Cardiovascular Disease In Pregnancy


Pregnancy is essentially nature’s stress test for the body.  As a result of this, some conditions may develop during pregnancy that were not present prior to pregnancy.  There is overlap between common pregnancy symptoms and cardiovascular symptoms.  These can include shortness of breath, palpitations and swelling.  The physicians at Northside Northpoint OB-GYN are trained to distinguish normal pregnancy symptoms from those associated with cardiovascular disease.  We work closely with cardiologists who have expertise in the management of pregnant women with cardiovascular disease.  

Heart Disease And Pregnancy

The best time to seek treatment for known heart disease is prior to becoming pregnant.  Pregnancy may worsen existing heart disease so it is very important to consult with both a cardiologist and an OB/GYN prior to becoming pregnant.  It is possible that a maternal fetal medicine consultation will also be recommended.  

Conditions for which pre-pregnancy consultation would be recommended include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Arrhythmia
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart disease involving heart valves
  • Congenital heart disease

At Northside Northpoint OB-GYN, we have provided pregnant women in and around Atlanta with the best care for over 75 years. 

Common Heart Symptoms During Pregnancy

It is important to bring up symptoms of heart disease during routine visits.  As mentioned above, there is overlap between normal pregnancy symptoms and symptoms that may indicate cardiovascular disease

  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations (a feeling that the heart is racing)
  • Swelling in the feet, ankles, or legs

The providers at Northside Northpoint OB/GYN can discuss the symptoms and the associated history to determine if a cardiac evaluation is warranted.  

At Northside Northpoint OB-GYN, we provide comprehensive, quality care to our patients.

Heart Disease Prevention in Atlanta

The best time to optimize health is prior to becoming pregnant.  Certain risk factors are considered modifiable.  If you have existing hypertension/high blood pressure, achieving good control on medications prior to pregnancy is important.  If you are obese, focusing on lifestyle changes to achieve a healthier weight prior to pregnancy can be beneficial.  Pre pregnancy obesity is a top contributor to maternal death from cardiac causes especially if obstructive sleep apnea is also present.  Optimizing control of preexisting diabetes is also very important as this too is a risk factor for heart disease.  

Atlanta Heart Disease 

Cardiovascular disease affects 1-4% of pregnant women.  Cardiovascular disease and cardiomyopathy account for 27% of pregnancy related deaths.  Maternal age over 40 increases the risk of heart disease significantly.  Hypertension in pregnancy increases the risk of heart attack and heart failure.  So it is very important to establish care with a knowledgeable practice like Northside Northpoint OB/GYN to recognize and manage pregnancy complications that may arise.

Our Atlanta Heart Disease Treatments

Our main role in managing heart disease in pregnancy is to ensure quality care for our patients.  This can be accomplished by consulting with appropriate specialists (cardiology, maternal fetal medicine).  Our hope is to establish a plan of care prior to becoming pregnant.  The providers at Northside Northpoint will work to help optimize your health in the areas of blood pressure, weight and diabetes control if applicable.

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