American Heart Month: How pregnancy affects heart health

American Heart Month: How pregnancy affects heart health

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - This week’s focus in our American Heart Month series is heart health during pregnancy.

Dr. Niti Aggarwal, a cardiologist at the Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato, shares what you need to know to ensure the safety of mothers and their babies — from gestation to long-term heart health.

”Some women develop high blood pressure during pregnancy called preeclampsia or eclampsia and some may develop diabetes during pregnancy called gestational diabetes. All of these conditions can affect the mother and baby’s health during pregnancy, but they also increase the risk of the mother developing heart disease later in life,” Aggarwal said.

Aggarwal says conditions such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes can lead to early delivery, and the risk for developing heart disease is three to four times as high for mothers with these conditions.

”If the blood sugar or the blood pressure cannot be adequately controlled during pregnancy, it may put the mother or the baby’s risk at life, and an emergent C-section or delivery may be necessary. So, it’s important to make sure those risk factors are well controlled during pregnancy,” added Aggarwal.

Taking proactive measures such as staying active and eating a nutrient-rich diet can help minimize the risks of heart trouble.

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