Heart Problems and Pregnancy

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Rachel K
New Member

Date Joined Mar 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/30/2014 2:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I am 27 and pregnant with my fifth baby. With my fourth, I started having what I thought were skipped heartbeats, wore a Holter monitor and found out they were PVCs and SVT. My doctor decided not to do anything about it and assumed the problems would stop once the baby was born. They actually got worse, to the point where I was passing out, and I got an echo done. The results of the echo and all ekgs I had showed no abnormalities with my heart structure, so I was told to pretty much deal with it. With this pregnancy I actually changed doctors, and since my new doctor was concerned about my blood pressure (I had pre-eclampsia with my fourth baby) I was sent to a cardiologist who said I had an alarmingly high cardiac output and a pretty major case of tachycardia. I take 50mg of atenolol per day, but it's really not done much to help yet. I've been taking it for the past 3 months or so. What exactly does high cardiac output mean? I've asked, but I never really get an answer. Has anyone else experienced this before? Before my last baby, I never had any heart issues. Thanks! I'm super confused about all this and a little concerned, too.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 3/31/2014 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello Rachel
Cardiac is the amount of blood pumped out by each ventricle in one minute. Cardiac output can increase markedly to meet the demands placed on your body.
Cardiac output normally increases in response to increased demand for oxygen by muscles during exercise, in reaction to danger, in response to certain classes of drugs and in some altered health conditions.
You are the sole provider of nourishment for the embryo and later, the fetus, and so your plasma and blood volume slowly increase by 40-50% over the course of the pregnancy to accommodate the changes.
Cardiac output increases by about 50%, mostly during the first trimester. Reference NIH
Your Dr. has put you on medicine and I would encourage you to talk to him to ask what he feels is the problem and also ask him to explain the use of the atenolol.  Be sure to let him know if your pulse is fast - for your sake calling the clinic and talking to the nurse would help you and may decrease your worries.
Now is the time to be your own best advocate.
I will be thinking of you,
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic
and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

"She Stood in the Storm & When the Wind Did Not Blow Her Away, She Adjusted Her Sails."
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