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When a typically healthy pregnant woman is asked about her heart, she is probably only thinking about it being full of love for her unborn baby. However, pregnancy can cause cardiac problems for some women.
During pregnancy, the heart is impacted by the excess weight and fluid carried by a woman’s body as well as hormonal changes. All of these factors are potential precursors to certain cardiac issues.
Symptoms of discomfort that may be part of the normal pregnancy can also be related to potential cardiac conditions, including:
Most of the time, these symptoms are benign, however, talk to your OB/GYN openly about what you are feeling. If there are concerns, he or she will refer you to a cardiologist for further evaluation.
The most common cardiac-related problems faced by pregnant women include:
The prognosis is good for most of these conditions. However, medication, follow-up, a healthy diet, exercise and the avoidance of caffeine are often indicated.
If you are referred to a cardiologist as a pregnant woman, you can expect a physical exam and a comprehensive review of your health history and symptoms. In some cases, you may undergo additional diagnostic testing to identify potential cardiac problems that could be causing your discomfort. This testing will help the cardiologist determine if you have a heart condition and what treatment plan is needed.
While women with obesity are at a greater risk for heart complications during pregnancy, any healthy pregnant woman could develop symptoms. Therefore, being aware of your heart health and open communication with your doctor will help ensure the delivery of a happy, healthy baby.
We’re counting down the weeks until the May 2015 grand opening of Wake County’s fifth full-service hospital, WakeMed North Family Health & Women’s Hospital. WakeMed North Healthplex at 10000 Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh is currently being transformed into a 248,800-sq. ft., full-service women’s hospital designed with the unique needs of women in mind. It will feature a tranquil environment as well as amenities tailored to our patients’ needs. This includes spacious and comfortable labor and delivery rooms.
3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610