Can We Prevent Pulmonary Atresia?

QUESTION

Dear Midwife,
Please can you help us? Our second baby was born with pulmonary atresia and survived only four and half months and we are heartbroken. We would like to try for another baby but are scared, as we were told we are double the risk of the same happening again.We know that the condition happens within the first 8 weeks of pregnancy and were wondering if there is anything we can do to help the same condition occurring. We have spoken to our own GP who said there is nothing we can do. We would be grateful for any advice you can give us.

ANSWER

I am so very sorry for your loss -- what a terrible thing to have happened. I agree with your GP, your risk is higher and there is nothing you can do short of buying a fertilized egg and implanting it.

BUT remember that double a VERY small number is still a very small number. The chances that it would happen again are very small.

-- Cynthia, CNM

Cynthia Flynn

Cynthia Flynn, CNM. PhD, is the General Director of the Family Health and Birth Center which provides prenatal, birth, postnatal, gynecological and primary health care to underserved women and their families in Washington, D.C. Recently Cynthia served as Associate Professor of Nursing at Seattle University. There she not only taught, but remained in full scope clinical midwifery practice at Valley Medical Center where she cared for pregnant and birthing women, and practices well-woman gynecology, family planning, and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Cynthia founded Columbia Women's Clinic and Birth Center, where she took care of pregnant women and infants up to two weeks of age and attended both birth center and hospital births. Before Cynthia earned her CNM, she worked as a registered nurse in labor and delivery and postpartum and is a certified Doula and Doula trainer.