Research in practice

Experiences of pregnant women with fetal diagnosis of congenital heart disease

Parent support groups have an important role for women with fetal abnormalities
Pregnant women at a parent support group

Parent support groups have an important role for women with fetal abnormalities, with coronary heart disease being the most common

Fetal clinical nurse specialist Miranda Porritt looked at the experiences of pregnant women following diagnosis of coronary heart disease (CHD) as part of her master's degree dissertation and presents an extended abstract of her findings here.

Background

CHD is the most common congenital abnormality, affecting eight of every 1,000 live births in the UK.

The outcome for survival of the baby is significantly increased when the CHD is detected in utero (Blyth et al 2008), but the diagnosis can lead to severe emotional trauma for the pregnant woman (Rychik et al 2013). Studies have confirmed that this trauma can have far-reaching mental health consequences (Solberg et al 2011).

The aim of the study

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