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Avatar universal

Strange cardiac symptom in late pregnancy

Hi, Doctor - I am 39 weeks pregnant and am having a c-section on September 1.  For the past 3 or 4 weeks, I've been experiencing a strange symptom that I am not sure is cardiac related or not.  I do have a history of anxiety disorder (presently under good control), PACs, PVCs and sinus tachycardia.  On my last holter, they found nothing but marked sinus arrhythmia.  The only medication I take is Toprol XL, 12.5 mg every other day just to control palps (and likely just for my peace of mind).

My symptom is that immediately after I sit down or lie down it feels that my heart is slowing down very slow, sometimes almost to the point where I feel a bit dizzy.  When I touch my pulse during these episodes, it feels slow but not extremely so.  Sometimes it takes a while (maybe 10 seconds) for my heart to catch up to normal speed.  After that happens, it feels like it is pounding hard but not fast for a couple seconds.  I also have episodes when it feels like I am getting a Braxton-Hicks contraction (stomach tightens) and I feel hot all over and like my heart is slowing down.  It returns to normal when my stomach comes out of the contraction.  I am wondering why my heart would be slowing down like this - could it be sinus arrhythmia?  Should I be concerned about my impending delivery and its effect on my heart as I will be getting an epidural and pain meds after?  I don't want to get an arrhythmia from these medications.  Could this be caused from the Toprol, though my dose is extremely tiny?

Thanks very much for your help.
7 Responses
239757 tn?1213813182

thanks for the post.

Im not 100% sure of what to make of your symptoms. With the abdominal symptoms and the flushed feelings, it sounds like it may be vagally mediated which would not be surprising with your pregnancy.  

Overall, it doesnt sound overly out of the realm of normalcy, but I would see your physician and speak with him/her first.

good luck
61536 tn?1340701763
I had that too!  With both pregnancies.  My Holters showed nothing remarkable, and my rate range was between 57 and 155.  After delivering both times, my heart rate dropped into the mid to upper 40s.  I found that quite frightening, but I was told that is normal after delivery because of the huge shift in blood and fluid volume, and the sudden dramatic change in abdominal pressure (baby in to baby out).  It took a few weeks for that wierdness to stop after my first was born, but it resolved rather quickly this time, with my resting heart rate coming back into the upper 50s to low 60s by the end of my first week postpartum, then back to about 65-70 by three weeks.  I still had those little bouts when I would sit or lie down, and sometimes if I got up too quick also.  It is a creepy feeling though, and I kept feeling like my heart was just going to keep slowing down!  It didn't, of course.

During delivery, my heart behaved perfectly.  I also have the same issues you've got - PACs, PVCs, bouts of tachycardia and also some PSVT episodes.  None of it surfaced during delivery.  In fact, after a PAC-filled pregnancy (both times) I found great relief in those first few postpartum days when I had almost NO palpitations to speak of.

Congratulations on your upcoming arrival!  I just love autumn babies, they keep you snuggly warm all winter, lol ;)  Best wishes to you for a safe and happy delivery.
Avatar universal
Hi there!

Wow, you're so close to delivery!  Congratulations and you must be very glad the end is near.  I too suffer from pac, pvc and tachycardia and during my last delivery (3 years ago) I had some sinus tachycardia during the c-section myself.  I think I was very nervous but the doctor also said your heart-rate should go up once they start cutting (:  Anyhow, they gave me a mild, mild sedative and it worked beautifully.  After delivery I had some more mild tachycardia (150's) but then it calmed down no problem.  So all of this to say, I'm sure you'll be fine.  

As far as braxton hicks go, I think I remember my heart-rate speeding up with each one and then going low at the end of it. When I was pregnant with my 3rd girl, I got braxton hicks starting at 20 weeks and going all the way to delivery!  Fun stuff (:

Well, next week you'll have a new little angel to love!  Good luck to you and best wishes for a pac, pvc, tachycardia free delivery!!  Take care (:

Avatar universal
Oops...I meant my post for Fear factor although, Anacyde is more than welcome to it as well!  Take care all and have a great day (:

Avatar universal
Is this your 1st baby?
Bless...you have so much nice stuff to come.
I have to say i had a very sucsessful pregnany regardless of prinzmetal angina and an abnormal rythem 8 months ago...my baby is so beautiful!
I suffered severely with my angina throughout but i have to say that regardless of this your symptoms seem normal and i think it is just your heart slowing down and you notice this more s it has to work so much harder during the last 3 months of pregnany...so its like you are slowing down froma race rather than walking to the kitchen.....
I hope your c section goes well..
Love Lisa
Avatar universal
Thanks, everyone!  This is my 2nd child and we are so excited - it's another girl!  I went to my doctor today and talked to him about the symptoms - he said it's likely nothing to worry about unless accompanied by SOB or chest pain.  I am having my surgery Thurs. instead of Friday due to a scheduling conflict so I'm really excited that it will be sooner.  Thanks for your good wishes, everyone!
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