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ECG during pregnancy

(5 Posts)
Frillsandspills Mon 06-Jul-15 16:13:24

I have an appointment next week for an ECG when I'll be 17 weeks pregnant. At a hospital appointment on Friday my resting pulse rate was abnormally high so they told me to speak to my GP about it and they mentioned something about pregnancy and heart problems and palpitations? (I really can't remember I was a bit confused). Today I saw my GP and my pulse rate was a bit slow but my blood pressure was quite high. He didn't seem too concerned about the blood pressure as he said it can raise a little when you're pregnant.
So he booked me in next week for the ECG but i have no idea what is is they're looking for.
Just wondering if anyone has any ideas?
The GP I seen today wasn't my usual one and because I asked about something else I completely forgot to ask what the ECG was for.

Also, I'm assuming an ECG is safe during pregnancy?

TIA

Skiptonlass Mon 06-Jul-15 17:12:52

An ECG is absolutely safe in pregnancy. It's recording your heart's own electrical impulses, not giving you a dose of an energy source (as an x Ray etc would do.) totally safe. They'll pop several electrodes on your chest and perhaps limbs (depending on the type) and you'll just sit for a bit while they record.

Hard to say what they're looking for but probably just a general look-see excercise. They'll want to check several things. There are normal changes in pregnancy - heart rate goes up about 15%, Q waves change a little, etc. they will just want to give you a general check to make sure the lowered heart rate and increased bp aren't pointing to anything else. It's simple and quick to do but the heart is one of those things it's best to be very thorough with, even if they think it'll be ok. Palpitations are very common in pregnancy.

Hope it goes ok for you - why don't you take a notebook with you and write down the questions you want to ask? It's really easy to get flustered and forget.

Frillsandspills Mon 06-Jul-15 17:23:26

Thank you Skipton.
I had an ECG some years ago and I can't for the life of me remember why, I just know it was fine.
I'm usually fine but since pregnant I'm worried every little thing wrong with me may affect the baby, so as long as the pregnancy isn't affected I'm fine!

I like the idea of the notes. I'm terrible for forgetting things health professionals tell me it all goes over my head!

Skiptonlass Mon 06-Jul-15 18:48:33

Taking a notebook is a great idea - I think most people forget what they wanted to ask. I took mine to the midwife today as I knew I had a million things to ask her and we usually get nattering and I forget!

Some good questions might be.

What was the ECG I had before looking for?
What did they find?
What does that mean, exactly?
What are you looking for today?
What does that mean for me? For the baby?
Is my blood pressure ok? If it gets higher what will you do?

Write down the answers and never be afraid to ask someone to repeat what they've said so you understand it. A good doctor should be able to do that smile

Frillsandspills Mon 06-Jul-15 19:29:43

Oh that's brilliant thank you so much! I really do need to be more organised!
Hopefully I remember to take the notebook ha ha..

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