In most cases, congenital heart defects such as tricuspid atresia can't be prevented. If you have a family history of heart defects or if you already have a child with a congenital heart defect, a genetic counselor and a cardiologist experienced in congenital heart defects can help you look at possible risks associated with future pregnancies.
Some steps you can take that might reduce your baby's risk of heart and other birth defects in pregnancy include:
Aug. 15, 2015
- Get adequate folic acid. Take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. This amount, which is often already in prenatal vitamins, has been shown to reduce brain and spinal cord defects, and folic acid may help prevent heart defects, too.
- Talk with your doctor about medication use. Whether you're taking prescription or over-the-counter drugs, an herbal product or a dietary supplement, check with your doctor before using them during pregnancy.
- Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol during pregnancy. Smoking or drinking alcohol can increase the risk of congenital heart defects.
- Avoid chemical exposure, whenever possible. While you're pregnant, it's best to stay away from chemicals, including cleaning products and paint, as much as you can.
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- Hay WW, et al. Cardiovascular diseases. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Pediatrics. 22nd ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 5, 2015.
- Tricuspid atresia. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/pediatrics/congenital-cardiovascular-anomalies/tricuspid-atresia. Accessed June 5, 2015.
- Tricuspid valve (TV) atresia. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 5, 2015.
- What are congenital heart defects? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/chd. Accessed June 10, 2015.
- Crawford MH. Congenital heart disease in adults. In: Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Cardiology. 4th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2014. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed June 5, 2015.
- d-Transposition of the great arteries. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/CongenitalHeartDefects/AboutCongenitalHeartDefects/d-Transposition-of-the-great-arteries_UCM_307024_Article.jsp. Accessed June 17, 2015.
- Congenital heart defects and CCHD. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/baby/congenital-heart-defects.aspx. Accessed June 17, 2015.
- Isotretinoin and other retinoids during pregnancy. March of Dimes. http://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/isotretinoin-and-other-retinoids-during-pregnancy.aspx. Accessed June 17, 2015.
- Giglia TM, et al. Prevention and treatment of thrombosis in pediatric and congenital heart disease: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2013;128:2622.
- Caregiver reach out introduction. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/ReachOut/ReachOutIntroduction/Caregiver-Reach-Out-Introduction_UCM_301840_Article.jsp. Accessed June 26, 2015.
- Getting support. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Caregiver/ReachOut/GettingSupport/Getting-Support_UCM_301847_Article.jsp. Accessed June 26, 2015.
- Facts about birth defects. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/facts.html. Accessed June 26, 2015.