At the University of Chicago Medicine, we understand that your heart is unique and so is your pregnancy. We also know that pregnancy can put a lot of stress on your heart if you have pre-existing cardiovascular disease, in particular congenital heart disease (CHD). While pregnant, your body goes through complex changes that can make many existing heart conditions worse, sometimes leading to problems throughout pregnancy and especially during delivery.

At UChicago Medicine, we want you to know that you are not alone. Our team of specialists is here to help you and your family through every step of your care. Our cardiology and maternal-fetal medicine experts can provide a personalized plan to help keep you and your baby safe. We offer preconception counseling and specialized prenatal care services if you have any the following conditions:

You can count on our team to deliver expert care and compassionate support before, during and after your pregnancy.

Preconception Evaluations with ACHD Specialists

If you’re thinking about having a baby and you have congenital heart disease, we recommend starting your journey by coming to us for a preconception evaluation.

What to Expect

You will meet with a team that specializes in caring for pregnant patients with cardiovascular diseases.

This team includes:

  • A board-certified ACHD specialist (among only a handful of such specialists in Chicago and less than 100 in the United States)
  • Maternal-fetal medicine specialists (experts in the management of high-risk pregnancies)
  • Electrophysiologists (specialists in abnormal rhythms of the heart)
  • Heart failure experts, anesthesiologists, and other cardiologists with specific training and expertise in the impact of pregnancy on pre-existing heart conditions

Together, we will work with you to understand your family planning goals and help manage your potential risks during pregnancy.

How We Evaluate Your Risks

Your risk for cardiac events during pregnancy may be low, high or somewhere in between, depending on your particular heart condition and overall health. Our team will review your heart health and your history of treatment for cardiac conditions. We will also use echocardiography to measure your heart function and identify any concerns that may affect a future pregnancy.

Q&A: Preparing for a healthy pregnancy with adult congenital heart disease (ACHD)

Comprehensive ACHD Care During Pregnancy, Labor and Delivery, and Postpartum Recovery

Each pregnancy is different, and that’s especially true if you have cardiovascular disease. You may have few complications during pregnancy and a smooth delivery, or you may require more intense monitoring and care that continues after your baby is born.

  • A team designed around you: Our team includes experts in maternal-fetal medicine, cardiology and anesthesiology who have extensive experience managing cardiovascular disease during pregnancy. For your convenience, all of your tests and physician appointments take place at UChicago Medicine.
  • How we manage your prenatal risks: When you come to UChicago Medicine for prenatal care, our team will work with you to develop a follow-up plan to closely monitor you and your baby in the months ahead. We will coordinate whatever tests you may need to check your heart function throughout your pregnancy. We can also adjust any medications as needed to reduce the risks to you and your baby.
  • Planning a safe labor and delivery: At our Family Birth Center, our team routinely handles complicated deliveries. Our obstetric anesthesiologists have extensive expertise in helping women with heart disease deliver safely. Whether you’re having a vaginal birth or a C-section, they can provide a personalized plan to ease your pain and keep you as comfortable as possible.
  • High-risk care after delivery: Because delivery puts added stress on your heart, careful monitoring is critical during the first 24 hours for patient with cardiovascular disease. Our team will closely monitor you after your delivery and help ensure a safe transition back home for you and your baby. We’ll also arrange any follow-up appointments that you may need.

Why Consider Our ACHD Specialists When Planning Your Pregnancy

Building a family is a time full of hope. At UChicago Medicine, our caring, compassionate team can help reduce the risks for you and your baby during pregnancy so that you can stay focused on the future.

Your pregnancy risks are unique.

When you come to UChicago Medicine, our experts in maternal-fetal medicine, adult congenital heart disease and obstetric anesthesia will design a personalized plan that works for you. Throughout your pregnancy, we will communicate regularly with you and empower you to be part of your care team.

You and your baby benefit from our experience managing the spectrum of ACHD.

Combined, our expert team has more than 20 years of experience managing all types of congenital heart disease during pregnancy. You can have peace of mind knowing that we understand how to manage even the rarest types of congenital heart disease and can personalize a plan that’s right for you.

You get the specialized support you need during delivery.

At our Family Birth Center, you will receive expert care during your labor and delivery, whether you are having a vaginal birth or C-section. Our natural birthing suites and state-of-the-art operating rooms were designed with your comfort and safety in mind.

We’ll be lifelong partners in your care.

After your delivery, our team can coordinate and provide whatever treatments you may need. And because we are committed to your health over the long term, we can recommend whatever consults or follow-up you may need to keep your heart as strong as possible throughout your lifetime.

Meet Our Adult Congenital Heart Diseae (ACHD) in Pregancy Specialists

Find an Adult Congenital Heart Disease (ACHD) in Pregnancy Specialist Near You

Request an Appointment

You can also schedule an appointment instantly for in-person and video visits through our online scheduling portal.

The information you provide will enable us to assist you as efficiently as possible. A representative will contact you within one to two business days to help you schedule an appointment.

To speak to someone directly, please call 1-888-824-0200. If you have symptoms of an urgent nature, please call your doctor or go to the emergency room immediately.

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