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Types of septal defects include:. Some small septal defects close on their own.

Improving Maternal Bonding Time for Newborns With Heart Disease

Heart surgery or procedures with catheters can fix larger septal defects. Babies with AVSD usually need heart surgery. Some babies have heart defects because of changes in their chromosomes or genes. Chromosomes are the structures that hold genes. Genes are passed from parents to children.

Why it happens

Certain gene changes also called mutations are linked to heart defects. At least 15 in 15 percent of CHDs are linked to genetic or chromosomal conditions. For example, about half of babies with Down syndrome have heart defects. If you, your partner or one of your other children has a congenital heart defect, your next baby may be more likely to have one, too.

So you may want to meet with a genetic counselor.

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Tell your provider about any medicine you take before you try to get pregnant. This includes prescription medicines , over-the counter medicine, herbal products and supplements. But some medicines may be critical to your own health, even if they may affect your baby. You and your provider can weigh the benefits and risks of medicine you take to give you the healthiest possible pregnancy. Starting, stopping or changing medicines may cause serious health problems for you or your baby.

Some things in your life and environment where and how you live may increase your chances of having a baby with a CHD. These include:. Less severe heart defects may not be found until children are older. You can have this test at about 18 to 24 weeks of pregnancy. Your baby is tested for critical CHDs as part of newborn screening before she leaves the hospital after birth.

Heart abnormality birth defects

Newborn screening checks for serious but rare and mostly treatable conditions. It includes blood, hearing and heart screening. All states require newborn screening, and all states except California require screening for critical CHDs. California requires that providers offer screening for critical CHDs. Babies are screened for critical CHDs with a simple test called pulse oximetry also called pulse ox. Low levels of oxygen can be a sign of a heart defect. The test is painless and only takes a few minutes. Pulse oximetry can find many but not all critical CHDs. If tests find that your baby has a critical CHD, she can get early care and treatment to prevent more serious health problems.

"Clinical Presentation of Congenital Heart Disease: Congestive Heart Failure" by Michael Freed, MD

This is a doctor who treats babies and children with heart conditions. If your baby has any of these signs, call his provider right away. March of Dimes fights for the health of all moms and babies. We're advocating for policies to protect them. We're working to radically improve the health care they receive. We're pioneering research to find solutions. We're empowering families with the knowledge and tools to have healthier pregnancies.

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    Congenital heart defects and critical CHDs. E-mail to a friend Please fill in all fields. Please enter a valid e-mail address. Thank you! Your e-mail was sent. Save to my dashboard Sign in or Sign up to save this page. Saving Just a moment, please. You've saved this page It's been added to your dashboard. In This Topic View More. What are congenital heart defects? How can heart defects affect your baby?

    The heart has four chambers. The two upper chambers also called atria receive blood. The two lower chambers also called ventricles pump blood out of the heart to other parts of the body. This is a wall that separates the right and left sides of the heart. There is a wall between the two atria, and a wall between the two ventricles. Heart valves. These valves open and close to control blood flow through the heart. Arteries and veins near the heart. Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to the body.

    The aorta is the main artery that carries blood away from the heart to the rest of the body. Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from the body to the heart. What are examples of critical CHDs? Single ventricle defects include: Ebstein anomaly. This means blood can leak back into the wrong part of the heart. Babies with this condition may need surgery to repair or replace the tricuspid valve.

    They also may need medicines to control their heart rate, improve blood flow or treat any signs of heart failure.

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    • Hypoplastic left heart syndrome also called HLHS. A baby with HLHS needs several different types of surgery starting soon after birth to help increase blood flow to her body. Some babies also need medicines to make their heart muscle stronger, lower their blood pressure or help the body get rid of extra fluid. If the condition is very severe or if surgeries weaken the heart, the baby may need a heart transplant.