Pregnancy can exacerbate some heart conditions and alleviate others.

Pregnancy can exacerbate some heart conditions and alleviate others. (Kevin Russ, E+ photo via Getty Images)

Lutz, 34, is otherwise healthy, but during both of her pregnancies she developed a heart condition.

About four months into her first pregnancy, she felt an extra heartbeat. A cardiologist said it was common to have some palpitations during pregnancy and monitored it but did not feel the need to treat it with medicine.

But within the first weeks of her second pregnancy, Lutz felt several extra beats and this time there was chest pain and tightness.

"With my second pregnancy I had a lot more symptoms ... chest pain, an awareness that I was having more, extra heartbeats, four or five in a row," Lutz recalled.

This time around doctors monitored and tested Lutz condition regularly. She was diagnosed with an arrhythmia.

She was prescribed beta blockers, which are safe during pregnancy, to manage her condition. She continued on with the pregnancy. The baby was born healthy and Lutz has since weened off of the medicine.

She said there were no plans to have more children after their second, but should she get pregnant she would be monitored closely and require certain precautions.

She warns others to listen to their bodies.

"If you have any concerns at all follow up with your doctor," she said. "It is so important for you and the health of the baby to make sure your body is functioning properly."

Dr. Marla Mendelson is a cardiologist and medical director of the Program for Women's Cardiovascular Health at Northwestern's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute.

Mendelson said nowadays there are more older women having babies, and women who as children had heart diseases, and now want to have babies. These scenarios increase the need for pre-pregnancy evaluations.

"The risk of coronary disease and hypertension increase with age especially over 40," Mendelson said.

"Unfortunately there are still a lot of adults, despite all of our advances, walking around and not being diagnosed with a heart disease."

However, she adds, that "fortunately the overall incidence of heart disease in pregnancy is still less than 5 percent."

Regardless, physicians insist, all women either with or without prior heart issues be evaluated preconception.