December 10, 2023
Women must take care of heart health before pregnancy

Finding out you’re pregnant could be one of the most exciting moments in your life for some people.

In order to ensure a risk-free pregnancy for both you and the baby, recent research found that it is essential to take good care of your heart health even before getting pregnant.

The American Heart Association has found that pre-conception heart health in women has a major impact on both the risks of pregnancy and the long-term cardiovascular health of both the mother and her child.

Consequently, the mother’s health has an impact on the unborn child once pregnancy begins. Yet, improving heart health before conception might be necessary to stop the generational cycle of poor cardiovascular health, which is common in nations like the United States.

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The findings revealed that women who experience racism in institutions and poor social situations must prioritize their health before getting pregnant.

Holly Gooding, MD, vice chair of the statement writing committee and associate professor at Emory University School of Medicine, asserts that “if you improve the mother’s pre-pregnancy health, that optimizes her health during pregnancy, which benefits the child’s health later in life.”

Surprisingly, cardiovascular disease, a term used to refer to any ailment affecting the heart or blood vessels, is responsible for more than one in four pregnancy-related deaths in the United States.

The situation has gotten worse, according to the most recent report, due to an increase in pregnancy-related risks. Almost one in five pregnancies are affected by health conditions like gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, early births, and low birth weights.

The likelihood of high blood pressure has increased during the past 10 years, and these pregnancies increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in both the mother and the child.

“We avoided defining it on purpose because that’s something further study needs to address,” said Khan.

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How to improve heart health

Khan emphasized the need of following the AHA’s Life Essential 8 guidelines for good health in order to maintain excellent heart health at any age.

The key points include:

  • Enough sleep
  • Physical activity
  • Healthy weight
  • No smoking
  • Healthy diet
  • Maintaining healthy blood pressure, blood glucose, and cholesterol levels

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