Continuing my posts for Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week, let’s talk a little bit about pregnancy. I hope that all pregnant ladies and all dads-t0-be get to read this, because it’s very important. The 20-week ultrasound is the “big one” and often the one where you get to find out the gender of your baby. This is also a crucial ultrasound for many people because it’s often where – unfortunately – they find potential heart issues with a baby in utero. Also unfortunately, some heart conditions are missed during this ultrasound because they don’t always look as closely at the heart as they should. I know, it’s sad…but it’s true.
So if you know someone who is having a baby, make sure they read this. If you are having a baby, please read this and remember this. Here are the questions you should ask at your 20-week ultrasound:
- Is the baby’s heart rate normal? A normal heart rate range is 120-180 beats per minute.
- Did you look at the arteries?
- Are the heart and stomach in the correct position?
- Do you see FOUR chambers in the heart?
- Is the heart function normal?
Early detection of a CHD is preferable so you can prepare for the best treatment. It’s not the best news to get, but trust me…it’s better to be prepared than shocked later. And if your baby’s heart looks great, then GREAT! Celebrate! If not, please know that there great treatment opportunities in place, and advances are made all the time.
Moms, please be sure you ask these questions. Dads, please be supportive and ask these questions too. Dads, please be sure you’re actually AT this ultrasound…you need to be involved, healthy baby or not. As parents, it’s your responsibility to advocate for the best care of your child; so ask those questions and demand they look more closely at the heart…every…single…time.
Posted on February 9, 2014, in awareness and tagged CHD, CHD Awareness Week, congenital heart defect, heart, HLHS, hypoplastic left heart syndrome, ultrasound. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.