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Can a heart valve patient have a C section when in labor with a baby , and is it safer to get a C section so the mother (me) does not die?
and should the mother get a C section every time she's in labor?
Thank You because I'm planing on having a child when I'm in my 20's and the second open heart surgery should already have taken place

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replied October 18th, 2010
Heart Disease and Heart Attack Answer A16754
Hi, welcome to the ehealth forum and I am glad to help you.
You seem concerned by the mode of delivery in a heart valve patient with mechanical heart valve replacement.
Mechanical heart valves are associated with an increased risk of blood clots (thromboembolic events) during pregnancy, and these blood clots can be life threatening for the mother and baby. Anticoagulation (thinning the blood) with oral anticoagulants, usually warfarin, provides protection against these complications, but its use during certain times in pregnancy can increase the risk of birth defects and stillbirth.
The usual approach is to switch to heparin at 35-36 weeks even if oral anticoagulation with warfarin is being used for some time before that as the fetal liver is immature and warfarin crosses the placenta to reach the fetus, it can lead to over-anticoagulation in newborn baby with the increased risk of perinatal intracranial hemorrhage.
Pregnancy increases the risk of valve thrombosis. The time of greatest risk for venous thrombosis is immediately after delivery, and cesarean section further increases the risk up to 25-fold according to one study and so it is better to reserve the c section for usual obstetric indications and not to be used as a routine in all heart valve patients.
Followup with your personal physician is essential.
Hope this helps. Take care.
Note: This post is not to emphasise final diagnosis as the same cannot be made online and is aimed just to provide medical information and no treatment suggested above be taken without face to face consultation with health care professional.

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