Heart Palpitations During Pregnancy

A heat palpitation feeling cannot be confused with anything else for anyone who has ever experienced one. It feels like the heart is not beating anymore or is simply fluttering inside the chest. The situation can cause panic and an inability to breathe. Even though some heart palpitations are absolutely normal, especially during pregnancy, some can be scary and disconcerting. Almost every individual gets palpitations occasionally. However, most women experience heart palpitations during pregnancy more than any other person because of various reasons.

What Causes Heart Palpitations During Pregnancy?

Heart palpitations during pregnancy are a common occurrence. They can be felt without any seeming reason, especially when under stress, exercising, feeling excited or anxious. Usually, pregnant women can have a feeling of breathlessness when encountering palpitations. All the same, they normally die out on their own some minutes later.

1. An Increased Volume of Blood

The body of a pregnant woman usually has up to 50% more blood than that of those that are not pregnant. This is needed to provide for the baby’s needs making sure that there is a lot of blood for both the fetus and the mother as well. However, the mother should move that increasingly enhanced volume of blood around her body with the same heart that she uses while not in the pregnant condition. This means that the heart would be required to work more than is the case in normal occasions. As a result, heart palpitations during pregnancy can occur.

2. Progesterone

The progesterone hormone gets more concentrated in a pregnant woman’s body than one that is not pregnant. The hormone is responsible for various emotional and physical changes experienced. One of the progesterone effects is increasing the heart beat and making it harder than usual. This makes it possible for sufficient circulation of blood all the way to the uterus even prior to the volume of a pregnant woman’s blood increases. The heartbeat rate is normally faster than usual hence leading to an increased error rate. Finally, this causes heart palpitations during pregnancy.

3. Caffeine Products

Sometimes, palpitations can be a result of a high intake of caffeine. Caffeine is a prevalent ingredient in a number of foods such as chocolate, cookies, brownies and carbonated fizzy drinks such as soda. If caffeine is the main cause of your heart palpitations, reduce its intake or even eliminate it from your diet.

4. Emotional Responses

Whether pregnant or not, heart palpitations can be felt by anyone. Such palpitations are believed to be a result of anxiety, stress, shock, nervousness, physical overexertion or fear. If your palpitations are a result of stress, make an effort to reduce situations that cause stress or being in the company of those who arouse stress. Take deep breaths and relax to help with such emotions. A prenatal yoga and massage can also prove to be very useful.

When to Worry About Heart Palpitations During Pregnancy

  • In some cases, heart palpitations could be a symptom of an over-active thyroid, known as hyperthyroidism. Hyperthyroidism condition could pose a health threat for the unborn child, so it is important for you to get diagnosis immediately and require suitable treatment to manage your condition.
  • In not so many cases, heart palpitations that come along with shortness in breath could be a symptom and sign of a common cardiac arrhythmia – an unusual heartbeat. You will need to act promptly if you have such a palpitations pregnancy, even calling your doctor at night immediately if you experience breathing difficulties, fainting, and dizziness along with an irregular heartbeat.

In most cases, palpitations can define a heart condition. If you have worries, it is important to contact your healthcare provider. They could suggest tests to be conducted on your heart in order to establish such a possibility. This could include putting on a “halter monitor” for a full day (24 hours). This is a machine that tracks and records the rate of your heartbeat in a continuous way. This machine can be worn comfortably at home. If the heart palpitations are very recurrent without stopping or are linked to chest pain, fainting, sweat and nausea, it is important to seek for medical advice with immediate effect.

How to Deal With Heart Palpitations During Pregnancy

The treatment of palpitations of the heart depends on a specific cause. Mostly, heart palpitations in pregnancyare not harmful and usually die out without any intervention for treatment. In such a case, you will not need any treatment. Therefore, if your palpitations are not a result of any underlying health condition, your doctor could advise you to stay away from certain things that cause them. Try the following:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety by engaging in stress-reducing ways such as relaxation exercises, tai chi, yoga, aromatherapy, biofeedback and guided imagery.
  • Don’t consume some beverages, foods and certain substances such as caffeine, nicotine, illegal drugs and alcohol.
  • Don’t take medications that serve their function as stimulants. These are such medications as cold and cough medications, and some nutritional and herbal supplements.
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