Because the cause of most PDAs is unclear, there's no specific way to prevent having a baby with a patent ductus arteriosus. However, it's important to do everything possible to have a healthy pregnancy. Here are some of the basics:
- Get early prenatal care, even before you're pregnant. Quitting smoking, reducing stress, stopping birth control — these are all things to talk to your doctor about before you get pregnant. Also, be sure you talk to your doctor about any medications you're taking.
- Eat a balanced diet. Include a vitamin supplement that contains folic acid. Also, limit caffeine.
- Exercise regularly. Work with your doctor to develop an exercise plan that's right for you.
- Avoid risks. These include harmful substances such as alcohol, cigarettes and illegal drugs. Also, avoid X-rays, hot tubs and saunas.
- Avoid infections. Be sure you are up to date on all of your vaccinations before becoming pregnant. Certain types of infections can be harmful to a developing baby.
- Keep diabetes under control. If you have diabetes, work with your doctor to be sure it's well controlled before and after getting pregnant.
If you have a family history of heart defects or other genetic disorders, consider talking with a genetic counselor before becoming pregnant.
Dec. 22, 2011
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- Patent ductus arteriosus. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies/patent_ductus_arteriosus_pda.html?qt=patent%20ductus%20arteriosus&alt=sh. Accessed Nov. 9, 2011.
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- Doyle T, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Nov. 9, 2011.
- Phillips III JB, et al. Pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, and diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus in premature infants. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html Accessed Nov. 9, 2011.
- Miyamoto SD, et al. Cardiovascular diseases. In: Hay WW, et al, eds. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 20th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2011. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=6582787. Accessed November 13, 2011.
- Patent ductus arteriosus (PDA). American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/Patent-Ductus-Arteriosis-PDA_UCM_307032_Article.jsp#.Trsm4fJUFI4. Accessed Nov. 9, 2011.
- Warnes CA, et al. ACC/AHA 2008 guidelines for the management of adults with congenital heart disease: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines (writing committee to develop guidelines on the management of adults with congenital heart disease). Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2008;52:e143. Accessed Nov. 9, 2011.
- Clyburn RI, et al. Patent ductus arteriosus: Evidence for and against treatment. Journal of Pediatrics. 2007;150:216.
- Hammerman C, et al. Ductal closure with paracetamol: A surprising new approach to patent ductus arteriosus treatment. Pediatrics. In Press. Accessed Nov. 9, 2011.
- Preconception care questions and answers. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/preconception/QandA.htm. Accessed Nov. 14, 2011.