If you have a heart condition, you need to extra-careful during pregnancy. This is because pregnancy puts additional stress on your heart and circulatory system. The growing baby needs additional nutrients and hence, the heart needs to pump more blood each minute. During pregnancy, the blood volume also increases up to 30 to 50 percent. Moreover, labour and delivery can also add to your heart's workload. Pushing during labour causes abrupt changes in blood pressure and flow. It might take several weeks after birth, for your heart activity to return to normal. The heart problems that could occur during pregnancy will depend on the type and severity of your heart condition. Here are some of the expected and unexpected cardiac problems you could encounter during pregnancy according to your heart condition:-
Heart rhythm issues
Heart rhythm abnormalities or arrhythmias are a common occurrence during pregnancy. However, if your arrhythmia is at dangerous levels, you will be prescribed medications to control it. If you were already under medication before pregnancy, you may be asked to continue the same during pregnancy.
Heart valve issues
Having a scarred or artificial heart valve can increase your risk of developing complications during pregnancy. If your heart valves aren't working properly, there are high chances that the increased blood flow during pregnancy will not be tolerated well. Additionally, artificial valves also increase your risk of developing endocarditis (infection of the lining of the heart and valves). If you have artificial valves in your heart, pregnancy can be very risky as you may develop a life-threatening clot in your heart valves due to reduced usage of blood thinners. Taking blood thinner also puts the unborn baby at risk.
Congestive heart failure
If you are already suffering from congestive heart failure, your condition can worsen during pregnancy due to the increased blood volume.
Congenital heart defect
If you were born with a heart problem, it is quite likely that your baby could be born with a heart defect too. Additionally, there is also a risk of premature birth and heart problems occurring during your pregnancy.
While most heart complications can be treated safely, the treatment costs can be very high. Therefore, its advisable to take up a heart care insurance if you are planning to get pregnant with a heart condition. A heart or cardiac care insurance will help you proceed with the pregnancy with more confidence.
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