Heart disease in pregnancy remains an ongoing challenge to safe motherhood. For women with heart disease diagnosed before or during the pregnancy, a specialist team including an adult cardiologist and an anaesthetist is necessary to manage both the mother’s heart care and her baby’s health care, during pregnancy and birth.
Monday (fortnightly)9.00am – 12.30pm
Cardiac function during pregnancy is critically important because of the extra demands placed on the woman's heart by the growing baby. The number of women with heart disease in pregnancy is increasing, partly because of improved treatment of congenital heart problems. In the past, women who were born with a heart defect may have been advised against pregnancy altogether. Nowadays, many of these women can expect to achieve their dreams of safe motherhood.
The Mercy Perinatal Cardiology Clinic looks after any women with heart disease, whether due to previous cardiac surgery, poor heart muscle function, faulty valves, or rhythm disturbance. This multidisciplinary clinic began in 2009 and has achieved excellent outcomes for women with cardiac disease diagnosed before, or during, pregnancy. Senior cardiologist, Dr Jennifer Johns reflects: "The outstanding results of this service shows what can be achieved with the combined skillset and seamless communication of a dedicated multidisciplinary service."
Our maternal cardiac service is staffed by an adult cardiologist, obstetric anaesthetist, maternal fetal medicine and ultrasound specialist, and a perinatal midwife. This ensures women can see all the necessary clinicians at the one visit, and facilitates clear communication regarding care planning among the team. The cardiac service runs alongside the adult cardiology and critical care services of Austin Health ensuring smooth transition to these services during pregnancy or in the postpartum period if required.
Pregnant women or women planning pregnancy with congenital cardiac disease (corrected or uncorrected), rheumatic heart disease, valvular disease, cardiomyopathy, ischaemic heart disease, significant rhythm disturbance, or any other cause of impaired cardiac function.