Feature ArticleAssessment and Evaluation of the Woman With Cardiac Disease During PregnancyDobbenga-Rhodes, Yvonne A. RNC, MS, CNS; Privé, Alice M. PhD, RNCAuthor Information Division of Patient Care Services, Washington Hospital Healthcare System, Fremont, Calif (Ms Dobbenga-Rhodes); and the San Francisco State University, San Francisco, Calif (Dr Privé). The authors acknowledge Rupa Chaobal, Washington Hospital Healthcare System Health Sciences Librarian, for her support. Corresponding author: Yvonne A. Dobbenga-Rhodes, RNC, MS, CNS, Division of Patient Care Services, Washington Hospital Healthcare System, 2000 Mowry Ave, Fremont, CA 94538 (e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org). Submitted for publication: July 19, 2006 Accepted for publication: August 17, 2006 The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: October-December 2006 - Volume 20 - Issue 4 - p 295-302 Buy Abstract Maternal heart disease complicates 0.2 to 3% of pregnancies and is responsible for 10% to 25% of maternal deaths. Many healthy women manifest subtle signs of cardiac failure during uncomplicated pregnancy and birth. Classic symptoms of heart disease mimic common symptoms of late pregnancy, such as palpitations, shortness of breath with exertion, and occasional chest pain. A complete cardiovascular examination assists the healthcare team to fully assess and evaluate the pregnant woman with known heart disease. Detailed assessment of the woman throughout pregnancy may lead to initial discovery of heart disease. Compilation of these objective data with subjective functional capacities allows for risk stratification and assignment to a New York Heart Association functional classification. © 2006 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.