Cardiovascular disease has become the leading cause of maternal mortality in the United States, as approximately 40% of maternal deaths can be attributed to cardiac or heart disease. With decades of medical and surgical advances, an increasing number of women with significant cardiovascular disease are surviving to childbearing age and contemplating pregnancy.
The significant physiologic stress pregnancy poses for the heart and blood vessels is generally well-tolerated by healthy women. However, for women with underlying congenital or acquired heart disease, this added strain can be overwhelming, leading to significant dysfunction and adverse maternal and fetal outcomes.
The Cardio-Obstetrics Clinic at Cleveland Clinic was developed to improve outcomes through collaborative and coordinated care. Staffed by cardiologists and maternal-fetal medicine specialists, the Cardio-Obstetrics Clinic offers a unique opportunity for cardiovascular evaluation related to pregnancy and childbirth. Services offered include preconception consultation and comprehensive pregnancy management, all in the setting of Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute. The Cardio-Obstetrics Clinic is supported by on-site maternal echocardiography and immediate access to experts in all areas of cardiovascular medicine and surgery. Obstetrical management, including labor and delivery services, occurs in the Special Delivery Unit, an on-site birthing facility specifically designed and equipped for maternal critical illness.
By providing unparalleled resources, convenience, and access to subspecialty care, the Cardio-Obstetrics Clinic strives to optimize maternal and fetal outcomes by providing women with cardiac disease an opportunity for education about their underlying condition and informed decision-making regarding their options for childbearing and pregnancy.