The blood volume of a pregnant woman is higher by 30-50% as compared to a normal person. In order to nourish your growing baby, the mother’s heart pumps more blood each minute, and her heart rate increases. All this extra blood increases the stress on the mother’s heart and blood circulatory system. Not to mention all the extremely abrupt changes in blood flow and pressure during labor and childbirth. It’s safe to say that the mother’s heart goes through a lot during the course of the ninth-month-long pregnancy.
What Exactly Are The Risks Associated?
The risks of getting a heart condition during pregnancy largely depend on the mother’s overall heart health even before she was pregnant. Some risks are:
Congenital Heart Defect
If the mother has a weak heart or a heart condition herself, there are chances that the baby will be born with a congenital heart defect, and/or the mother can develop a new heart condition.
Congestive Heart Failure
With such high blood pressure, the chances of getting congestive heart failure increase.
Heart Rhythm Issues
Heart rhythm issues are quite common during pregnancy and are nothing major to worry about for the most part. Medication is available to control arrhythmia in pregnant women and is in fact the same medication as normally prescribed.
Heart Valve Issues
If the pregnant woman has an artificial heart valve or scarring or malformation of her heart or valves, it can cause many complications for her and her child including a high risk of endocarditis and thrombosis. And sadly, in such situations, blood-thinning medicines can put the baby’s life at risk.
How Does The Pregnancy Medication Effect The Whole Situation?
During pregnancy, the medicine you take obviously can influence your infant. Often the pros outweigh the cons, though. Your cardiologist or gynaecologist can recommend the best treatment at the most effective dosage if you need a prescription to manage your cardiac disease.
Always take just the medication as recommended. Do not quit taking any medicine on your own or change the dosage.
How Can These Risks Be Prevented?
Remember that your health is directly related to your baby’s health during pregnancy. Hence taking good care of yourself is really important. Some helpful tips to ensure that are:
Get The Adequate Amount Of Rest
Take rest more often. Take naps between different chores. Avoid chores that require a lot of physical exertion.
Never Miss Your Doctor’s Appointment
It is very important to stay regularly in touch with your doctor throughout the pregnancy.
Take Your Medication Religiously
Only take the medication as prescribed and take them regularly.
Take Care Of Your Mental Health
A good mental state can make things a lot easier. Make sure you keep yourself happy and at ease during pregnancy.
Watch Your Weight
Gaining an adequate amount of weight during pregnancy is actually a healthy sign as your baby grows in your womb. But gaining too much weight just increases the workload on your heart
Avoid Harmful Practices
Quit alcohol consumption, smoking, caffeination, and illegal drug consumption during pregnancy.
The Bottom Line
Many mothers who have cardiac problems can easily give birth to healthy babies, even with heart valve abnormalities (like mitral valve prolapse) and certain heart congenital abnormalities, without any lasting negative impacts on cardiac function or life expectancy. Women that have mild to serious heart disease previous to birth are, moreover, at greater risk of complications. These women should speak to a doctor before getting pregnant to ensure that their condition is handled as well as possible.