It was long thought that once the baby was born the mother's risks were over.
But a new study may prove otherwise. A condition called pre-eclampsia, which affects between five and eight percent of pregnant women, results in high blood pressure.
A new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics shows that pre-eclampsia can double the risk of a later heart attack or stroke.
"Up until now, we thought we'd cured pre-eclampsia once the baby is out and so the veil is being lifted.
It's good to know that that is a risk factor," said obgyn Dr. Bea Kutzler.
Dr. Kutzler says pre-eclampsia has a genetic component and any woman who has it should have their doctor monitor them for heart disease, post pregnancy.
Symptoms of pre-eclampsia are severe swelling, headaches and vision problems.