The heart is always exposed to additional strain in pregnancy, so there is a risk of cardiac decompensation if the heart is already affected by some serious disorder which may be, for example, the result of a congenital heart defect.
What to do?
If you are suffering from a severe heart failure, you should consult a doctor before planning offspring. If, regardless of your doctor’s opinion, you become pregnant, you will probably need a specialized care. Although the doctor usually knows when a woman has a heart failure, this failure is sometimes discovered only under the stress of a pregnancy. Any failure can cause heart murmurs that the doctor will detect during the routine examination; however, murmurs does not have to be a sign of a failure or illness, so in fact most of the heart murmurs that are discovered in early pregnancy are completely insignificant. If the doctor suspects on a heart failure, he will send you to the electrocardiogram and other necessary tests.
The best cure is a rest, so that the heart that is under stress is no longer burdened. You may receive antibiotics and take them throughout your pregnancy, as the heart is more sensitive to bacterial infections in that period. Any heart failure will be treated as needed. If you smoke, your doctor will advise you to quit.
When the contractions begins, the main goal of the doctor is to ensure easy delivery with minimal pushing, since it is an effort that burdens the heart. Therefore, an episiotomy, a vacuum extractor and forceps may be applied.