Lifestyle and home remedies

By Mayo Clinic Staff

As your child grows, you might have some concerns about how best to care for him or her, including:

  • Preventing infection. A child who has severe heart defects might need to take preventive antibiotics before certain dental and surgical procedures. Your child's doctor can tell you if this is necessary. Maintaining good oral hygiene and getting regular dental checkups are excellent ways to help prevent infection.
  • Exercising and play. Parents of children who have congenital heart defects often worry about the risks of rough play and vigorous activity even after successful treatment.

    Although some children might need to limit the amount or type of exercise, many can lead normal or near-normal lives. Decisions about exercise need to be made on a case-by-case basis, so ask your child's doctor which activities are safe for your child.

If you're an adult who has congenital heart disease, you might have concerns, such as:

  • Employment. Having a congenital heart defect generally won't limit your career options. If you have serious heart rhythm problems or the potential for life-threatening complications, careers that can put others at risk — such as flying a plane or driving a bus — might be discouraged. Competitive sports are generally not suggested in people with repaired tetralogy of Fallot.
  • Pregnancy. Most women who have congenital heart disease tolerate pregnancy without any problems. However, a severe heart defect or complications such as chronic pulmonary regurgitation or arrhythmias can increase the risk of complications during pregnancy.

    If you have congenital heart disease, discuss family planning with your doctor. Your doctor may recommend that you receive care before and during your pregnancy from doctors trained in congenital heart disease, genetics and high-risk obstetric care. Some heart medications aren't safe during pregnancy and might need to be stopped or adjusted before you become pregnant.

Oct. 08, 2015