Monday, January 16, 2023 (HealthDay News) — It’s never too late for expectant mothers to adopt healthy habits for their babies and themselves.
The American Heart Association (AHA) offers some heart health tips.
“Pregnancy is often a pivotal time in a woman’s life, both in the short and long term,” said Dr. Michelle Albert, Volunteer President of the American Heart Association.
“While it may be the first time you’ve experienced a major medical condition, it’s a natural time for most people to think more positively about their own health and the health of their baby,” Albert said in a news release from the association. said..
Poor heart health puts both future mothers and their children at risk, according to the AHA.
According to the AHA’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2022 Update, heart disease causes 26.5% of pregnancy-related deaths. As such, it is the leading cause of pregnancy-related death.
A 2022 study found that only about 40% of women who gave birth in the United States had good heart health before becoming pregnant. According to the AHA, being overweight was a leading contributor to poor pre-pregnancy health.
“When appropriate, receiving regular antenatal care and post-pregnancy cardiovascular risk factor management and making healthy lifestyle changes can improve the pregnancy and childbirth experience.” Equally important, these measures have the potential to extend the healthy life expectancy of mothers and babies.”
The AHA says health care providers can make a difference by paying close attention to the heart health of pregnant women and promoting lifestyle changes.
According to the AHA, if a mother has good heart health during pregnancy, her child is more likely to do the same.
“The role of a healthy lifestyle during pregnancy cannot be overemphasized,” said Albert. “A healthy diet, moderate exercise, including walking, smoking cessation, and other healthy behaviors are important tools for a healthy pregnancy for both mother and child.”
If a pregnant woman has heart-related problems, she should work closely with her doctor to monitor her health and take all prescriptions as prescribed.
“There is still much to learn about the particular maternal and infant health risks associated with cardiovascular health,” said Albert. “This is an area that the American Heart Association continues to follow closely, devoting research funding and other resources to ensuring the healthiest outcomes for parents and babies throughout their lives.”
For more information
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has detailed information on healthy pregnancies.
Source: American Heart Association, News Release, January 13, 2023