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Unsettling heart palpitations during pregnancy - any experiences?


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My heart has been suddenly jumping/racing for a few seconds at a time, several times a day, for the past week. It is not painful, just sudden and strange to become aware of your heart. It feels like three or four fast/hard pumps and then it's over.

 

Has anyone ever experienced this? I asked my OB today and he was not concerned because he said it sometimes does happen in pregnancy. This is my 6th pregnancy and I have never experieced this before.

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I have it occasionally when not pg but I noticed in all 4 of my pregnancies. It can be very unnerving. My doctor wasn't concerned either.

 

I would still keep an eye on it just to be safe.

 

Blessings,

Meli

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I had that with my 4th, but it was more than 4 pumps, it would last for about a minute or two. It still happens, and my baby is 2 and 1/2. :confused:

 

My suggestion is to keep your OB updated. Maybe you could log it, and find some kind of pattern, or at least have something to show your doc.

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Yup-all 6 times and it got worse each time. Oddly enough it only does it when I lay on my left side. They did tests and called it a "wacky electrical circuit" that gets stressed when I am pregnant. It rarely happens when I am not pregnant.

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I had this happen during my pregnancy. Due to other heart problems I was already under the care of cardiologists and electrophysiologists at the time. They monitored me closely but never seemed to be able to pinpoint the problem or alleviate it. It did stop after I had ds, though. I know it is very unsettling and I'm sorry you are experiencing it!

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I have this problem. It happens outside of pregnancy as well though. I think it is worsened by changing hormones. It seems to be worst during early pregnancy, after giving birth [or discontinuing breastfeeding], and now I've noticed it flares up right before my time of the month.

 

I've seen cardiologists, worn holter monitors, had echocardiograms, ekg's and stress tests (which are not fun when you're 6 months pregnant!).

 

During my last pregnancy it was really bad. At one point my heart rate suddenly jumped and stayed elevated. By the time we reached the hospital 1/2 hour after it started, my heart rate was still 220 beats per minute. I cannot begin to explain what that feels like. They had two nurses trying to stick an iv into me. They then injected me with something that they said basically stopped my heart for a split second, and when it restarted it resumed a normal rhythm.

 

As scary and awful as that was, they just kept me in the ER for a couple hours and then released me. That was it. It continued to happen throughout the next few months [it was very unpleasant and I was exhausted though and could barely stand up] but thankfully it always corrected itself. My ob had suggested an ablation after the pregnancy, but it has eased off post pregnancy.

 

Nobody seemed to be too concerned. They just did some tests to rule out anything serious. They did change my blood pressure medication. There are certain types that can help control those irregularities.

 

If you continue to be bothered ask your ob for a referral to a cardiologist. And, if you have a really bad episode which does not correct itself as I did, go to the ER.

 

Also, keep a log of symptoms and regular heart rates, etc. Nobody took me seriously for the longest time [i started having problems immediately after baby number 3 was born and I was pretty much dismissed until I ended up with a hospital stay with baby number 5] ... it was all in my head, I was depressed, or better yet was "having a panic attack" -- to which my response was "Of course I am, you would be too if your heart was suddenly about to jump out of your chest!" :D

Edited by natalie
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My sister had this with her first baby to the point where she had to sit down because it made her feel very uneasy. She saw her OB and a cardiologist and was a high risk preg because of this condition. She had techardia (sp?) and never knew until the baby placed extra pressure on her body. She had to have a procedure when bub was about 3 months old and have part of her heart lasered because it was creating an extra electrical impulse causing her heart pulpitations. I would keep an eye on it and request further assessment if it gets worse.

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It's probably PSVT. I had this just recently. My heart would go up to about 200bpm at times, sometimes for seconds, and sometimes for minutes. I would get dizzy, faint, nauseous, and weak...I was in L&D over and over for it and they would monitor me and check baby. Doc did some reasearch and decided delivering the baby should clear it up, but it wasn't urgent so long as I showed no other signs. It is rather scary, but generally it's not serious.

 

ETA: It went away as soon as baby was born. Also, I have other heart conditions (the extra electrical pathway as well as valve issues that cause me to have heart palpitations and tachycardia. It went away while pregnant, and then this other came up that was unrelated. This was my 9th pregnancy (4th baby born, several losses). I had never had this in any other pregnancy.

Edited by hmschooling
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My heart has been suddenly jumping/racing for a few seconds at a time, several times a day, for the past week. It is not painful, just sudden and strange to become aware of your heart. It feels like three or four fast/hard pumps and then it's over.

 

Has anyone ever experienced this? I asked my OB today and he was not concerned because he said it sometimes does happen in pregnancy. This is my 6th pregnancy and I have never experieced this before.

 

Yes--I had this. It eventually culminated in an episode that lasted a few hours. This prompted the OB to put me on atenolol, which keeps the heart from beating too fast.

 

Unfortunately, my heart never reverted back to how it was before that pregnancy and I am still taking atenolol.

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I had it when I was pregnant with my oldest dd. It only happened once but it was much longer than a minute and prompted my OB to send me to the ER. They said I was tachicardia (sp) and monitored for a while. My doctor said it had to do with the pressure added by the extra weight of the baby.

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I have this problem. It happens outside of pregnancy as well though. I think it is worsened by changing hormones. It seems to be worst during early pregnancy, after giving birth [or discontinuing breastfeeding], and now I've noticed it flares up right before my time of the month.

 

I've seen cardiologists, worn holter monitors, had echocardiograms, ekg's and stress tests (which are not fun when you're 6 months pregnant!).

 

During my last pregnancy it was really bad. At one point my heart rate suddenly jumped and stayed elevated. By the time we reached the hospital 1/2 hour after it started, my heart rate was still 220 beats per minute. I cannot begin to explain what that feels like. They had two nurses trying to stick an iv into me. They then injected me with something that they said basically stopped my heart for a split second, and when it restarted it resumed a normal rhythm.

 

As scary and awful as that was, they just kept me in the ER for a couple hours and then released me. That was it. It continued to happen throughout the next few months [it was very unpleasant and I was exhausted though and could barely stand up] but thankfully it always corrected itself. My ob had suggested an ablation after the pregnancy, but it has eased off post pregnancy.

 

Nobody seemed to be too concerned. They just did some tests to rule out anything serious. They did change my blood pressure medication. There are certain types that can help control those irregularities.

 

If you continue to be bothered ask your ob for a referral to a cardiologist. And, if you have a really bad episode which does not correct itself as I did, go to the ER.

 

Also, keep a log of symptoms and regular heart rates, etc. Nobody took me seriously for the longest time [i started having problems immediately after baby number 3 was born and I was pretty much dismissed until I ended up with a hospital stay with baby number 5] ... it was all in my head, I was depressed, or better yet was "having a panic attack" -- to which my response was "Of course I am, you would be too if your heart was suddenly about to jump out of your chest!" :D

 

I've had similar issues. But I've felt it and it doesn't show up on the holter monitor other than as a typical heart elevation. I had no wonky heart beats and have seen a cardiologist as well. I've been put on a heart med and it has seemed to stop. Before I could feel when my blood pressure rose and I felt awful. I would have some heart palpitations but it just felt like a quick kuh klunk. I'm not sure what caused it. I'd like to think hormones. I do have thyroid issues but who knows why. All I know is I'm not experiencing them anymore thank goodness.

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:grouphug: I know how unsettling anything heart-related can be! If it continues to bother you, your doctor may want to do an EKG and echocardiogram. I had episodes of racing heartbeat when pregnant, and it turned out I had mitral valve prolapse, which is almost always completely benign. It was good to know what was going on; the last thing you need when you're pregnant is to be worrying about your heart, and worrying often exacerbates these types of symptoms!

 

Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, and take your vitamins. If I were you, I'd want at least an EKG, just to put my mind at ease. (An echocardiogram, should they decide you need one, is just an ultrasound of the heart. Easy.)

 

Wendi

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