Extended Video

Detecting Congenital Heart Disease in Babies
Prior to Birth

The only way to detect congenital heart disease in the fetus is to perform a non-invasive ultrasound test of the baby's heart. Thanks to improve technology, doctors can see baby's heart muscle, valves and arteries more clearly than a few decades ago. This diagnostic procedure is more specific than the regular ultrasound routinely done during the first trimester of pregnancy. The heart ultrasound is done when the mother or father has congenital heart defect themselves or has a history of congenital heart disease in their family. It is also done when the mother has been exposed to toxins or illnesses that are known to cause birth defects.