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Avatar universal

what's with females having babies and heart problems

Pretty much every single female I talked to that had kids has weird heart rhythm episodes...i'm really bothered by this because i think there should be more information on pregnancy and how it affects your heart during and after pregnancy....i started getting frequent one minute heart-pace-went faster episode after my first...and then after my second child i got SVT and PAC constant...i tired of doctors saying it's anxiety....no no no because pregnancy puts a big strain on your body and after you have the baby your body is trying to get back to normal and that unfortuntely includes your heart...but what causes this???  hormones? digestive system?  not having enough blood volume?
just tired of the lack of information that's all...  :(
40 Responses
110220 tn?1309310461
Sorry to hear about your problems during and after childbirth.  For me, that wasn't the problem.  My SVT began way after child birth...my kids are 18, 16, 6 and I didn't start having SVT until now.  I do suffer with anxiety but that isn't what brings on my SVT.  Both episodes that I had an SVT episode, I was calm, cool and collective.  That is the worse part for me is the unpredicatibility of SVT...you never know when it's going to happen.  

I have read though that since your body carries more blood during pregnancy, you can experience PAC...I just didn't.  

Hopefully things will settle down for you and heart will calm itself. Good Luck.
Avatar universal
I just wanted to say that I am in the same boat.  I started having PVCs since I was 5 months post partum (4 months now).  My cardiologist has no explanation for me...it stinks because I am sick of this and I wish there were answers.  I take comfort knowing that this seems to be a fairly common and usually benign problem.  I hope that you can get the information that you want!
183222 tn?1375338152
Hi i agree with your post big time !! Two week after the birth of my third child i started have pac/pvc and svt. Many trips to the ER dep with no real answers as to what or why this was happening. Once i was even told i was having a heart attack. So with that in mind what do i do ?? FRECK OUT that's what !! which just made them heaps worse :{

Thankfully in the end a wonder-full very caring understanding cardiologist came to my rescue with answers and reassurance. I had a mild form of PPCM which fixed itself without needing any med. I still however get these crappy things and will more the likely always have them. What i find hard is when i don't having any for days/weeks then THUD there back :{

Do you think it can be due to hormones ?? My cardiologist was very up front with me saying that every case should be treated differently even with all of the information that is out there they are still unsure as to why they happen.

What do you think sets your off ?? I seem to get them more when doing nothing (when my heart rate slows down) or laying on my left side. Did you have them bad during your pregnancy?? How long do your svt last for and what do you do to revert them ?? Sorry about all the question but i find peoples post/anwsners very good medince for me (LOL)

Avatar universal
i too started with hrt palps after my first child 12 yrs ago. I used to have them every so often but now get them more frequently, I think because my anxiety has gotten so bad~ leading to panic attacks over the past yrs. I too asked my MD about the relation but was told not sure. I have had an holter and it picked up pac/pvc's. So I definitely can relate.
Avatar universal
My PVCs started when I was 7 months pregnant. I'd always had a few here and there but one week just started getting 6 per minute and the never went for more than 2 minutes without a PVC for the rest of the pregnancy. On a good day I had 1786 recorded. They decreased after pregnancy to a few hundred per day. i'm now 6 months postpartum and with the help of a beta blocker I've got them down to between about 6 and 100 per day. There are some scientific papers written on this subject where they have put holters on women who were suffering palpitations during pregnancy and found that they were having thousands of PVCs per day. After pregnancy they reduced by 95% for most women however a small minority contunued to have as many pVcs as before (although they did stop having couplets and VT). The authors of this study suggest the arrhythmias are due to the increased workload of the heart in pumping almost twice as much blood as usual. Also that they are due to increased sympathetic tone in pregnancy.  They determined that te PVCs come from the right ventricular outflow tract and they are catecholamine (adrenaline) dependant so they tend to respond to beta blockers.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy is caused by something else. Very recent research published just 6 months ago has shown that this is due to prolactin, the hormone responsible for lactation whicn increases at the end of pregnancy and after birth. Some women have a mutation in the prolactin gene which makes them produce a  faulty version of prolactin that damages the heart and capillaries. Trials in the very early stages have shown that taking a prolactin inhibitor called bromocriptine prevents PPCM. This is the drug they used to give routinely to dry up your milk so it is already established as a safe drug. If this is confirmed by further trials this discovery is fantastic. Not only will it save lives but it also means that women who have already had PPCM can have another pregnancy without damaging their heart.
Avatar universal
are you saying that post partum cardiomyopathy only occurs in women who nurse their children??
Avatar universal
Every mother you know has "weird heart rhythm episodes"??
Avatar universal
a lot of mothers i talked to have weird heart rhythm episodes...some refer them as panic attacks to post pardum depression...cause that is what we are being told they are...only we know that it's a heart rhythm that causes panic attacks and depression...i have hardly had any pvcs..never had pacs and definitely no svt until after my pregnancy...i heard of one woman on another health board whom went into a-fib for 3 days 2 weeks after her baby was born....something is up with our post pardum bodies for sure....
183222 tn?1375338152
Wow.... hopefully this recent discovery on PPCM will shed some light for the doctors out there !! It sound thes-able but i do wonder why i only got it after the birth of my third child ??

Thanks for your great post !!
61536 tn?1340701763
That information on PPCM and prolactin from that study is extremely misleading.  That info was gathered using rats that were genetically altered to develop peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) thus the results of that experiment cannot be taken as perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination.  At best it offers ONE possibility of many.  Bromocriptine is no longer given to women because of serious associated health risks - including the development of cardiomyopathy.  So you see, there are flaws, serious ones, on that study.

The most current information on PPCM shows that autoantibodies and viruses are present in many PPCM patients.  It is thought that having an autoimmune predisposition, or contracting a cardiotropic virus during the immune-suppressed state of pregnancy, can contribute to pregnancy-related heart failure.  Most of these women recover with standard heart failure treatment - not with Bromocriptine.  Some women go on to have successful subsequent pregnancies - MANY more than previously thought.  The key seems to be early detection and initiation of heart failure medications.

As to the question of why the rhythm issues present themselves after childbirth, I don't know.  I was fine after my first child was born, but I have been plagued with PACs and SVT since the birth of my second.  I know there are a lot of us, and the only thing that seems common is hormonal changes.
61536 tn?1340701763
For the best and most current info, keyword for "Fett, JD PPCM" and you'll find lots.
Avatar universal
My heart rhythm problems started a few weeks into my first pregnancy. My theory (and I read something along these lines somewhere but don't quote me) is that the increase in volume of blood in pregnancy changes the heart a bit. Then when the blood volumes return to normal the heart is a bit more sensitive to electrical disturbances. Combine that with any PPD which magnifies focus on health issues and you have the recipe right. Not to mention blood sugar variations while breast feeding and hormones plus your thyroid goes a bit wacky after childbirth.  

All totally worth it in my book.
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