Heart disease is a concern on its own without worrying about the complications involved with pregnancy. If you have heart disease or are at risk, there are some precautions you should take before getting pregnant and during your pregnancy. The following recommendations from the American Heart Association are important to follow.
Talk with Your Doctor
The type of heart disease you are affected by can make a major difference in the steps you need to take to have a healthy pregnancy or the decision whether or not to get pregnant at all. Some types can put you and your unborn child at a very high risk, including severe heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, Cyanosis and Eisenmenger’s syndrome, which is a combination of Cyanosis and pulmonary hypertension. If any of these conditions apply to you, you should certainly seek a doctor’s recommendation.
Track Your Blood Pressure
Lowering blood pressure is pretty straightforward. It is best accomplished through changes in your diet and keeping to an exercise routine. If you have heart disease, you are probably aware of this, but it is especially vital if you are planning to have a baby. Making lifestyle changes and checking in on your pressure levels, along with consultation with a doctor, will be necessary when planning pregnancy. Also, cut out alcohol and tobacco while lowering your sodium intake.
Know the Impact of Medication
Depending on the severity of your heart disease, you may be on one or multiple blood pressure medications. These can be potentially dangerous to a baby, due to their ability to cause kidney failure and other serious health effects.
We hope you have a happy, healthy pregnancy, and if you have any questions, our doctors at Mt. Auburn OBGYN in Cincinnati are eager to answer them!