New report looks at women’s heart health during pregnancy

DETROIT – A new report is looking at women’s heart health during pregnancy.

The report found that those nine months are a critical period, not just for the expecting mother but also for her unborn baby.

Pregnancy can be stressful, emotionally and physically for expectant mothers. The current state of heart health in pregnant women in the United States is far from ideal.

A new study published in the Journal of American Heart Association looked at a thousand expectant mothers. It found that just 5 percent had high cardiovascular health. While 60 percent were considered moderate and 35 percent were considered poor. That not only puts the mother at risk, but also the unborn child.

Researchers looked at seven key metrics. Things like diet, exercise, weight, glucose, cholesterol, smoking and blood pressure. A diet high in fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, along with moderate exercise can help keep a heart healthy through pregnancy and beyond.

As for exercise the study found only 25 percent of women were getting 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Something like ab risk walk 20 to 30 minutes a day and 50 percent reported no exercise at all.

The report found heart health was worse among younger pregnant women and African Americans. The study’s author said more research is needed to understand why.

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