pregnancyAccording to a heart specialist, pregnancy complications may indicate a higher risk of health problems in later life stages.

Hypertension or diabetes developing during pregnancy usually goes away after delivery, but women who experienced these illnesses may have them again, according to Dr. Monika Sanghavi. She is a cardiologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

As stated by Sanghavi, “These women are at higher risk of developing hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease in the future, and should be followed long term.”

During pregnancy, about 6% of women develop diabetes, also known as gestational diabetes, while 7% of women develop hypertension, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

Sanghavi coined pregnancy as ‘nature’s stress test.’ She agrees that pregnancy is a wake-up call for women. This will alert them of possible chronic health issues in the future.

Women should take the time and the effort to adjust to a healthy lifestyle to protect their bodies from health conditions in the long term, suggested by Sanghavi.

She suggests that women should maintain a healthy weight by losing extra pounds, adopt a heart-healthy diet, get 30 minutes of exercise each day, attend regular checkups, and monitor their blood pressure and blood sugar levels religiously.

If you’re a mother with the risk of disease, play it safe by having a healthy lifestyle!