Pregnancy Care for Women with Congenital Heart Disease
If you have congenital heart disease, it doesn’t mean that a healthy pregnancy is out of your reach. With proper cardiac care and support from your maternity hospital , you can have a healthy pregnancy and delivery. Read on to find out how to have a healthy pregnancy when you have congenital heart disease.
Consult with Your Doctors Early and Often
Ideally, women with congenital heart disease should not have unplanned pregnancies. If you are considering starting a family, talk to your cardiac care specialist, OBGYN, and primary care doctor to determine if you are healthy enough to start trying to become pregnant now or if there are specific goals you should try to achieve before your pregnancy. It may be necessary to make adjustments to your medications, for instance, before you can safely conceive. After you become pregnant, see your doctors regularly for prenatal care and for monitoring of your heart condition. Your doctors will decide how often you need appointments based on your overall health and the severity of your heart condition.
Be Aware of the Risks
The specific health risks you could face during pregnancy depend on the nature of your condition. It’s common for blood pressure to increase during pregnancy, which can take a toll on your heart. Some women have an increased risk of arrhythmias and heart failure. Be aware that some of the effects of pregnancy can mimic symptoms of a heart problem, such as fatigue and shortness of breath. Ask your cardiac care specialist to tell you what symptoms you should look out for, and don’t hesitate to call your doctors if you are concerned.
Make a Delivery Plan
As any expectant mother would, you should make a plan for labor and delivery with your maternity hospital. Most women with heart disease can have a vaginal delivery, so you should be sure to discuss your pain management options. You should also understand what extra steps could need to be taken during labor and delivery to keep your heart safe.
The Birthing Center at Good Samaritan Hospital uses the latest technology to ensure that all of our mothers-to-be have the safest possible labor and delivery. For renowned maternity care in San Jose, contact us at (888) 724-2362 to request a referral to a maternity specialist or to schedule a tour of our Birthing Center.