Palpitations during pregnancy


The occurrence of extra heartbeats (Extrasystoles) to the normal pulse is known colloquially as heart stumbling.

Heart stumbling can theoretically occur at any age, which is why pregnant women are often affected by heart stumbling. In such a situation, many women are unsure whether the palpitations could harm their unborn child. In most cases, however, concerns are unfounded.

Normal palpitations

Occasional, additional beats, i.e. single supraventricular or ventricular extrasystoles, are completely normal during pregnancy. The pregnant woman often does not even notice the blows. Heart stumbling is only noticeable in a few cases, usually two or three extrasystoles occur. But this is also normal as long as the palpitations do not occur regularly or persist for long periods of time.

Occasionally appearing Palpitations disappears after seconds, is often absent after pregnancy and normally does not require any medical treatment.

Dangerous palpitations

Dangerous The combination of heart stumbling and pregnancy will only occur when the heart stumbling through serious heart disease arises. Diseases like this are particularly problematic coronary heart disease or Cardiac arrhythmias with simultaneous Racing heart (Tachyarrhythmias).

Arrhythmia of the heart that with Racing heart can go along in Atrial fibrillation or Ventricular fibrillation pass over. Atrial fibrillation is caused by arrhythmias Atria triggered, but ventricular fibrillation affects the rhythm of the Chambers of the heart.
Both states are acutely life-threatening. The heart no longer performs sufficient pumping movements, as the fibrillation no longer generates continuous, regular stimuli and is then no longer able to supply the body with sufficient blood. It comes to Cardiovascular arrest.

In case of a pregnancy is not only the life of the mother, but also that of the mother unborn child at risk. Continuous arrhythmias or palpitations must be treated during pregnancy to ensure the health of mother and child.

Causes of palpitations in pregnancy

Heart stumbling during pregnancy is triggered by individual, additional contractions (pumping movements) of the heart. These can occur either in the atria or in the ventricles.

Additional contractions occurring in the atria are called supraventricular extrasystoles called the extra contractions of the heart chambers as ventricular extrasystoles.

Both clinical pictures have different causes that can be divided into three groups.

2. Emotional excitement, fatigue or alcohol consumption and smoking during pregnancy belong to the second group of causes of heart palpitations during pregnancy.

3. The third group concerns changes in the electrolyte balance. For example, if it comes from severe pregnancy vomiting (Hyperemesis gravidarum) to a deficiency of potassium, the sensitivity of the heart muscle cells changes and heart stumbling occurs more frequently.

Read more on the topic: You can recognize a magnesium deficiency by these symptoms

Physical changes due to pregnancy

Already in the first half of pregnancy increases the Heart rate the woman slightly, heartbeats outside the normal pulse are favored by the increase in heart rate. As the pregnancy progresses, the increase in pulse can be up to 15 beats more per minute. The blood volume of a pregnant woman also increases from the 6th week, at the same time, for example, the veins in the legs widen so that the Blood pressure all in all sinks. Nevertheless, the heart is forced to distribute the extra blood around the body.

Please also read our topic: Increased pulse during pregnancy

The hormonal change, especially the increased production of Sex hormones or Thyroid hormones, contributes to the fact that the metabolism changes. This also affects the heart. The muscle cells in the heart become more sensitive to electrical impulses, there may be isolated, additional blows.

What to do if you have a heart stumble during pregnancy?

The harmless one that occurs more frequently during pregnancy Palpitations does not need to be treated. If palpitations occur, it can help to sit down or lie down briefly and a couple of times take a deep breath. The deep breathing has a calming effect and usually lets the palpitations subside quickly. Just as helpful is a couple of sips silent Watersthat are drunk slowly. Since the stumbling of the pregnancy heart is often based on causes such as stress or psychological excitement Breathing exercises or other calming measures, such as a warm bubble bath, the general state of relaxation.

Does the palpitations occur more often and for a long time or does it cause symptoms such as dizziness, Difficulty breathing or a chest tightness, absolutely has to be medical evaluation respectively.
For example, if the palpitations are due to causes such as Arrhythmia or one coronary artery disease, the treatment is done either medicinal or by a Cardioversion.
Medicinal products are mainly from the group of Beta blockers treated (see: Beta blockers in pregnancy). A cardioversion, so the one-off Defibrillation (Establishing the original rhythm by means of a current pulse) of the heart only needs to be carried out if the blood supply to the body is no longer guaranteed and the situation does not improve despite medical care.

To avoid such situations, it is advisable to pay attention to your lifestyle, especially during, but also before, pregnancy. Healthy eating, Sport or exercise and the limited consumption of luxury foods (Alcohol, nicotine, etc.) help support a healthy cardiovascular system. You hardly have to worry about extrasystoles during pregnancy if you are otherwise healthy.

Magnesium intake

magnesium belongs to the body's electrolytes and fulfills many important tasks. Both too low and too high a magnesium level can Changes in heart rhythm cause. However, not every fluctuation in the value has to cause symptoms.

A Magnesium level too low (Hypomagnesaemia) can be the cause of palpitations. Therefore, it is often recommended to take magnesium if you feel a heart stumbling. If a real cardiac arrhythmia has been ruled out, the heart stumbling is mostly nervous and has no organic cause. This means that there is no damage to cause the trip.

In pregnant women, the heart rate increases as part of the natural adjustment mechanism during pregnancy. Many pregnant women can experience heart stumbling due to the stress that pregnancy can bring with it and the additional physical strain.

Most of the time, there are no real cardiac arrhythmias and no electrolyte disorders, so that the heart stumble is harmless. However, ingestion of magnesium can reduce the risk Relieve discomfort. Pregnant women should generally pay attention to a balanced diet in order to avoid deficiencies. However, if there is a sufficient supply of magnesium through food, magnesium supplements are not absolutely necessary.