If you have a heart condition and are pregnant or planning to get pregnant, it is important that you take a bit of extra care. You should consult a medical expert as soon as you find out that you are pregnant to ensure the best possible care is given for you and your baby during your pregnancy.
If you're planning on getting pregnant, it's a good idea to talk to your GP or a cardiovascular specialist beforehand so they can advise you on the best measures and precautions to take during your pregnancy. They will review any medications you are currently taking and find out any potential hazards. The majority of women will be closely monitored during the nine months and during labour to ensure that any changes are detected quickly to prevent complications.
Pregnancy puts your heart and circulatory system under additional strain, which can cause the condition of your heart to worsen. The volume of blood moving around your body increases by 30% to 50% during pregnancy. This is to ensure that the baby receives the adequate nutrition and nourishment that it needs to thrive. This change causes an increase in heart rate.
This change causes an increase in heart rate.
You should seek medical help if you suffer any of the following symptoms throughout your pregnancy:
- Chest pain
- Breathlessness/shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
- Coughing during the night
- Coughing up blood
- Rapid heart rate, irregular pulse, or heart palpitations
Certain cardiac diseases are hereditary (passed down through the family) or congenital (developed in the womb). If you are concerned that your baby may develop or be predisposed to heart problems, your medical team can arrange for testing and scans to ascertain this.