Congenital Heart Disease and Your Premature Baby

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Heart Disease or Congenital Heart Disease is one of the most common forms of birth defects and there is often no known cause

Heart Disease or Congenital Heart Disease is one of the most common
forms of birth defects and there is often no known cause. Heart
problems develop during the first 8 weeks of a baby`s development, and
this is often before a woman even knows she is pregnant. Because of
this, many women sometimes feel that they are responsible in some way
for their baby`s heart problem, but this is usually not the case at all.


Heart problems can be very severe as one would expect requiring surgery
and/or medication, but they can also be so minor that the defect will
heal on its own in time. Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA) or Atrial
Septal Defect (ASD) are examples of heart diseases that can close up on
their own without any medical interference. In a premature baby these
types of problems can be life-threatening depending on severity, and
may require serious medical intervention.


PDA is the most common heart disease among premature babies. Before a
baby is born there is an opening between two blood vessels, the
pulmonary artery and the aorta, allowing the blood to mix. This opening
closes soon after the baby is born keeping the blood from returning to
the lungs. However, this opening does not have the chance to close when
the baby is not mature at birth, and this hole closes usually on its
own as a premature baby matures.


PDA is diagnosed using several different methods. A complete medical
history, complete physical, electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, x-ray,
or cardiac catheterization are the most common methods used to
determine PDA. Medicine is often used to correct PDA, but if a
premature baby does not respond favorably to the medication, surgery
may be needed to close the opening.


Premature baby girls are more likely to develop PDA than boys, and some
of the symptoms of this disease are tachypnea (rapid breathing),
tachycardia (rapid heart rate), enlarged heart,  diaphoresis
(perspiration), cyanosis (bluish skin & mucous membranes), heart
sounds (rumble, murmur, thrill, or a second heart beat), and an erratic
pulse and/or pressure.


Sjona Lindquist is a mom of 6 (1 angel) and she owns and operates
Preemie Store. ~ Preemie Store is a resource site and specialty
shop for parents of premature babies. Lindquist’s daughter was stillborn from
Strep B infection due to PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes). In honor of her
daughter, Michaela, she offers preemie support, bereavement support, and preemie
clothes. Some of the products include micro
preemie clothes
, preemie
bereavement gowns
, and Preemie
. If a new preemie has entered your life or someone you love, drop by
and visit us! ~ Preemie

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