Your body goes through many changes during pregnancy. Some of those changes involve your heart. Most women do not develop heart conditions, but for those who do Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute offers specialized care for women with cardiac related high-risk pregnancy. We also treat women with a history of congenital heart disease or other heart conditions prior to their pregnancy.
What is a cardiac related high-risk pregnancy?
Changes that occur in a woman’s body when she’s pregnant can cause stress on her heart and vascular system. So, for a long time women with heart disease, or at risk of heart disease, were advised not to get pregnant. However, today we have the resources to help families navigate cardiac related high-risk pregnancy doing everything we can to protect both mom and baby.
Cardiac conditions can range from simple to complex. It’s important for women who are at risk of heart disease, or suspect they may have heart problems, to consult with a specialist right away if they are pregnant or planning to get pregnant.
Heather’s Adult congenital Heart Disease, High-Risk Pregnancy Story
What are symptoms of a cardiac related high-risk pregnancy?
Some indicators that a woman may experience a cardiac related high-risk pregnancy include symptoms and conditions like:
- Coronary artery disease
- Irregular heart rhythms
- Narrowing of a heart valve that isn’t opening and closing properly
- Arteries and veins pump blood to the heart
- A hole or tear in the wall between the left and right sides of the heart
- An underperforming heart muscle that is preventing blood flow
How do you treat a heart condition during pregnancy?
Pregnancy can cause heart problems in otherwise healthy women. Often, doctors don’t know exactly why different conditions occur, or what it is about pregnancy that causes them, but for women who are experiencing heart problems during pregnancy it is important to monitor this closely. Some cardiac related high-risk pregnancy conditions that we treat at Memorial, include:
- Preeclampsia: This condition involves persistent high blood pressure during pregnancy along with protein in the urine. Symptoms may include swelling and headaches. We closely monitor women who are diagnosed with preeclampsia. We can treat the condition with medications to help keep them safe until delivery (and after, if necessary).
- Gestational hypertension: This condition involves high blood pressure during pregnancy without protein in the urine. As with preeclampsia, we can use medication to safely control the mother’s blood pressure.
- Peripartum cardiomyopathy: This condition can lead to heart failure near the end of pregnancy. It may resolve on its own or worsen after delivery. We monitor women who have peripartum cardiomyopathy very closely.
We also treat pregnant women with a history of coronary artery disease or congenital heart disease (such as women who had heart surgery as a child). In cases where the fetus may have a heart condition, such as an arrhythmia, we treat the mother to treat the fetus.
Why choose Memorial for heart care during pregnancy?
Having heart problems during pregnancy can feel all-consuming and frightening. Our team is focused on providing the best care and helping women and their families navigate this potentially stressful time. Care plans can vary depending on the condition of the patient. Our specialists here at Memorial are available to provide care for cardiac related high-risk pregnancy here in Broward County and beyond.
For patients with cardiac related high-risk pregnancy, Memorial offers:
Our cardiologists and OB/GYNs work together to coordinate your treatment and share information with your doctors.
Memorial covers everything, providing end-to-end care for cardiac related high-risk pregnancy.
We offer an accredited adult congenital heart disease program, as well as the full resources of a heart institute. This means that we are equipped to care for women before and after delivery.
Pregnancy and Your Heart Condition
When you are pregnant, your body makes extra blood to fuel you and your baby, your heart pumps harder, and it may also go through sudden changes in blood pressure and blood flow during labor and delivery. If you have a heart condition, this extra stress could affect your health.
It matters to you. It matters to us.
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