Congenital heart disease
As so little is known aboutthe causes of congenital heart disease, there's no guaranteed way ofavoiding having a baby with the condition.
However, if you're pregnant, the following advice can help reduce the risk:
See vitamins and nutrition in pregnancy , infections in pregnancy and your antenatal care for more information and advice.
If you have congenital heart disease and become pregnant, your congenital heart specialist will usually arrange an Echocardiogram (heart scan) for your baby approximately 20 weeks into your pregnancy. This is to check whether your baby has any evidence of congenital heart disease. This scan will be in addition to your usual antenatal ultrasound scans .
Congenital heart disease is a general term for a range of birth defects that affect the normal workings of the heart. The term "congenital" means the condition is present at birth.
Congenital heart disease refers to a range of possible heart defects.
Congenital heart disease can have a range of symptoms, because the condition refers to several different types of heart defect.
Congenital heart disease is caused when something disrupts the normal development of the heart. It's thought that most cases occur when something affects the heart's development during about week five of pregnancy.
In many cases, congenital heart disease is diagnosed during pregnancy. However, a diagnosis may sometimes only be confirmed after the birth.
Treatment for congenital heart disease depends on the specific defect you or your child has.
Children and adults with congenital heart disease are at an increased risk of developing further problems. Many children with congenital heart disease experience delays in their development.
As so little is known about the causes of congenital heart disease, there's no guaranteed way of avoiding having a baby with the condition.