Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pregnancy and Heart Disease

AHA Recommendation
A woman who has a history of heart disease, heart murmur, rheumatic fever or high blood pressure should talk with her healthcare provider before she decides to become pregnant. A woman who has congenital heart disease has a higher risk of having a baby with some type of heart defect. If this is your case, it's very important to visit your healthcare provider often. You may need to have diagnostic tests done, such as a fetal ultrasound test.
If you have a heart condition, you and your healthcare provider need to talk about it and plan for your pregnancy. You'll also need to think about what may be involved in caring for your child later.

Here are some important things for any pregnant woman to do:

  • Eat a nutritious diet.
  • Don't smoke or drink alcohol.
  • Have your doctor approve any medicine you use (including over-the-counter drugs).
Some medicines that are safe to take when you're not pregnant should not be used when you're pregnant. They may harm your baby. If you have heart disease, you may need to take heart medications during your pregnancy. Your doctor can prescribe heart drugs that won't harm your baby.