Pregnancy and adult congenital heart disease
Many women with congenital heart disease can expect to have healthy children. However, for a successful and healthy pregnancy, evaluation and monitoring is important. The Norton Children’s Heart Institute adult congenital heart disease specialists are available to help women with congenital heart conditions navigate pregnancy.
We offer pregnancy care to women with:
- Acquired valvular heart disease
- Congenital heart disease
- Connective tissue disorders, such as Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and amyloidosis
- Heart rhythm disorders
If you’re thinking about growing your family, we can help you understand how a pregnancy can affect your condition. We’ll also discuss with you the potential risks to your unborn baby.
This assessment includes:
- Physical exam
- Assessment of your cardiac reserve (your heart’s ability to work under strenuous activity)
- Genetic testing
We collaborate with specialists in a variety of related fields to provide you with pregnancy care. This may include maternal-fetal medicine specialists, fetal cardiologists, fetal surgeons, genetic counselors and many others.
You’re pregnant. Now what?
We offer assessments to evaluate your underlying heart condition, any risks you or the baby may have and the baby’s health needs. Our team keeps in touch with your OB/GYN throughout your pregnancy to make sure you and baby are as healthy as possible. If your pregnancy is considered high risk, we coordinate care during pregnancy and after birth.
If your pregnancy is high risk, our team works closely with your OB/GYN to monitor you and baby. Should an issue arise, we will work closely with the specialists with the Norton Children’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine practice. Norton Children’s is the biggest maternal-fetal medicine provider in Greater Louisville and works closely with the Level IV and Level III neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and the neonatologists at Norton Children’s Hospital and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital.
Pregnancy after a Fontan procedure
Many women who have had a Fontan procedure can have a healthy pregnancy. However, for some women it may be too risky. It is important to discuss any potential pregnancy and your risk with your adult congenital heart disease (ACHD) specialist. If pregnancy is an option for you, you will need highly specialized and coordinated care during your pregnancy. You can expect to work with your ACHD specialist and maternal-fetal medicine teams throughout your pregnancy and in the months after giving birth.
Why choose Norton Children’s Heart Institute
No other congenital heart surgery program in Kentucky, Ohio or Southern Indiana is ranked higher by the Society of Thoracic Surgeons than the Norton Children’s Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Program.
- Norton Children’s Hospital has been a pioneer in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery, performing Kentucky’s first pediatric heart transplant in 1986 and becoming the second site in the United States to perform an infant heart transplant.
- Our board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric cardiovascular surgeons are leaders in the field as clinicians and researchers.
- More than 5,000 children a year visit Norton Children’s Heart Institute, affiliated with the University of Louisville, for advanced heart care.
- Norton Children’s Heart Institute successfully performs more than 17,500 procedures a year.
- The Society of Thoracic Surgeons ranked Norton Children’s Heart Institute among the best in the region after studying years of our patients’ outcomes and our ability to handle a range of pediatric heart conditions, including the most severe.
- Norton Children’s Heart Institute has satellite outpatient centers in Bowling Green, Frankfort, Owensboro and Paducah; 28 tele-echocardiography locations in Kentucky and Southern Indiana; and six fetal echocardiography locations across Kentucky.
- The American Board of Thoracic Surgery has certified the cardiothoracic surgeons at Norton Children’s Hospital with subspecialty certification in congenital heart surgery.
- The Jennifer Lawrence Cardiac Intensive Care Unit is under construction to give our patients the most advanced care available.
- Our multidisciplinary approach to pediatric heart surgery brings together our specialists in cardiothoracic surgery, cardiology, anesthesiology, cardiac critical care and other areas to create a complete care plan tailored for your child.
For more information on services or to schedule an appointment with the Norton Children’s Heart Institute:
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