The Center for Child Development and Lactation at Brigham and Women's Hospital

At the Center for Child Development and Lactation at Brigham and Women's Hospital, our primary goal is to support high-risk infants and their families through a variety of essential services. We work alongside your child’s pediatrician to ensure appropriate services are being delivered for each individual family, such as early intervention, outpatient therapies, and feeding/swallow studies as needed.

Our offerings are designed to meet the diverse needs of families’ post-discharge. Each program at our center is integrated with the latest research initiatives in the Department of Pediatrics, ensuring cutting-edge care for our patients. We invite you to explore these programs to understand how they can support your family, what to expect during your visit, and how best to prepare. At the Center for Child Development and Lactation, we are committed to being a part of your child's journey every step of the way.

  • Transition to Home: This program provides specialized support for infants transitioning from hospital care to home, ensuring a smooth and safe adjustment for both the child and family.
  • Lactation Program: We offer comprehensive breast/chest feeding support tailored to both NICU and well-baby discharged infants. Our expert lactation consultants are dedicated to addressing any feeding challenges and ensuring successful lactation.
  • Feeding and Nutrition Program: Focused on infants with complex feeding and growth needs, this program provides targeted strategies for nutrition and feeding, facilitating healthy development.
  • NICU Follow-up Program: Our neurodevelopmental support in this program helps track and foster the progress of infants post-NICU discharge, addressing key developmental milestones
  • Preschool Program: This program is designed to assist children in their transition to school age, ensuring they are ready to thrive in a new learning environment.

NICU Follow-up Program Video

Jennifer Benjamin, MD, Former Director of the NICU Follow-up Program, describes The NICU Follow-up Program at Brigham and Women's Hospital. This is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary, outpatient clinic for infants and children who are at risk for ongoing medical or developmental complications following a stay in the NICU.

Our Team

The NICU Center for Child Development and Lactation is led by Melissa Woythaler, DO, MS, a neonatologist with additional training in the outpatient care of high-risk infants. She is joined by Carmina Erdei, MD, a neonatologist and developmental-behavioral pediatrician with expertise in developmental disorders affecting toddlers and older children, Megan Reyes-Wangh, Associate Medical Director of the NICU Follow-Up Program, and Mollie Warren, MD, Director of the Transition to Home Program.

Our clinical psychologists are Kenia Gomez, PhD and Susan Marakovitz, PhD.

Our multidisciplinary team also includes the following care providers:

  • Clinical Psychologist – performs standardized neurodevelopmental testing and provides feedback and recommendations based on results.
  • Dietitian (nutritionist) – assesses child’s growth parameters and feeding practices and provides feedback and recommendations.
  • Occupational Therapist – assesses child’s physical development and provides feedback and recommendations.
  • Speech and Language Pathologist (feeding therapist) – assesses child’s feeding skills and provides feedback and recommendations.
  • Practice Assistant – schedules appointments, coordinates referrals and prior authorizations, assists with care coordination across subspecialties.
  • Social Workers (available as needed) – assesses needs and provides support and/or recommendations.

Our Patients

We evaluate and treat infants and children with a range of medical and developmental conditions, including:

  • Prematurity
    • born at less than or equal to 32 weeks’ gestation or
    • birth weight less than 1500 grams or 3.3 pounds
  • Growth, feeding or swallowing difficulties
  • Cardiopulmonary conditions, including:
    • chronic lung disease/bronchopulmonary dysplasia
    • persistent pulmonary hypertension
    • home on oxygen
  • Neurologic conditions, including:
    • intraventricular hemorrhage
    • seizures
    • stroke
    • meningitis
    • hydrocephalus
    • infants or children who have received whole-body cooling
  • Congenital anomalies or congenital infections
  • Neonatal abstinence syndrome
  • Other complex medical, surgical, or developmental conditions

Our patients may have graduated from the NICU at Brigham and Women’s Hospital or may be referred from a different hospital or community care provider.

What to Expect During Your Child’s Visit

We typically see infants and children every four to six months throughout childhood, beginning two to four weeks following hospital discharge, until the transition to preschool (around age three).

  • The first visit is usually scheduled before your child leaves the hospital, but you or your child’s medical provider may call for an appointment.
  • The schedule of visits is tailored to your child’s needs and may change over time.
  • Every visit includes a medical and neurodevelopmental evaluation. Depending on your child’s age and specific needs, additional evaluations by other team members may occur.

The team members will review the results of your child’s evaluation and provide you with feedback and ways to best support and enhance your child’s development. A letter with results and recommendations will be sent to your child’s pediatrician and Early Intervention provider.

Because your child is seen by several providers in the same visit, you may expect the visit to last two to three hours in total.

Why Should My Child Attend the BWH NICU Follow-up Program?

  • Multidisciplinary, team-based approach allows areas of difficulty to be addressed by several providers in a single visit;
  • Regular monitoring allows opportunity for intervention at an early timepoint to achieve the best long-term outcome;
  • Identify need for additional subspecialist evaluation;
  • Assistance with referrals and care coordination among specialists;
  • When applicable, participation in clinical research studies allows improvements to medical care provided to future high-risk infants.

Program Location and Contact Information

Our team sees patients within the state-of-the-art Center for Child Development at 221 Longwood Avenue, in Boston, MA. Our newly renovated space is developmentally focused and offers numerous features beneficial to infants, children, and their families. Valet parking is available and wheelchair access is provided. We are located on the first floor.

Appointments and Information: (617) 525-4120 or

Kristen Sullivan, Practice Manager: (617) 525-4120

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