Congenital heart defects in children: Things you must be aware of as a parent

Congenital heart defect (CHD) is a problem or abnormality that occurs when a baby’s heart is developing while inside the mother’s womb. The term ‘congenital’ refers to a defect present at birth and is one of the most common birth defects. CHD indicates a problem in the structure of the heart which can affect the heart walls, heart valves or blood vessels. A baby’s heart starts forming during conception but is fully developed, eight weeks into the pregnancy. CHD originates during the first six weeks of pregnancy when the heart of the foetus starts taking form and shape.
Congenital heart problems can range from simple to complex and while the simpler ones can be managed with minimal medication and regular follow ups with the doctor, some of the more complex ones may require an intervention or surgery within the first few days of life.
Avoid smoking and consumption of alcohol
Avoid exposure to radiations
Take a multivitamin with folic acid 2-3 months prior to conception and continue during pregnancy as folic acid can help reduce birth deficiencies .