I am
Heart attack recovery – your first month
heartfoundation.org.au|Helpline 13 11 12

Heart attack recovery – your first month

Explore the Heart Foundation’s guide on what to expect in the first month after your heart attack.

Key takeaways

  • Having a heart attack can be a scary and overwhelming event.  
  • You need to know what has happened to you.  
  • There are steps you can take in the first month after your heart attack to start recovering. 
  • If you’re alone and think you’re having a heart attack, call triple zero (000) immediately.  
A heart attack can be a life-changing event. It’s common for many people to feel scared, confused and overwhelmed after a heart attack.  

After your treatment, you likely received instructions and a lot of information from your doctor. You may not remember a lot of what the doctors and nurses told you, especially during the first few days. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the staff. You can also talk to your family about what’s happening. 

Find out what to expect in the first few weeks after having a heart attack.   

What happened to you?

It’s important to know what has happened to your heart, in order to recover.  

A heart attack usually happens when an artery that supplies blood to an area of your heart is suddenly blocked.  

Ask your doctor or nurse exactly what happened and what treatment or procedure you have received.  

Your first steps to recovery 

 
Having a heart attack can be a scary and overwhelming event. It’s important to know what has happened to you and what you can do in the first month after to start recovery. 
 
  • Understand what has happened 
  • Understand potential future risk factors 
  • Join a cardiac rehab program 
  • Understand your medications 
  • ​Know the warning signs of a heart attack.    
Learn more about how cardiac rehab can help you get back to normal activities. 

You might also be interested in

Daniel's cardiac arrest helped him discover another problem

Daniel's cardiac arrest helped him discover another problem

Daniel's cardiac arrest helped him discover another problem

Dan was six minutes into his treadmill session when his heart stopped beating....

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Action Plans

Action Plans

Action Plans

Recovery is a long journey, so having a plan makes a huge difference. Using an action plan gives you a step-by-step guide to improving your lifestyle....

Alcohol action plan

Alcohol action plan

Heart health information in your language

Heart health information in your language

A selection of heart health information brochures in a range languages...

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

What is cardiac rehab?

Cardiac rehab is proven to keep you out of hospital and reduce your risk of death from heart conditions....

Cardiac arrest at 33: the challenges of restarting your life

Cardiac arrest at 33: the challenges of restarting your life

Cardiac arrest at 33: the challenges of restarting your life

Emma shares her story and opens up about her emotional struggles....

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

What is a heart attack?

The most common cause of a heart attack is coronary heart disease....

Blood pressure action plan

Blood pressure action plan

Key steps that can help you manage your blood pressure....

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Driving and travelling after a heart attack

Explore our guide for driving and heart attack recovery. ...

Heart Health Check Toolkit

Heart Health Check Toolkit

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

More Australians die of Heart Disease than any other cause.

And the heartache lasts a lifetime. But you can help the Heart Foundation fund life-saving research to keep more families together....

Research Directory

Research Directory

Australian Heart Maps

Australian Heart Maps

Australian Heart Maps

Our Heart Maps allow you to take a closer look at heart disease indicators across Australia....

Cheesy Mexican vegetable pie

Cheesy Mexican vegetable pie

Cheesy Mexican vegetable pie

1 hour
Serves 4

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

Know your risk: Family history and heart disease 

A family history of heart disease could mean you are at greater risk....

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Hypertension clinical information and guidelines

Clinical information for diagnosis and management of hypertension....

The Heart Foundation Community

The Heart Foundation Community

The Heart Foundation Community

We need your opinion, experience and skills to help us improve the heart health of all Australians. ...

Tahini tofu dressing

Tahini tofu dressing

Tahini tofu dressing

Our research stories

Our research stories

Our research stories

We fund amazing researchers who have important stories to tell...

Heart Week

Heart Week

Primary aldosteronism – a neglected cause of high blood pressure

Primary aldosteronism – a neglected cause of high blood pressure

Primary aldosteronism – a neglected cause of high blood pressure

Dairy and your heart health

Dairy and your heart health

Dairy and your heart health

Not all dairy products are equal. Discover different types of dairy foods and their impact on heart health....

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Heart health information and resources

Heart disease can occur 10 to 20 years earlier among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and can lead to long-term health problems. ...

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Staying active for better heart health

Moving more every day is one of the best habits you can have....

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Are you at risk of heart disease? 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Are you at risk of heart disease? 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples: Are you at risk of heart disease? 

Preventing heart disease starts with knowing your risk factors and making changes to live a healthier life. ...

Strawberry fields oats

Strawberry fields oats

Strawberry fields oats

10 minutes
Serves 2

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Seafood recipes

Find heart healthy seafood recipes...

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

Heart procedures and devices

If you have a heart condition, your doctor may recommend treatment or procedures...

Snack recipes

Snack recipes

Snack recipes

Search for healthy snack ideas...

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

Permanent Pacemaker (PPM)

A small, battery-powered device that is fitted under the skin of your upper chest....

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy

Keeping your heart healthy is something you can work on every day. ...

Heart Bypass Surgery

Heart Bypass Surgery

Coronary bypass surgery is a common procedure that can dramatically improve the health of your heart. ...

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Beef recipes

Find heart healthy beef recipes....

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk assessment and management

Absolute CVD risk assessment is an integrated approach that estimates the cumulative risk of multiple risk factors to predict a heart attack or stroke event in the next five years....

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Lunch recipes

Search our lunch recipe ideas...

Lamb recipes

Lamb recipes

Lamb recipes

Find heart healthy lamb recipes....

Pregnancy and heart disease

Pregnancy and heart disease

Information and resources for health professionals....

Key Statistics: Heart Failure

Key Statistics: Heart Failure

Statistics and information on heart failure in Australia ...

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Nutrition after a heart attack

Discover key information on heart-healthy eating and drinking....