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What should I know about pregnancy and birth control?

Young women with congenital heart defects often have special concerns when they think about having a baby. Two of the most commonly asked questions are: "Is my heart strong enough for a pregnancy?" and "Will my baby have a heart problem?"

Most women who have had successful heart surgery can have a normal pregnancy and delivery. If you are a woman with a very severe heart problem, pregnancy may be dangerous to both you and your child. It is very important that you consult with your cardiologist before attempting to become pregnant. 

A pregnant woman should follow a nutritious diet and have regular, medically supervised prenatal care. Smoking, using street drugs, and drinking alcohol must be avoided. She should also have her doctor approve any medicine she uses.

It is also important for women and couples to consider carefully what they choose to use for birth control. Some women should avoid the 'pill' and use other forms of birth control instead. Your cardiologist can give you advice about selecting the correct contraceptive method.

You can find out more information about GUCH and Pregnancy in Resources

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