Pregnancy and Heart Disease

Pregnancy and delivery put extra stresses on the heart and circulatory system.  These changes—which include increased blood volume and heart rate and decreased blood pressure—are normal and healthy as the body nourishes the growing baby.

For women with heart conditions, however, it's important to be evaluated by a cardiologist and high-risk obstetrician, so that necessary precautions can be taken.  Heart conditions can include heart rhythm issues, heart valve issues, congestive heart failure, or congenital heart defects.  Not all heart conditions interfere with pregnancy but there can be risks involved for both the mother and the baby.

Cardiologists at the Women’s Heart Center collaborate with colleagues at the Mothers Center to provide comprehensive care for women with heart concerns. We provide pre-conception risk assessment, cardiac evaluation for fertility treatment and management of arrhythmias, heart failure, and high blood pressure during pregnancy, and post-partum care.

Pregnancy Complications and Heart Disease

Sometimes, conditions develop during pregnancy that can increase the risk for cardiovascular disease later in life. Pregnancy complications linked to heart disease include:

Having one of these complications does not mean heart disease is inevitable, but it does mean that such women should be monitored regularly and maintain a lifestyle with a heart-healthy diet and exercise.