Ongoing Medical Care

If you had a congenital heart defect as a child, even if it was repaired, you will probably need specialized care and monitoring from throughout your life. A specialized team focusing on adult congenital heart disease can work together to anticipate possible complications and take steps to prevent or manage them.

Even if you feel fine, it’s important to get check-ups from your regular doctor, and in most cases, regular visits with a team specializing in congenital heart disease.

You’ll need to let all your health care providers know about your condition so they can give you the right care. We recommend that you put together a packet of medical records, test results and other information about your condition and how it has been treated. It should include:

  • Your diagnosis (the type of congenital heart defect, its location and related information)
  • Procedures or surgeries related to your congenital heart disease, including dates and locations
  • Prescribed medicines, including drug names, dosage and when you take them
  • Recommendations from your health care team about medical follow-up and how to prevent complications
  • Health insurance information

Pregnancy and Congenital Heart Disease

Because advances in treatment have helped people with congenital heart defects survive to become healthy adults, more people with congenital heart disease are starting families. While many people with CHD have normal pregnancies — and healthy babies — pregnancy does have increased risks for mothers with CHD.

You may be at higher risk for pregnancy complications, such as an irregular heartbeat, blood clots and heart failure, than a woman without CHD. Your baby may also be at higher risk for birth defects, premature birth, low birth weight and other health issues. For women with some types of CHD, pregnancy can put too much of a strain on the heart and is not recommended.

Before you get pregnant, talk to your doctor and your adult CHD health care team. Regular visits and close monitoring are critical to your health and your baby’s. Also, if you take medicine for your CHD (or any other reason), your doctors can tell you whether it is safe to keep taking it while you are pregnancy or breastfeeding.

It’s especially important for you to take care of yourself while you are pregnant. You’ll need to eat right, get plenty of rest, and avoid alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances, just like any mother-to-be should do.

Your care and the precautions you should take depend on the type of CHD you have, as well as your general health and other factors. Staying in close contact with your health care team is your best strategy for having a healthy pregnancy and baby.

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Need help? We will be delighted to assist you today, so please call us at 404-778-7777. We look forward to hearing from you.