Women born with heart defects have been told for decades that they shouldn't have babies. But now, there's a medical roadmap to help them do it safely.
The concern was that it was too risky.
But now millions of women with heart defects are living longer and many have had successful pregnancies.
So doctors are helping more survivors to also become mothers.
The American Heart Association has published new guidelines based on information from hundreds of successful high-risk pregnancies.
The recommendations call for extensive testing and counseling before pregnancy.
Specialists like cardiologists and high-risk obstetricians are urged to work together as a team.
"Once you have the baby, that doesn't mean that you're home free, at least from this pregnancy. Because many of the complications occur post-delivery," Mary Canobbio, R.N. said.
Women with congenital heart problems are also urged to go to larger medical centers if they're considering pregnancy because they have a wider range of resources.
AHA: Women with heart defects can have successful pregnancies
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