Can you get pregnant with heart disease? Yes, but know your risks
When you have heart disease, becoming pregnant can feel worrisome, if not dangerous or impossible. Fortunately, we continue to learn a lot about heart disease and pregnancy.
During this time of public health concern, the Heart and Vascular Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center remains open for appointments, including telehealth or video visits. For all in-person visits, you can feel secure in the knowledge that our locations are safe. We’ve taken significant measures to minimize the risk of the spread of COVID-19 and worked tirelessly to ensure that our patients are protected.
To schedule an appointment, call 614-293-ROSS. Visit our COVID-19 page to get the latest information about how Ohio State is handling the outbreak.
If you’re experiencing an emergency, call 911. Don’t wait and don’t risk driving yourself to the hospital.
When you have heart disease, a pregnancy can be both a joy and a life-threatening condition. Our multidisciplinary team brings together congenital heart disease specialists, cardiothoracic surgeons, high-risk obstetricians and anesthesiologists for comprehensive care before, during and after your pregnancy. We’ve helped hundreds of mothers with heart disease—including congenital heart disease, arrhythmia, cardiomyopathy and atrial fibrillation—safely deliver healthy babies through customized care tailored to the patient’s condition, risk level and specific delivery needs. In addition, we have the resources and expertise needed to keep mother and baby together in the time immediately after delivery, even if you require close monitoring or additional care.
The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has one of the largest Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) programs in the nation dedicated to helping women with congenital heart defects and acquired heart conditions who are, or wish to become, pregnant.
Call our team to schedule your appointment. If you feel that you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency or need immediate medical attention, please call 911.
As your baby continues to grow, changes can occur in your heart and blood vessels, causing extra stress on the body and making your heart work harder. Some of these changes are completely normal because they help your baby get enough oxygen and nutrients to develop at a normal rate.
You may experience shortness of breath, fatigue and light headedness related to these cardiovascular changes during pregnancy. These symptoms are normal, however, you should talk to your health care provider to address any questions or concerns. After delivering your baby, these changes in your heart and blood vessels will go back to pre-pregnancy levels after several weeks.
Certain heart conditions can increase your risk of pregnancy complications, or could pose such a high risk that pregnancy isn’t recommended (such as Eisenmenger's syndrome or cyanosis). It’s also possible that you could have a heart or blood vessel condition that isn’t diagnosed until pregnancy.
The baby’s survival during pregnancy is greatly affected by your own health and well-being so it’s vital that you take precautions to prevent cardiovascular complications. That could mean simple lifestyle changes such as getting plenty of sleep, managing anxiety, and staying away from unhealthy sources of nourishment and dangerous activities. Even more important, make sure you attend every prenatal appointment and take medication only as prescribed.
With a multidisciplinary approach, our specialists collaborate to develop the best pregnancy and delivery plan for each patient.
Our goal is to ensure you receive the care you need:
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