Time Magazine recently published an article detailing the “concerning rise” in heart attacks among pregnant women in the United States between 2002 and 2014. During that time the risk of heart attack during pregnancy, during labor, or after giving birth increased by 25%, and while the risk is still low overall it is worth doing your homework to learn about what you can do to protect yourself and your baby.
One reason doctors suspect the rate of heart attacks in pregnant women has increased is that more and more women are getting pregnant later in their lives as the risk of heart disease is rising already. Decades ago it was common for women to get pregnant while in their twenties, though now more women are waiting until their forties to get pregnant for the first time.

Another factor that may contribute to this rise in heart attacks is the increase in obesity among women in the United States. Nearly 40% of men and women fall into the obesity category. Obesity is known to contribute to heart disease, stroke, and even death. So as the rate of obesity increases it makes sense that some of those 40% of Americans would also be expectant mothers.

Other than the increased age and overall health of these mothers who are suffering from heart attacks, researchers can’t seem to find another correlation. But what we do know is that there are certain factors that you must be cognizant of regardless of being pregnant.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a primary tool in the fight against heart disease. Some of the most important factors in a heart-healthy lifestyle are eating and well-balanced and diet, getting plenty of exercise and limiting stress. This is especially important during pregnancy.

Know Your Genetic Background
Your family history is another significant factor in your heart health. If you have heart disease in your family, or if a member of your biological family has suffered from a heart attack make sure you tell your doctor so he or she can refer you to a cardiologist.

Pregnancy is an exciting and generally safe experience for mother and child. However, there are intrinsic risks that pregnant women become aware of during the process. One risk you may not have thought of is the risk of suffering a heart attack. If you are a mother at high risk for heart attack due to your health or your age, schedule a visit with your cardiologist to ensure that your pregnancy does not put you or your baby at risk. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment with a member of our team.