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Diagnosing Congenital Heart Disease in Babies on the Central Coast

At Dignity Health Central Coast, protecting your baby’s health from fetal conditions, such as congenital heart disease, is our goal throughout your pregnancy. When an unborn baby develops a heart problem, our expert team of pediatric cardiologists provide congenital heart disease treatment with dignity, respect, and care for you, your family, and baby.

Find a Doctor for care in preventing, diagnosing, and treating congenital heart disease in infants on the Central Coast of California.


Detecting Congenital Heart Disease in Infants

Just as every baby is unique, the symptoms of congenital heart disease can vary depending on the severity. Some babies have such a mild condition that doctors do not detect any signs.

Other symptoms may not appear until later in life or only when a doctor discovers them while monitoring for another condition. The most severe cases of congenital heart disease in infants can present life-threatening symptoms within a few days or weeks after birth.

Call 911 or seek emergency care if your baby shows any serious signs, such as:

  • Changes in breathing — either faster, slower, or with difficulty
  • Swollen arms, legs, and abdomen
  • Clubbing of your baby’s fingers
  • Easily tired
  • Bluish or dusky skin


Caring for a Baby with Congenital Heart Disease at Dignity Health Central Coast

Your doctor will base treatment on the type of congenital heart disease, its severity and your personal wishes for the health and well-being of your baby. At Dignity Health Central Coast, our doctors diagnose all types of congenital heart disease on the Central Coast, including heart valve and blood vessel abnormalities, as well as septal defects.

Many of these are detected early during a mother’s ultrasound. A maternal-fetal specialist or pediatric cardiologist can be with you every step of the way to help you understand your baby’s condition. For the best chance of a healthy life, your baby’s treatment may involve monitoring for less severe cases and medications or surgery for more serious heart defects.

Dignity Health Central Coast birthing centers want all of our expectant mothers and their babies to stay healthy and enjoy life to its fullest. To help prevent congenital heart disease, follow these guidelines:

  • Keep immmunizations up to date
  • Maintain healthy blood sugar levels
  • Don’t smoke, drink alcohol, or use illicit drugs during pregnancy
  • Take folic acid daily during your childbearing years
  • Receive regular prenatal care

For the health of you and your unborn baby, meet with a maternity specialist at Dignity Health Central Coast.

Dignity Health cares for the well-being of mothers and the health of their babies with congenital heart disease on the Central Coast of California.