SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A healthy heart is key to living a healthy life especially for expecting mothers.
Pregnancy takes a toll on all of the body’s organs, especially the heart, and for expectant mothers with preexisting heart conditions the toll is that much greater.
Doctors say women with heart or blood vessel disease, high blood pressure, or who have suffered a cardiac event prior could be faced with a higher risk pregnancy.
“When women are pregnant there’s a lot of changes that go through the body. There’s a big increase in blood volume for example that makes the heart have to work and pump a lot harder so it’s handling a lot more volume. If there’s an underlying problem that maybe was being tolerated well, come time pregnancy it may get overwhelmed and that can manifest itself,” said Dr. Haider Cardiologist from Cooley Dickinson and Hampshire Cardiovascular Associates.
Medical experts say that if you do have a heart condition, you should be evaluated by a cardiologist and obstetrician specializing in high-risk pregnancy.
Dr. Haider also said women who don’t have these conditions prior to becoming pregnant can develop them while carrying their child which can be dangerous for both the mother and baby.
“Something like preeclampsia or hypertensive disorders during pregnancy are not low. It’s almost about 9 to 10 percent of pregnancies that may have associated with some degree of high blood pressure issues,” said Dr. Haider.
It’s suggested that women take steps to become healthy like exercising and eating right prior to getting pregnant, especially if they’re considered high risk.