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Request a Fetal Care Consultation for CDH


Congenital Diaphraghmatic Hernia diagram

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is when the diaphragm, a thin muscle between the chest and abdomen that aids breathing, does not form properly and a hole develops. This opening allows organs from the abdomen, such as intestines and liver, to move into the chest where they interfere with lung growth. It is a rare birth defect affecting approximately 1 out of every 2,500 newborns.

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A child smiles in an exam room

Babies born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) face continuing medical challenges after birth that require advanced care and monitoring. Immediately after birth, your baby will receive care in our level 4 newborn intensive care unit (NICU) at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and will be monitored by someone from our CDH Clinic. The clinic, which consists of several specialized medical professionals all in one place, can continue to provide care for your child through the age of 5.

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Barrett entered the world with the love and support newborns need to thrive and grow. But Barrett wasn’t like most newborns. Because he was born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, he also needed medical intervention to survive. From diagnosis to delivery to surgery after birth, the Fetal Care Center team was with Barrett and his family every step of the way.

Read Barrett's Story