Irregular heartbeats and pregnancy
by Krista__0, Oct 30, 1998

  I am a 30 year old female, nine months pregnant.  Just this past week I discovered that I am having irregular heartbeats.  My OB told me that is is most likely PVC 's, and although she is not concerned since I am one of their healthiest patients, she has recommended I see a cardiologist just to be sure.  I am an active individual, a personal trainer by profession, a competive runner (until 2 years ago), and run, walk, hike, and weight train for exercise (amoung other activities).  I have never noticed an irregular heartbeat before and it has me quite concerned especially since I am 4 weeks away from my due date and do not know how this will effect my delivery or my baby.
  Throughout my pregnancy I have worked out 3-4 times per week by walking ( I ran until month 6), including teaching toning, and calisthenic classes.  I noticed that after my walks my heart is beating normally, but returns to the irregular pattern after a few hours.  My blood pressure is  good 114/60 and my heartrate is 60bpm.  I have had a persistent chest pain (pinching) on the left side since the 6 month that I have been treating with the help of a chiropractor, and physical therapist ( it is though to be neuromuscular) and I have the normal third trimester tiredness although is comes and goes, but no other symptoms.  Please give me your opinion does this sound like it may just be PVC or something else? Plus are PVC's commom in preganant women because of the increased bloodflow? Is it harmful to my baby, or effect the labor/delivery and will my heartbeat go  back to normal after the birth of my baby? Thank you for your help.
by CCF Cardio MD - MTR, Oct 30, 1998

Dear Krista, thank you for your question.  You may indeed be having PVC's but the only way to know for sure is to have you wear a cardiac monitor during periods that you feel an irregular heartbeat.    PVC's are not that common in pregnant women, but if you are having PVC's, they shouldn't interfere with blood flow to your baby.  It's hard to comment about the labor and delivery process since I really don't have enough information to know what's going on.   I agree with your obstetrician that seeing a cardiologist or even a good general internist would be a good idea - at least for the peace of mind such a visit may bring.  Thus, most of your questions would be better answered by a cardiologist who could speak with you, evaluate your ECG, and examine you.  Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy!
I hope you find this information useful.  Information provided in the heart forum is for general purposes only.  Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies. Please feel free to write back with additional questions.
If you would like to make an appointment at the Cleveland Clinic Heart Center, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE or inquire online by using the Heart Center website at www.ccf.org/heartcenter.   The Heart Center website contains a directory of the cardiology staff that can be used to select the physician best suited to address your cardiac problem.

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