How to protect your heart during pregnancy
2/12/2016 2:33 PM
During pregnancy, the body’s circulatory volume increases by 50 percent, which puts stress on the heart. There are several precautions women should take to ensure a heart healthy pregnancy.
1. 1. Plan ahead: If you are planning to become pregnant, seek a medical evaluation ahead of time so you can strive for optimal health before becoming pregnant. The better you take care of yourself going into the pregnancy, the better the outcome will be.
2. 2. Regular check-ups: After you conceive, continue with good pre-natal care. Women who are 35 and older should be monitored more closely by their physician during pregnancy.
3. 3. Eat healthy: Eating a heart healthy diet during pregnancy will help yield a positive outcome. Watch your fat consumption and cholesterol levels.
4. 4. Physical activity: Make exercise a regular part of your routine. Something as simple as taking a 30-minute walk every day will help keep your heart strong during pregnancy.
5. 5. Healthy weight gain: – As you gain weight during pregnancy, get guidance from your physician to help prevent high blood pressure and other complications.
If you’re pregnant and you experience shortness of breath, pressure in the chest, dizziness or become light headed, talk to your doctor. Don’t ignore subtle symptoms.
Visit CTMCHeart.com to learn how you can get involved in Central Texas Medical Center’s February heart health celebration.
About the Author
Avis-Harris Caldwell, MSN, RNC-OB, is the director of women's services at Central Texas Medical Center.