Cardiovascular conditions generally cause a pregnancy to be classified as high-risk; but with proper management, most women with heart and circulatory conditions can safely carry a child to term with little to no complications.
During pregnancy, the cardiovascular system works overtime to make sure that the baby gets sufficient oxygen and nourishment. This leads to an increase in heart rate, blood volume and cardiac output, and a decrease in blood pressure. These changes increase the amount of strain on the heart, which in extreme cases might trigger a stroke, cardiac arrest or heart failure. Additionally, those who have congenital heart diseases also run a higher risk of miscarriage and premature birth.
For this very reason, women who have congenital heart defects and diseases are strongly advised to
undergo pre-pregnancy check-ups with a cardiologist and an obstetrician-gynaecologist. Sometimes
the assistance of a maternal-fetal medicine specialist is required to better assess high-risk
Though very rare, those who are at a much higher risk for severe heart failure, peripheral cyanosis, Eisenmenger syndrome and pulmonary hypertension may be advised to avoid pregnancy altogether.
To ensure that the pregnancy is progressing normally, high-risk patients will have more prenatal and
These check-ups typically involve echocardiograms and electrocardiograms to monitor the condition of the heart during pregnancy, and sometimes even during and after labor and delivery. Ultrasounds are also used to monitor the development of the baby and detect fetal heart abnormalities. Symptoms such as difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain, heart palpitations and bloody coughs, will warrant immediate medical attention.
3 Mount Elizabeth #11-12
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre,