High risk for heart disease no longer a barrier to pregnancy
Previously, females in their childbearing years born with complex congenital heart disease were strongly advised not to get pregnant due to high mortality statistics for the mother. The AHA recently published a statement in its Circulation journal updating the recommendation protocol.
“Now, scientific research demonstrates that with proper management in the hands of experienced cardiologists and obstetricians, these women can have successful pregnancies,” writing committee chair Mary Canobbio, who lectures at the UCLA School of Nursing, said. “This scientific statement outlines the specific management for these high-risk patients.”
The new study offers evidence that women can, under careful supervision from specialists, indeed manage pregnancy and childbirth. Canobbio advises pre-pregnancy counseling, a delivery plan, and close post-natal monitoring for any time ranging from six weeks up to six months after childbirth to screen for any after-effects.
The AHA counsels women to arrange for delivery at facilities staffed with highly experienced cardiologists, obstetricians trained in high-risk maternal-fetal medicine, anesthetists and cardiac surgery specialists.