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Neonatal Follow-up Service

The Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) provides follow-up care for babies born extremely preterm who may be vulnerable to developmental challenges as they progress through early childhood.

Who is eligible?

Babies from Westmead Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit who were born <29 weeks gestation or weighing <1000 grams are routinely seen by the Growth & Development Clinic.

Corrected age for preterm babies

When we look at development of your preterm baby, it is important to take into account their prematurity by working out their ‘corrected age’. This is their age if they had been born on their due date. We use your baby’s corrected age until they are around 2 -3 years of age.

Follow-up schedule

Your baby needs follow-up at regular intervals:
  • At 3 months corrected age
  • At 8 months corrected age (as needed)
  • At 12 months corrected age
  • At 2 years corrected age
  • At 5 years of age

Services

The Growth & Development Clinic offers a range of services:
  • Assessment focussing on your child’s developmental progress, growth and medical concerns relating to being born extremely early
  • Early referral to therapies and service providers who will help your child’s development
  • Ideas and suggestions to assist and encourage your child’s development and learning
  • An opportunity to ask questions about your child’s progress
  • To provide support and resources to your family

What does the assessment involve?

We aim to work closely with you as parents, to enable you to meet your child’s needs. This information will also help inform us to assist other families whose babies are born prematurely.

At each assessment, your child will be seen by a specialist multidisciplinary team who will provide expert advice. You will be with your child during each visit. Your child's progress will be discussed with you and a full report will be sent to you, your treating doctors and relevant professionals involved in your child's care.

Do you need to make an appointment?

No, your baby will be automatically enrolled in our clinic after discharge from the NICU. We will contact you when your baby is around 3 months corrected age for the first appointment. It is important that you notify us of any change in your contact details (phone or address).

"When we look at development of your preterm baby, it is important to take into account their prematurity by working out their corrected age, this is their age if they had been born on their due date"