.
Contact our NICU team by emailing NICUMusicTherapy@NationwideChildrens.org for more information.
Sounds of Love in Early Childhood Music Therapy Classes - Now Offered Virtually!
We offer research-based music therapy classes in the community to aid your baby’s growth and development through music and play activities.
Hearing, Speech and Sound
Our team is composed of a large group of physicians and therapists focused on Hearing, Speech and Sound Environment. We use brain-based measures to investigate mechanisms of cortical and subcortical hearing development. We study both typical children and those at high risk of delays and hearing impairment. We characterize their response to various environmental conditions and sound-based interventions. Ultimately, we are most interested in the effect of hearing development on language and communication. We also study the relationship between early neurophysiology and later development of communication skills. Many of our publications and studies investigate assessment tools and interventions in this field.
Sensory and Motor
The sensory environment in the NICU may have dramatic and lasting effects on perceptual, cognitive, and emotional development of preterm infants. In babies, supportive experiences (skin-to-skin care, breast feeding) are associated with stronger brain responses than painful experiences. Babies born premature also have reduced response to touch. We recognize the importance of parent involvement in outcomes of their child. We are conducting a randomized trial to determine whether a multisensory intervention combining gentle touch with mother’s voice (see MIND study) improves the neurodevelopmental outcomes in preterm infants. We are also conducting a randomized trial using a parent-administered intervention to improve sensorimotor outcomes for children with neurodevelopmental disorders (see APPLES study).
Parenting & Emotional Connection
Engagement between mothers and infants activates specific responses in their brains. We are comparing the neural responses of infants who have suffered a brain insult or injury compared to responses in typical mother infant dyads. Both mother and infant wear special EEG caps to non-invasively measure brain responses to interactions between mother and infant (e.g., looking, smiling, speaking). This approach reveals how infants’ brains process the mother’s infant-directed sensory input, which is necessary in these pre-verbal subjects. Knowledge gained may help to design new parent-based developmental interventions for use in the NICU and in the early developmental period.
We are also examining the role that parenting style plays in neural development of infants. In combination with techniques to measure how infant brains respond to infant-directed speech, we are examining the role of parenting style affects the emotional connection within the mother infant dyad. The goal is to develop high quality interventions to modify parenting approaches to improve infant outcomes.
The BBOP Team has many national and international collaborations. For example, we are involved in the REACH (Rehabilitation very EArly in Congenital Hemiplegia) multisite randomized trial coordinated by researchers in Australia that is comparing parent-led modified constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) to bimanual therapy (BIM) in infants (3-9 months) with upper extremity asymmetries. Team members also conduct workshops to train therapists on administration of the Hammersmith Infant Neurological Exam, one of the recommended tools to screen infants at high-risk for cerebral palsy and other neurodevelopmental disorders.
Optimal Use of an FDA-Approved Device for PDA Closure in Infants
Our team is providing the neurodevelopmental follow-up for infants participating in this large study. Click hear to read the article in Pediatrics Nationwide.
Under the direction of Nathalie Maitre, MD, PhD, the Maitre Lab team focuses on the neurodevelopment of high-risk infants and rehabilitation of their long-term disabilities.
Learn more about clinical research relating to neonatology.
Our engagement with our patients and families extends beyond the hospital walls as we are building partnerships with local and online communities. We are developing new approaches and exciting inclusive activities geared toward improving outcomes of children with developmental challenges.
UNICEF and Cerebral Palsy Foundation Partnership
In collaboration with UNICEF and the CPF, we are currently developing community-based tools for screening and intervening for children with motor delays and cerebral palsy. We will test these tools through online community-based platforms before adapting to provide toolkits for implementation in countries such as Uganda, Peru and Bulgaria. Many of our wonderful undergraduate and undergraduate students are working with our new investigators on this global project.
C.A.M.P. (Climbing Activity Music and Parents)
In partnership with Vertical Adventures through their Adaptive Ascents Climbing Program, we provide a community-based experience for young children with cerebral palsy. Special gravity reducing climbing harnesses help each child to more fully participate in the physical activities and exercises. Our music therapists provide create a fun environment that encourages activity. This partnership provides local participants a fun, engaging experience that promotes inclusion, encourages body movement, and increases a child’s motor skills. Our goals are to grow this program to other communities, ultimately applying methods based on neuroscience and infant learning to provide the most benefit to children with brain insults.
Scheduling an Appointment
- We will help you set up your baby’s appointment before you go home from the hospital. Your baby’s NICU case manager will schedule a convenient appointment for you.
- If you and your baby received NICU care at a different hospital, we can also help. Please call us to set up your appointment at (614) 722-4530.
- If you have concerns about transportation to the clinic, let the case manager and the clinic staff know. We want to help you and your baby make it to this very important visit.
- You will receive a confirmation call and confirmation letter for your appointment. You also have the option to choose a text reminder.
Please review our care management guidelines for referrals.