Common Heart Conditions and Pregnancy

doctor takes pregnant patient's blood pressure

Pregnancy adds extra strain on a woman’s heart and blood vessels, which could lead to cardiovascular as well as other health problems.

Pregnancy's metabolic demands — “nature’s stress test” — can expose heart issues that weren't known before. This happens in part because the body is carrying more weight. But changing hormones also play a role.

Ailments that arise during pregnancy may have lasting effects on women’s long-term health.

Heart trouble doesn't just arise in women late in life.

Serious Heart Conditions

These can arise in and around pregnancy.
nurse checks pregnant woman's blood pressure

Pregnancy Can Elevate the Risk of HBP in Women

Some women who have never had high blood pressure develop it while they are pregnant.

Preeclampsia is usually characterized by the onset of high blood pressure that is lasting and can lead to various complications.

Learn how it affects pregnancies in the U.S and what you can do.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women who did not have diabetes before they were pregnant.

The causes of gestational diabetes are complex. It results from a combination of genetic, health and lifestyle factors, some of which have not been identified.

Half of all women who had gestational diabetes develop Type 2 diabetes later in life.

pregnant woman eating fruit on couch
pregnant woman reads tablet in bed

Stroke and Pregnancy

A stroke is an uncommon event that occurs blood supply to part of the brain is blocked, or when a blood vessel in the brain bursts.

Pregnancy may elevate some women’s stroke risk.

Some women may overlook stroke symptoms as routine issues related to pregnancy.

pregnant woman in bed

Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM)

PPCM is an uncommon form of heart failure that happens during the last month of pregnancy or up to five months after giving birth.
father kisses baby foot

Congenital Heart Defects

With appropriate medical care and treatment, many women born with heart defects can have a healthy pregnancy.
Mom and baby laugh face to face at home

Share Your Experience with Us

Help us better understand the impact pregnancy has on a woman’s health – and heart – by taking the newest survey from Research Goes Red. Whether you are pregnant, considering becoming pregnant or have already had children, we would like to hear from you. Join Research Goes Red today and take the new Reproductive Health Survey.
pregnant woman uses laptop on couch

The Support Network: We're Here for You

Day or night, we're here to moms-to-be, new moms or veteran moms dealing with a heart condition or stroke. We’ve created the Support Network Maternal Health Forum for you: ask questions, get support and share your journey with women who've been there.