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Spina Bifida

Spina bifida (SPY-na BI-fi-da), a Latin term that means “split spine,” is a birth defect that occurs when a section of the baby’s spinal column does not form properly.

Twin-to-Twin Transfusion Syndrome

Twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a condition that occurs in about 10-15% of identical twins that share a placenta. When twins form from one egg and one sperm and divide at the appropriate time in gestation, they're in separate amniotic sacs, but have one placenta where they share a blood supply. Most of the time, this is a balanced communication between the twins. But in 10-15% of identical twin pregnancies, that communication becomes unbalanced, and one baby will actually donate blood to the other baby. When this happens, the baby that is donating the blood becomes dehydrated, stops making urine and we see a decrease in amniotic fluid volume. For the baby that's receiving the extra blood, we will see a volume-overload condition where the baby makes a lot of extra urine and has extra amniotic fluid. This condition can proceed to heart failure. TTTS can be fatal for both babies if it's not treated to stop the transfusion.

Congenital Lung Malformations

Congenital lung malformations (CLM) consist of a broad range of conditions that can affect a developing baby. These conditions can range from small asymptomatic cystic lung lesions to large lesions which may require treatment while your baby is still inside mom (in utero). The most common of these lesions are bronchopulmonary sequestration and congenital pulmonary airway malformation (which used to be called cystic adenomatoid malformation –CCAM). In normal development, babies will have three lobes of the lung of the right and 2 lobes on the left. Most CLM usually arise from a single lobe but, rarely, they can affect multiple lobes. If a single lobe is involved, the most common location is in the lower lobes.The diagnosis and management of these lesions can be challenging in the prenatal period. Some of these babies may require urgent fetal intervention, so a thorough understanding of the possible treatment strategies is crucial for successful management of these patients.


Omphalocele (uhm-fa-lo-seal) is a birth abnormality of the abdominal wall whereby the infant's intestines, liver, or other organs are contained within a sac that sticks outside the baby through the navel.


Gastroschisis (gas-tro-ski-sis) occurs when a baby is born with the bowel and sometimes other organs coming through an opening in the abdomen (belly).

Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

The diaphragm muscle divides your chest and abdomen and it helps with breathing.

For Health Professionals

At Midwest Fetal Care Center, a collaboration between Children's Minnesota and Allina Health, we understand care involves an entire team. If your patient’s ultrasound results are abnormal, we’re here to help. As the largest program of its kind in the Upper Midwest, our fetal care program provides evaluation, diagnosis and intervention for high-risk pregnancies.

Location and Contact Us

Our fetal care experts see patients for initial consultations and follow-up in our new clinic located in the first floor front entrance of The Mother Baby Center at Abbott Northwestern and Children's Minnesota in Minneapolis. Parking is available in the Blue/26th Street Visitor ramp, located to the east of The Mother Baby Center.


We realize that you may have a lot of questions related to you, your baby and your care, before and after your baby is born. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions by new or expectant moms and families. As always, because every case is different, please discuss your individual needs with your doctor.

Outcomes and Research

At Midwest Fetal Care Center, our team is committed to research as well as improving outcomes for moms and babies facing high-risk pregnancies.