World Heart Day 2023: Can Pregnancy Take A Toll On Cardiovascular Health?
When a woman gets pregnant, she goes through numerous physiological changes including her cardiovascular health. But, does it pose any risk?
Written by Kinkini Gupta|Updated : September 27, 2023 2:02 PM IST
Pregnancy brings about numerous physiological changes in a woman's body. There will be changes in the hormones, her weight, her skin, hair, digestive system, etc. But, did you know what effect pregnancy has on the heart health? A human body is preparing to grow another human. The whole body and its organs synchronize to help the healthy growth of the foetus. The cardiovascular system too has multiple functions and goes through changes.
The mother who is carrying the baby needs to be healthy. This is the topmost priority during a pregnancy. Only a healthy mother can give birth to a healthy baby.
Thus, it is very important to be aware of what changes the cardiovascular system goes through.
Cardiac Output: As a woman progresses into her pregnancy, the demand for her body also increases. Naturally, the cardiac output will increase to meet the demand. It increases up to 30 to 50 percent. The heary has to pump more blood than normal.
Increased Blood Volume: The blood volume increases by up to 50 per cent. The cardiovascular system transports blood and oxygen to the foetus and the mother at the same time. This spike helps both their development.
Blood Pressure: During the first half of the pregnancy, the mothers blood pressure may fall but it will come back to normal by the third trimester.
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There is obviously a lot of pressure on the cardiovascular system during this period. Majority of women do not suffer any complication but some might. Therefore, it is safer to be aware of the possible problems that a woman might face. This can help them deal with it better.
Pre-existing Heart Conditions: Some women may get pregnant with pre-existing conditions like congenital heart defects or valvular diseases. These are complicated conditions and may require special care. Make sure the mother gets all the treatments and monitoring that she requires.
Gestational Hypertension:Gestational hypertension is a common problem during pregnancy. It typically means that the blood pressure suddenly increases. This should definitely be treated otherwise it can lead to preeclampsia. Preclampsia is a condition that affects both the foetus and the mother.
Blood Clotting Disorders: Pregnancy can increase the risk of blood clotting for some women. The predisposition of clotting may be higher is some women than others. Ways you can deal with it is by careful and constant monitoring and taking doctors prescribed blood-thinning medications.
Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes is very common during pregnancy. If not treated, it can impact the cardiovascular health. Treating this is actually easy. Make sure the blood sugar level is under control at all times.