The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health

The regional leader in fetal care. With more than 40 years’ experience, The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health is a regional leader in the research and care of pregnant patients with fetal complications. As one of only a few comprehensive fetal centers in the country, the institute is able to offer pre-birth counseling and care, as well as corrective fetal intervention if needed, including both twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) laser treatments and spina bifida (myelomeningocele – MMC) repair in utero, among others. In fact, we are the only fetal center in Illinois that performs MMC repair in utero.

Led by Dr. Aimen Shaaban, our multidisciplinary team is here to empower you and your family to understand your baby’s diagnosis and to provide corrective intervention, if needed. In addition, we will discuss what to expect after birth and provide the specialized follow-up care for all babies, regardless of their condition or where they are born.

Nationally Recognized Expertise & Experience

The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health is a multi-disciplinary team made up of specialists from several of our U.S. News & World Report-ranked divisions and members of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty.

Drawing upon the extensive expertise of faculty from fetal and neonatal cardiology, fetal surgery, maternal-fetal medicine, and more than 20 other adult and pediatric medical and surgical subspecialties, the most appropriate group of specialty clinicians will be assembled to provide your individualized care. In most cases, this will include the same clinicians who will be available to assist with your care and the care of your baby after birth. 

Your baby will benefit from the variety of experts and the complicated procedures they perform daily. For example, newborns with major heart and/or lung problems can receive lifesaving treatment in our ECMO program, which is the first and largest in the city. Lurie Children’s is also a leader in minimally invasive surgery for congenital anomalies of the abdomen and the chest. Each year our Heart Center performs more than 900 fetal echocardiograms and 450 open and closed heart surgeries, with outcomes among the best in the nation.

In addition, Lurie Children’s has one of the largest Spina Bifida Multi-Disciplinary Clinics in the world. The team is comprised of experts from a variety of fields including pediatric neurosurgery, orthopaedic surgery, urology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, social work, and physical/occupational therapy.

Our physicians are passionate about pioneering advancements and improvements in the diagnosis, treatment and care of complex fetal conditions and anomalies, and we do more research and receive more funding for pediatric research than any other center in the Midwest.

Comprehensive Approach 

We have a long history of working closely with regional obstetricians and MFM specialists to assure the best care for newborns. We believe in family-centered care, so we encourage the baby’s family to take an active part in doctor visits and decision-making.

The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health experts develop personalized treatment plans with pregnant patients and families based on each individual prenatal diagnosis. Our specialists perform more than 1800 consultations each year for all types of fetal disorders, rare and common, with expectant parents from around the country.

Families may meet with multiple pediatric specialists who will be part of their baby’s medical team for a fetal consultation. Our neonatologists, pediatric surgeons and pediatric subspecialists care for sick babies with complex medical needs by working together to create comprehensive plans.

Meet the Team

Contact Us

Our fetal health services are available by caregiver referral or self-referral by calling 1.866.338.2524 (1.866.FETAL24) or by e-mailing

We are happy to assist, whether you plan to transfer your newborn to Lurie Children’s for care, or you simply want information or a second opinion. 

Traveling from out-of-state? Our Destination Services team is available to help make your experience at Lurie Children's go as smoothly as possible. Learn more


The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health
225 E. Chicago Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60611
Get directions > 
View parking information > 

Fetal Family Stories

After Fetal Surgery to Remove a Lung Mass, Baby Ben Now Thrives

Jackie was in her 26th week of pregnancy when she and husband Dan received the news. In a prenatal scan at her obstetrician’s office, doctors noticed a mass in her unborn son’s chest. It was growing so large that it pushed his heart to wrong side of his body and compressed his airway.

Read more

From Her Baby’s Spina Bifida Diagnosis to Toddler Stage, One Mother’s Story in Her Own Words

Kylie shares her family’s journey from her baby’s spina bifida diagnosis, through fetal surgery and after. 

Watch the Video

After Treatment for BPS, Leonie and Her Family are Breathing Easier

At just 28 weeks, Libby had an uneasy feeling about her pregnancy with her daughter, Leonie. To ensure everything was okay with Leonie’s health as well as Libby’s, she went for an emergency ultrasound. Libby was right. There was an alarming rate of fluid building up in Leonie’s chest and abdomen, as well as Libby’s uterus. 

Read More

Baby Girl Joins Twin Sister at Home After Fetal Surgeon Removes Her Life-Threatening Tumor

Twin sisters Jenessa and Genesis were delivered December 19, but couldn’t go home till June. Just months earlier, the girls’ chances for survival were uncertain when one of the twins was diagnosed with a large teratoma tumor on her neck, also potentially affecting the other twin’s health since they shared a placenta.

Read More

Carson is Writing His Own Story after Being Diagnosed with a Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

At Katrina’s 20 week ultrasound, doctors noticed something alarming: it appeared as if there was a mass on the baby’s lungs. Since they could not explain this finding further, her doctors told her to consider transferring to Lurie Children’s because of their expertise and access to The Chicago Institute for Fetal Health.

Read More

Prenatal Repair for Myelomeningocele Helps Baby Caleb Beat the Odds

As every mother wishes, Erika was hoping her baby was healthy and without complications during her routine ultrasound at 21 weeks. However, after her ultrasound, thoughts of a smooth pregnancy and healthy baby were put on hold momentarily. Doctors found her baby showed signs related to Myelomeningocele (MMC), a severe form of spina bifida.

Read More

Taking One Step at a Time: Charlotte’s Journey with Spina Bifida

“Learning we were having a girl was the best news we could receive. I wanted my little princess so badly,” Lindsay, Charlotte's mom, said. “However, our emotions took a quick turn once our baby was diagnosed with a myelomeningocele, the most severe type of spina bifida.” 

Read More

Fetal Surgery Repairs Baby’s Spina Bifida, Providing New Hope for an Active Future

Determined to have a healthy pregnancy, Kylie Mattioda did everything in her power to prioritize her baby’s well-being. She was alarmed, to say the least, when a 22-week ultrasound scan came back with unexpected results.

Read More

Twin Girls Thrive Thanks to Expertise in Fetal Surgery

In July 2017, Kimberly Husko and her husband Jeremiah were excited to learn they were expecting twins. Their excitement soon gave way to confusion when a routine ultrasound test four months later during Kimberly's second trimester indicated something unusual: the ultrasound couldn't detect "Baby B"'s bladder.

Read More

Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia – Our Family’s Journey

One family shares their journey through treatment after learning their unborn child has a rare birth defect, CDH – congenital diaphragmatic hernia. 

Read More


Your support is vital in helping us continue to make a difference in the lives of patients and families. Lurie Children's relies on philanthropic funding to enhance its programs, services and research for children. To learn more, please e-mail the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago Foundation at or call 312.227.7500