Researchers are not sure what causes congenital heart disease but they are making some progress, especially in the area of genetics. You can learn information about how genetic testing can be used to predict birth defects here.
If you are pregnant or plan to get pregnant you can also decrease your risk of having a baby with a congenital heart defect by following a few common pre-natal guidelines that include:
- Avoiding drugs and alcohol, including prescription medication, until you check with your doctor first and make sure he or she knows you are pregnant
- Taking a blood test to check your immunity to German measles
- Controlling your blood sugar levels if you are diabetic
Not only will these precautions decrease your child’s risk of developing a heart defect, but they will also keep you and your baby healthier and at less risk for other health problems.