When Serena Williams was pregnant in 2017, she won the Australian Open. You can bet her heart was filled with joy — and that is was healthy.
That promises good things for her daughter, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr.
According to a new study in JAMA Network, mom's heart health while pregnant has a lot to do with her child's heart health during ages 10 to 14.
The researchers looked at 2,300 future moms' body mass index, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, and smoking status during their 28th week of pregnancy. Then, 10 to 14 years later, the scientists evaluated the kids' cardiovascular health using body mass index as well as blood pressure, cholesterol, and glucose levels.
They found that kids born to moms with the worst heart health are eight times more likely to suffer heart problems when they're young, compared to kids born to mothers with ideal cardiovascular health.
Unfortunately, previous studies indicate that 90% of pregnant moms have less-than-great heart health.
If you're obese, have pre- or full-blown diabetes, high blood pressure, chest pain, or atherosclerosis, or had preeclampsia or eclampsia during a prior pregnancy, talk to your doctor before you become pregnant about making nutritional upgrades, increasing physical activity, and getting medical intervention if necessary (statins, diabetes medications, weight-loss surgery, etc.).
If you are currently pregnant and have heart-health issues, talk with your doctor about an exercise regimen, stress management, and a food optimization program.