There's no sure 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:
- Seek 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 discuss medications you're taking.
- Eat a healthy diet. Include a vitamin supplement that contains folic acid.
- 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 hot tubs and saunas.
- Avoid infections. Update 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 manage the condition before and during pregnancy.
If you have a family history of heart defects or other genetic disorders, consider talking with a genetic counselor before becoming pregnant.
Dec. 16, 2014
- What is patent ductus arteriosus? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/pda/. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Patent ductus arteriosus. The Merck Manual Professional Edition. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/congenital_cardiovascular_anomalies/patent_ductus_arteriosus_pda.html?qt=patent%20ductus%20arteriosus&alt=sh. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Doyle T, et al. Clinical manifestations and diagnosis of patent ductus arteriosus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Doyle T, et al. Management of patent ductus arteriosus. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 20, 2014.
- Planning for pregnancy. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/preconception/planning.html. Accessed Oct. 22, 2014.
- Riggin EA. Decision Support System. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 10, 2014.