During pregnancy, changes develop in the heart and blood vessels, which exert extra stress on the body of a woman as they need the heart to work harder. The following changes are normal during pregnancy as they help to ensure that the baby in the womb will get enough oxygen and nutrients.
- Rise in blood volume: In the first trimester, the blood amount raises by 40 to 50 %.
- Rise in cardiac output: In pregnancy, the cardiac output raises by 30 to 40% due to a rise in blood volume.
- Rise in heart rate: During pregnancy, the heart rate rises by 10 to 15 beats per minute.
- The decrease in blood pressure: During pregnancy, blood pressure may drop by 10 mmHg. This decrease can be the result of hormonal changes and due to the increased demand of blood towards the uterus.
These changes are normal, but if you are a heart patient then you need to take special precautions. Some of the heart problems can raise the risk of complications.
What Are the Risks to Pregnant Women Who Have Heart Disease?
The risk to pregnant women with heart diseases depends on the type of defect. It depends on the working of the heart. Irregular heartbeats and heart failure are the complications of heart disease that can occur during pregnancy. Heart failure may show symptoms such as shortness of breath, and swelling of the legs and abdomen. This increases the risk of a stroke.
Can the Baby in the Womb of a Woman with a Heart Problem Also Face Risks?
Pregnancy in women with heart problem can cause birth defects, miscarriage, low birth weight, premature birth, and stillbirth.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Such Risks?
The best way to prevent such risks is to take good care of your health. Following are certain steps that can help you to stay well during pregnancy if you suffer from heart disease:
Follow all the advice of your doctor.
- Take enough rest.
- Eat properly and monitor your body weight.
- Follow the prescribed dosing regimen sincerely.
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco and other recreational drugs.