Heart Health

05 May 2010

CHD not a problem before birth

Many people wonder why congenital heart defects (CHD) only becomes apparent at birth and not before the baby is born.


Many people wonder why congenital heart defects (CHD) only becomes apparent at birth and not before the baby is born.

Before birth, the mother’s body provides for all the baby’s needs, regardless of the baby’s anatomy. Nutrients and oxygen are carried across the placenta to the foetus, and carbon dioxide and other waste products are removed. As the foetus does not need to breathe before birth, there are short-circuits in the heart allowing foetal blood to bypass the inactive lungs.

Birth separates the baby from the placenta, so the mother’s circulation can no longer bring oxygen or remove carbon dioxide, and the baby’s own lungs must now do this.

The temporary short-circuits needed before birth must close, otherwise the baby’s blood will continue to bypass the lungs, and the baby will be short of oxygen. If a shortcircuit or detour persists after birth, this is considered a form of CHD, even if the detour is situated well away from the heart, for example connecting major blood vessels.

(The Heart and Stroke Foundation SA, Health24, updated January 2008)


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Ask the Expert

Honey Morgan

Honey is a Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, Energy ReSourcing™ & Ericksonian Hypnotherapy Practitioner who has been practicing for over a decade. Personally, Honey is actively involved in the BDSM community and takes the role of a submissive or slave. She also spent 7 years as an exotic dancer. Her specialised coaching focus on sex & relationships, as well as spiritual journeys, is the result of a burning passion to help women (and men!) have fulfilling long-term relationships & healthy sex lives. She is also dedicated to helping couples and individuals find the bond, connection & love we all so desperately yearn for in our souls. Honey is one of the founders and creators behind www.sexandhoney.com and www.my-coach-online.com, two innovative online coaching platforms designed to put real coaching resources into the hands of people who need them most… at a fraction of the cost of traditional coaching and counseling.

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules