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Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) is a health condition in which a baby is born with a hole in their diaphragm (the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen). Typically, the heart and lungs are positioned in the chest and the intestines and other organs are in the abdomen (belly). Due to the hole in the diaphragm, the abdominal organs can move into the chest and crowd the heart and lungs.
As the baby grows in the womb during pregnancy, their lungs are compressed (squeezed) by the abdominal organs in the chest. This makes it more difficult for the lungs to develop. As a result, your baby may have trouble breathing once they’re born. In addition, CDH causes the blood vessels of the lungs to be thicker, making it difficult for blood to pick up oxygen in the lungs.
CDH occurs more commonly on the left side of the body and the size of the hole in the diaphragm can vary. The cause of CDH is still unknown.
If your developing baby is diagnosed with CDH during your pregnancy, it is natural for you to have many questions and likely, some concerns. The experts at the Congenital Chest Disorders Clinic, part of the Fetal Care Center, at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies are here to provide compassionate, world-class care in a family-centered setting. Our team has years of experience in successfully treating CDH in babies and we are here to support you every step of the way.
The Congenital Chest Disorders Clinic at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer uses a multidisciplinary team approach to caring for pregnant mothers and developing babies with CDH. Maternal-fetal medicine specialists will coordinate care with neonatologists and pediatric specialists from Orlando Health Arnold Palmer. The team will provide you with options and work with you to develop a care plan personalized to your baby’s unique diagnosis.
Our team includes:
The Congenital Chest Disorders Clinic at Orlando Health is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of experts from Orlando Health Winnie Palmer in partnership with pediatric specialists from Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.
Orlando Health Winnie Palmer and Orlando Health Arnold Palmer are recognized for excellence in perinatal (before birth) and neonatal care:
When you choose the Congenital Chest Disorders Clinic, you can be confident our team will help you throughout your journey – from diagnosis to delivery – and provide specialized care for your newborn baby. We believe that you are a critical part of your baby’s care team, and we work to continually keep you involved and informed.