Premature babies and babies who are sick at birth are at higher risk for ongoing medical problems and developmental delay. In some instances, infants need special attention and follow-up care after returning home from a newborn intensive care unit (NICU) or special care nursery.
The Newborn Medicine Clinic provides follow-up care for infants requiring greater specialized medical attention. Located at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, the Newborn Medicine Clinic is staffed by a team of highly-trained neonatologists, nurses, child psychologists, therapists and dietitians.
Your child’s first visit to the clinic will be scheduled by your pediatrician or neonatologist and typically occurs within six months of hospital discharge. Your child will then continue to visit the Newborn Medicine Clinic until age 2 or 3, depending upon your child’s specific needs.
The overall goal of the Newborn Medicine Clinic is to help high-risk infants maintain and improve their health at home. The team sees about 850 children a year.
What to Expect at Your Visit
Your child’s medical and developmental health will be checked at each visit. Appointments will last from 1 to 3 hours, depending upon the testing and therapies your child’s specific needs. How often you return to the clinic will be determined by your medical team and discussed with you.
At every visit, you can expect:
- height, weight and head circumference measurement
- blood pressure screening
- nutritional counseling
- medication review
- assessment for physical, occupational and speech therapy services
- developmental testing including eye and ear checks
At least one developmental test, which checks your child’s behaviors and progress toward reaching age-appropriate milestones, will be conducted at each visit. These may include:
- Denver II Screening
This test will be performed by a physician at each visit. This tests your child’s ability to meet specific developmental milestones based on their corrected age. Your child’s corrected age is the actual current age minus the number of months the infant was born premature. For example, if a baby is born at 28 weeks gestation (born 12 weeks or 3 months premature) and is now 6 months, the corrected age is 3 months (6 months – 3 months = 3 months). Even though the baby is 6 months old, he or she should be at or near the developmental level of a 3 month old, full-term baby.
- Bayley Scales of Infant Development III.
This test is administered by a child psychologist or certified occupational therapist at age 12 months and 24 months, corrected age. Testing will take approximately 2 hours to complete.
- Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI)
This test may be performed at age 3. It is performed by a child psychologist. Testing will take approximately 2 hours to complete.
Please bring a snack and drink for your child’s comfort during developmental testing.
The Newborn Medicine Clinic is located in Suite C on the second floor of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Free parking is available in the St. Louis Children’s Hospital parking garage. Bring your parking ticket to the Newborn Medicine Clinic for validation.