Kelsey Song holds her baby daughter, Flora, while she recovers in the NICU at Cincinnati Children’s. Kelsey was the 100th patient to undergo a prenatal surgical repair after her daughter was diagnosed with spina bifida at 20 weeks.

Hospital is a national leader in prenatal myelomeningocele surgery

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital recently completed 100 prenatal surgical repairs to help improve the outcomes for babies with spina bifida, a rare birth defect that occurs when bones in the spine do not fully form during early pregnancy. It occurs in approximately 1 of every 2,700 births in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In March of this year, Columbus, Ohio, mom Kelsey Song delivered a baby girl, Flora, at 33 weeks.

“We were devastated when we first learned that our daughter was not ‘perfect’ and diagnosed with spina bifida,” Song said. “But the specialists we consulted with at Cincinnati Children’s were so compassionate, supportive, and enthusiastic – and gave us so much hope.”

When Song was 20 weeks pregnant, doctors diagnosed her baby with myelomeningocele, the most serious form of spina bifida. In myelomeningocele, a portion of the baby’s spinal cord and surrounding nerves protrude through an opening in the spine into a flat disc or sac that is visible on the back. This exposes the baby’s spinal cord to amniotic fluid in the mother’s womb and can be harmful to fetal development.

Song was referred to Cincinnati Children’s Fetal Care Center, a collaboration with TriHealth and UC Health, which provides comprehensive care for healthy moms expecting a baby with known medical conditions. 

Read more of Kelsey and Flora’s story

About Cincinnati Children’s Fetal Care Center:
Cincinnati Children’s Fetal Care Center is one of few comprehensive fetal care centers in the world. Led by physicians from Cincinnati Children’sTriHealth and UC Health, our team specializes in treating complex and rare fetal conditions. We provide mothers and their babies with a continuum of care from prenatal diagnosis and fetal treatment to delivery, postnatal care, and long-term follow-up. Since 2004, our team has evaluated more than 6,800 high-risk pregnancies. This experience enables us to provide the most sophisticated, effective therapies available and strong outcomes for the most complex conditions.