8 months pregnant with ST and SVT and scared of giving birth
by venusi, Mar 18, 2010
I am now 8 months pregnant and have been seeing an OB and a cardiologist - still after over 3 years no diagnosis as to the cause of my sinus tachy.  It started 4 months after giving birth to my first child and I have been on beta blockers since which help a little but don't stop the palpitations especially after eating.  

I have lots of questions which are unanswered even by the cardiologist, in fact I saw him just yesterday and he didn't have any answers other than "We see no reason why you can't have a natural birth." and "Ooh yes your heart rate will go up during labour and delivery!"  I'm terrified!

I've been told that a c-section would be more risky and so I'm having natural birth but so scared of it.  My first birth was easy though and I was stunned that I got ill after it.  Though I was not looking after myself admittedly.

I had a string of infections followed by a couple of viruses at the time, I had also lost weight and had bad post natal depression at the time so who knows what kicked off the sinus tachy!  However, I'm in the UK so the option to ablate has not been put to me at all!  

As it nears the birth I grow more and more afraid by the minute.  No one can reassure me because they just don't know the cause of the tachy nor the outcome of the birth.  My close friends and family (even the OB) say there's no need to worry and that they think I'll be fine but I can't help the fear of it!  

Has any sufferers of tachy on here given natural birth even with tachy?

I have had EKGs, I had an Echo 3 yrs ago, Holter monitor also (twice, once 3 yrs back and once this yr).  I had high bp with the tachy when it started and they did initially suspect it was thyroid but my levels were normal.  I have had all the symptoms of hyperthyroid but my thyroid levels were all perfect.  It is a sustained elevated heart rate without the beta blockers.

My normal rate before having my son was always around 60 ish, then 4 months after having him it was 90 to 100 at rest.  120 or more just standing up and walking about.  My bp, I can't remember the values but both diastolic and systolic were both high.  The beta blockers normally keep it down to between 70 and 80 at rest, 90 after eating (with palps after every meal).  They also keep my blood pressure at normal level.  

I am worried about my blood clotting at the birth, the cardio asked if I have ever had a thrombosis or anything in the past, I am also worried at the opposite scale that I might bleed a lot, I have no idea what my blood is like, only that yes since this began my circulation has been appaulingly bad and never used to be!  

Can anyone reassure me?
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Member Comments (7)
by Sise, Mar 18, 2010
Hi venusi. I know exactly how you feel. I had atrial flutter toward the end of my pregnancy and was in and out of the ER. I can totally feel your frustration. My OB wanted me to have a natural birth at first but I insisted on a c-section. My thought was that a natural birth would be to much on my heart. So after seeing me admitted too much in the hospital he agreed that a c-section would be best.

I am naturally thin and my doctors thought it was my thyroid as well but my test all came back ok. They don't know too much on why I have the heart condition. I've done an ablation but to no success. My cardiologist said I can either try it again or take heart meds forever.

I really dont know what to tell you to ease your mind.  I hate it when everyone tells me its going to be ok. Things happen and your heart is nothing to take lightly. I made it through my pregnancy and it was a big relief. I hope all goes well for you.

Do you remember taking any herbal products, Dramamine, or airborne? I think I read somewhere this may contribute to arrhythmia.
by cindy707, Mar 18, 2010
Hi i read your post. I am so sorry that you are going thru all of this worrying especially since it is such a very special time of your life and it just doesn't seem fair does it?  Granted when we give birth our blood pressure and pulse rate go up from all of the hard work that we have to do to bring life onto this earth but my feeling is a little different about that but first let me address your worries.  When we give birth naturally there is only minimal bleeding during our delivery of our children so on that point i definately would not worry about it, excessive bleeding really has nothing to do with your diagnosis and you probably won't suffer from it because you have posted nothing on your post that you are on anticoagulants which are blood thinners and even if you were you have to remember that it probably still wouldn't effect you much so on that point i personally feel you are pretty safe.  As far as throwing a clot during the delivery...again i think it would be highly unlikely and the cause if it were to happen would be you suffering an episode of huge porportions of atrial fib and tachycardia during the actual delivery again a pretty remote situation and even if you did i am sure that they will have a "clot buster" as they are called in the delivery room which they inject into you immediately and it dissolves the clot on entry of the medication so there to me you are safe as well.  As far as your circulation being bad during the pregnancy well welcome to most healthy womens worlds...that is perfectly normal for all of us causing our legs and feet and hands to swell during the pregnancy from water retention also perfectly normal. Medical science is so advanced now that it isn't like it used to be when women died during childbirth...there is so much that they can do it is like the docs are like medical crime fighters or warriors when i comes to our bodies and they take every single precaution out there to ensure that nothing happens to us. Your first birth and all of the issues you experienced really have nothing to do with this birth it was a whole different issue because you obviously became ill with the virus before the birth and this time you have not so it will definately be easier on your body this round.  I cannot think of a single thing that would happen to you that the doctors could not handle and no doubt have prepared for. You have to have a little faith in the doctors and know that they have seen absolutely everything a least a couple of times thru out their careers.  If you really want reassurance i would ask the heart doc if he/she could be called during the delivery so that they can be there just for added insurance altho from what you've described it doesn;t sound to me like you need it.  There are literally thousands and thousands and thousands of women out there that have tach. and breeze thru their delivery without any problems so don't scare yourself to death here.  Every single odd that there is is with you so try to relax and enjoy the last trimester of your pregnancy.  Sometimes in life you have to really have faith that everything will be just fine if you have trust.  There is an old saying that when people make plans God just laughs.  Pretty appropriate saying i think...in other words ultimately it is not up to you or i or the doctors.....you need to keep hope and faith alive in this and keep in mind that it is such a huge remote possiblity that this could happen.  Trust you doctors and trust in faith no matter what yours may be.   I have two kids and am still here to write this post to you.....trust...trust ....trust and make sure you post us after the delivery to let us know if it was a boy or a girl and how it went for you.....
by ireneo, Mar 18, 2010
I've had PSVT all my life, rates going up close to 200 bpm, used to have episodes daily. And I gave birth naturally to all 3 of my kids. Didn't have a single heart related problem during the labor and delivery. My OB knew about my rhythm problems and was prepared but nothing out of the ordinary happened.

If you were on blood thinners as Cindy mentioned, they would have to know about it and be prepared.

I'm assuming your heart is in good health other than the electrical system being out of whack a bit. That's good and most likely your labor and delivery will be as normal as can be (lots of hard work).

I wish I could calm your fears but I'm not sure how. I hope you have a wonderful new baby soon. I just helped my daughter through her labor and delivery this past weekend. It's amazing.
by mammaoftwins, Mar 18, 2010
I have SVT. I gave birth to my twins vaginally without any problems. I know you think it's your thyroid, but I had the same symptoms and I was tested extensively for thyroid, but always came up clean. I finally saw a holistic endocrinoligist, and was determined to have impaired adrenal glands. Now that my adrenals are fine I don't have any of the thyroid symptoms I used to have. Hope this helps. Good luck and have faith.
by amiey2217, Mar 18, 2010
I had SVT throughout my entire pregnancy and was told by my cardiologist to be monitored during labor and delivery and to have an epidural to help with the pain of labor, as it can stimulate SVT. I was a bit anxious leading up to the delivery of my daughter, but everything went great, no SVT events at all! I wish you the best of luck!
by venusi, Mar 19, 2010
Thanks for your encouraging words, I hope you're right and that it goes well.  The OB isn't worried and the cardiologist wrote in my birth notes that he sees no problem with natural birth.   I think what scares me is the pushing more than anything else.  I just hope she's not as big as my son was, he was a large baby and I'm very small.  It took some hard pushing and a lot of stitches as a result.  They say girls are smaller than boys so I have my fingers crossed.
by ireneo, Mar 19, 2010
I think the pushing is very much like the valsalva maneuver which I've used for years to stop my tachy times. So delivery should be a snap LOL. I'm talking about your heart that is.

As for baby size, that depends on the particular genetics each child inherits and weight gain during your pregnancy. My daughter was the largest of my 3 kids. She was over 9 lbs. Plus her shoulders were bigger than her head. Double ouchy. But I'm thrilled she's here. Just had her first child (our first grandchild) last weekend. What a treat.