How can congenital heart disease be prevented?

Women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant can take certain precautions to reduce the risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect:

  • If you're planning to become pregnant, talk to your doctor about any prescription or over-the-counter medications you're taking.

  • If you have diabetes, make sure your blood sugar levels are under control before you become pregnant. It's also important to work with your doctor to manage the disease during pregnancy.

  • If you haven't been vaccinated against rubella or rubella, avoid exposure and talk to your doctor about prevention options.

  • If you have a family history of congenital heart defects, ask your doctor about genetic testing. Certain genes may contribute to abnormal heart development.