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What is mild coarctation of the aorta in newborns?
Coarctation of the aorta is a type of congenital heart defect. Congenital heart defects are heart problems a baby is born with.
The aorta is the large blood vessel that sends oxygen-rich blood (red blood) from the heart out to the body. Coarctation (say “ko-ark-TAY-shun”) means that a section of this blood vessel is narrowed or pinched. The heart has to work extra hard to pump the blood through it.
If the narrowing gets worse, the heart may have to work harder. Sometimes it can lead to high blood pressure, which can also strain the heart. Over time, this can weaken the heart.
It can be scary to learn that there is something wrong with your baby’s heart. The hospital staff understands this. They will explain what happens and will answer your questions.