A birth defect is a health problem or a physical abnormality that a baby has at birth. It can be very mild or severe. Some birth defects are life-threatening, in which case a baby may only live for a few months. Birth defects are also referred to as "congenital anomalies" or "congenital abnormalities."
"Fetal cells are less immunogenic than adult cells, and amniotic-fluid cells are even less immunogenic than fetal cells. This is just the beginning; the dawn of a new avenue of treating birth defects. We're excited to be pioneering it."
--Dario Fauza, MD
Birth defects at Boston Children's Hospital
The Advanced Fetal Care Center is one of a handful of comprehensive fetal care centers in the United States, and the only one in New England. The AFCC treats, support s and manages complicated fetal anomalies. It's doctors were the world's first to perform life-saving cardiac interventions, such as treating heart problems in utero. The center is also advancing treatments for congenital diaphragmatic hernia, a condition in which a baby is born with a hole in the diaphragm or no diaphragm at all.