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Anyone with LVH? How did it affect birth plan?

(12 Posts)
NigellaLawless Fri 12-Aug-11 08:50:00

Hi, bit of a long post, but please bear with me!

I first posted this is the pregnancy forum but haven't got any replies sad

I was just wondering if anyone else out there has had experience of being diagnosed with LVH (left ventricular hypertrophy, or enlarged left ventricle in the heart) in pregnancy and if so what affect has this had on birth plans?

I have been to and fro to antenatal clinic for the last month as my BP had been rising, it is currently about 20 points above booking in BP but still in the 80s so not considered too high. They have also been concerned about low platelet counts in my blood tests. but the consultanat I saw today wasn't too concenrned about that, however, it came out that about a month ago I had an ECG because I was fainting and feeling faint a lot. For some reason the results of the ECG only came through this week and they show LVH.

I am booked for a heart echo next week then back to see the consultant the following week so that he can discuss what it all means with me. I'm guessing they can't be too worried if they are willing to leave it 2 weeks before discussing it all with me and I am trying hard not to let my imagination run away with me and get myself all panicked.

But if there is anyone out there who has had experience of this could you let me know how things went for you. I guess my biggest question I have right now is does this rule out a normal birth; does it mean I will have to have a ELCS?

My original home hypo-water-homebirth plans are well out of the window confused

thanks in advance xxx

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Fri 12-Aug-11 21:28:24

For many women with heart problems, a C-section is more risky, not less, than a vaginal delivery. So no, you won't necessarily need an ELCS.

Certainly, a consultant is likely to try very, very hard to persude you out of a homebirth. But that's more because there's such little known about heart disease and labour than the actual risks in themselves. If you still want a homebirth, you can keep pushing (no pun intended) for it.

NigellaLawless Fri 12-Aug-11 23:50:10

hi, thanks for your reply!

I didn't realise c-section would be considered more risky, do you know why this is, i presumed that the strain of pushing would put more strain on your heart? But that said this is all new to me!

To be honest I have no intention to push the issue of a home birth. It was very much my preference to have one, but only in a low risk senario, I don't see any point in putting myself or my baby at uneccesary risk. I would never forgive myself if something happened!

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Sat 13-Aug-11 09:27:12

In terms of a C-section c vaginal birth, it may be that the anaesthetic puts more strain on your heart than the pushing. But it very much depends why you have LVH, which could be for a number of reasons. You should know more after the echo.

I've had two natural births with other heart problems. The only issues which arose were that I wouldn't have been able to have an epidural (though if your LVH is related to high BP, you may be advised to have an epidural) and I found labour extremely tiring. But otherwise, I was fine. I found doing all I could to remain calm and using natal hypnotherapy techniques really helped.

NigellaLawless Sat 13-Aug-11 11:07:23

its really encouraging to hear that it doesn't rule out natural birth.

Congratulations to you on your two DCs.

I will see what the echo says and let you know the outcome. I will also have a look at hypno/relaxation techniques

Thanks again xxx

stripeymummy Sat 13-Aug-11 16:50:00

Hello - found the thread wink

I am intrigued as to your heat problem breastmilk? As I have TGA (transposition of the great arteries) and would dearly like to hear other peoples experiences during pregnancy and birth. I am 27+3 at the moment, as so far so good, I've had more problems with my pelvis than anything else smile

I am interested in the hypnobirthing techniques, and know a few other mums-to-be trying them. I have been doing antenatal yoga classes and antenatal aquacise, which I've really enjoyed. And I've been doing lots of resting, I finished work at 20wks at my cardiologists insistence recommendation. As you've been through it twice before are there any definite dos and don'ts that you would recommend?

nigella good luck with the echo, I hope the results will be as positive as possible. My heart showed some 'improvement' as I went into my 2nd trimester, so fingers crossed smile I was also recommended to have natural childbirth over a CS by my cardiologist whilst we were planning: your body's programmed to go through labour, whilst it's more of a shock to be cut open. And that I should have an epidural as it helps relax the heart and lungs during labour.


whostolemyname Sat 13-Aug-11 17:18:21

Just to add, C-section also more risky due to the fact that you normally lose more blood with one than you would with a vaginal delievery, which puts more pressure on the heart also.

NigellaLawless Sun 14-Aug-11 09:54:03

Hi stripey and whostolemyname, thanks for your advice, its really helpful to hear other people's experiences.

Its really interesting about the CS and the epidural.

I had been quite attached to the idea of all natural home birth but to be honest at this point I am happy to be led by the experts about what is safest for me and my baby.

stripey I hope you continue not to have too many problems in your pregnancy and its great to hear that in your second trimester your heart has shown some improvement. I feel for you with the pelvic pain, I have had this for about two months, have you asked for a referal to a physio? I requested a referal a month ago and just received an appointment for the day before my due date hmm

stripeymummy Sun 14-Aug-11 18:26:02

Hi nigella, have been having SPD since I was 8wks sad mainly due to an already crappy back and hips (my job was not the best for joints), and was already seeing a physio when I got pregnant. I got some pointers on how to look after myself to hopefully stop it getting any worse, and it did get better/ok for the following few weeks. Though in the last couple it has gotten pretty bad again, I think the weight is starting to effect it, and Modom's been having a bit of a growth spurt. So I have a reminder in my phone to phone the physio on Monday - I wasn't meant to go back until October. I am hoping to get a support band/belt, and have all my fingers and toes crossed that I don't end up on crutches.

Anyway, moaning aside, I've been grand. Hope you get the chance to have lots of rest before the big day. Good luck smile

NigellaLawless Wed 24-Aug-11 18:39:26

Hi, I saw the cardiologist today and I don't have LVH afterall HURRAH! But I do have some 'back flow' through my valves and my bp is still well over 20 points higher than it was at booking in so they have prescribed me beta-blockers. I have to take one a day until Friday then go to my GP to see if they have brought my bp down. If they haven't my GP has to double the dose, then I am back to see the consultant next week.

I am currently 38+4 so hopefully things will get sorted before the litle one actually puts in an appearance wink

thanks for all your help and support x

BreastmilkDoesAFabLatte Wed 24-Aug-11 20:57:14

What a relief about the LVH but still maybe worrying I guess about the BP. But at 38+4, not long to go!

NigellaLawless Thu 25-Aug-11 10:04:02

I know I do keep thinking, what if he just pops out before they get on top of the bp, but I'm sure the hospital have dealt with far worse and will be able to manage it (big swollen fingers crossed wink)

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