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pregnancy and pacemakers
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pregnancy and pacemakers

I was wondering if pregnancy posed any type of special concerns or problems for pacemaker patients?  I have a single chamber atrial rate responsive pacemaker in which I am 100% dependent on and my husband and I plan to start our family in the next year or so.  I am currently 29.  I wanted to know if 1)Will I have to have more frequent pacemaker checks with the cardiologist and when I get pregnant should he be made aware right away or should I just wait till I see him at my six month check up?2)Do I need a special kind of OB doctor, am I considered a high risk pregnancy?(I have no other cardiac problems, except for a small PFO and mitral valve prolapse)3)I heard a rumor somewhere that pacemaker patients have to have c-sections, is that true or can I deliver naturally?4)Does the cardiologist need to be present or on standby during the birth of the baby?5)Since I have a rate responsive pacemaker will it speed up my heart rate during the actual birthing process?6)Should I schedule my pregnancies around the time the pacemaker battery life will be ending?  They can't do a battery change while I am pregnant right?  Should I try not to be pregnant when the battery, say, only has like one year left? Thanks so much for your time.  You are so kind to provide this service to people.  Thank you again!
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74076_tn?1189759432
Hi Kad,

1)Will I have to have more frequent pacemaker checks with the cardiologist and when I get pregnant should he be made aware right away or should I just wait till I see him at my six month check up?

For an atrial rate response pacemaker and no other cardiac comorbidities or conditions, you should not need to see your cardiologiest any more frequently.

2)Do I need a special kind of OB doctor, am I considered a high risk pregnancy?(I have no other cardiac problems, except for a small PFO and mitral valve prolapse

Not because of the pacemaker. Again, if you have other cardiac conditions, you will want to discuss possibles concerns with your cardiologist.

3)I heard a rumor somewhere that pacemaker patients have to have c-sections, is that true or can I deliver naturally?

You can delivery naturally.

4)Does the cardiologist need to be present or on standby during the birth of the baby?

Not unless there are special cardiac concerns surrounding your case.

5)Since I have a rate responsive pacemaker will it speed up my heart rate during the actual birthing process?

If you are 100% atrial paced, it probably will not.  You might want to discuss programming changes with your cardiologist, like increasing your base rate around the time of your delivery.

6)Should I schedule my pregnancies around the time the pacemaker battery life will be ending? They can't do a battery change while I am pregnant right?

I have done pacemaker generator changes with no radiation exposure.  If there are any concerns about your device or the leads, you may want to time it to avoid needing a generator change when you are pregnant.  Unfortunately we don't always have the options of when we get pregnant so it can be hard to time.  I would call your cardiolgist and ask them if they have any special concerns in your case prior to getting pregnant.  It sounds like things will work out fine.

GOOD LUCK and thanks for posting!
2 Comments
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88793_tn?1290230777
Kad,

It is not true that pacemaker patients have to have c-sections.  I'd my first pacer implanted in 1982.  Second in 1985.  My first daughter borned in 1987 and the second borned in 1989.  Both were vaginal delivery with normal birth.  Good luck and take care.

Pika
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