While heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the U.S. each year, a new study by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services has revealed it’s also the leading cause of maternal deaths. The study shows that approximately 1 in 4 pregnancy or postpartum deaths are caused by cardiovascular complications – with the risk being significantly higher for black mothers and pregnant women over 40.
What does this mean for you?
For pregnant mothers, now is more important than ever to be conscious of your cardiovascular health and the preventative steps you can take to maximize your heart health. Visiting a cardiologist during your pregnancy is a great start, but how you manage your health day-to-day will be the ultimate preventative measure you can take.
For women looking to maximize their heart health and minimize their chances for any cardiovascular problems during pregnancy, here are several recommendations from Heart and Vascular Institute cardiologists:
- Maintain a healthy blood pressure
- Eat a healthy diet!
- Exercise for 30 minutes a day
- Reduce sodium and cholesterol intake
- Controlling glucose levels
- Not smoking
Right now, no one can pinpoint the exact cause of the rising amount of cardiovascular complications during pregnancy, but by following the recommendations above and maintaining a healthy diet & lifestyle, you can do your best to minimize your risk.