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31 weeks pregnant and have "ectopic heartbeat"

(7 Posts)
mummyofnearly4 Thu 20-Aug-09 23:36:36

im 31 weeks pregnant with a little girl and this is my 4th pregnancy,everything has gone to plan but today i saw my midwife and after taking my blood pressure 3 times and taking my pulse,she said i have an ectopic heartbeat-my heart is dropping or missing a heartbeat after every few beats and now im very worried.i have never had this with any of my other pregnancies and as far as i know i have had no other symptoms other than a slight chest pain that goes after a while and it has only occured in the last 3 weeks as that was when i last saw my midwife and everything was fine then,she said i have to see a doctor in 2 weeks and if it is still the same then i may need to be placed on a heart monitor and she also said it can effect labour in some cases so now im really very scared and worried about giving birth incase it causes problems and ive been in tears since i found out and it does not help that ive been having bad dreams about dying in childbirth so now i feel like this dream will come true,im very worried and would love some advice.
im 29 and normally healthy although
sometimes i do feel sick and dizzy and not sure if it is related but ive felt like this almost from day 1 and like i said,ive only had the heart problem detected within 3 weeks so i do not think it is related but thought i would mention it anyway.i know i sound like i am over-reacting,and i probably am lol but im just so scared as ive never had this before.
would love some advice.
many thanks
sorry for the long message.

NumptyMum Fri 21-Aug-09 13:30:04

oh mummyofnearly4, you sound so worried and upset. I can't give any advice re this, as have no experience of it and am not medical. But deaths in childbirth are VERY VERY rare in this country, that's why all the hospitals are so keen to intervene in births and manage risk, even the slightest risk. The risk-management approach of the NHS is probably why your midwife is suggesting going on a heart monitor etc, it's to keep a close eye on how you are doing. It does not mean you'll have problems - you MAY have problems, and if you do they will know about it and be able to manage it. Far more worrying if they didn't pick it up.

bumping to see if anyone knows more re your medical situation...

NumptyMum Fri 21-Aug-09 13:30:42

(I'm assuming you are in the UK!)

alana39 Fri 21-Aug-09 13:44:31

Hi, I had a vague recollection reading something about ectopic heartbeats and have just checked the British Heart Foundation website (sorry, useless at inserting links) where it says that they are usually harmless. Have a look and hopefully that will be some reassurance.

However, as someone who was born with a mild congenital heart problem that has never caused any symptoms, I was monitored more closely in pregnancy and for your own peace of mind it is worth chasing up. The bad dreams you're having are completely understandable but as Numpty said childbirth in the UK is really very safe because we get checked and other health problems are generally identified so that something can be done about it.

Is your midwife actually referring you to the medical team, or just suggesting you see your GP?

I would make an appointment to see your GP sooner - that should help you deal with a difficult situation because they will be able to explain more to you, help decide on an action plan if a referral is needed, and most importantly provide some reassurance so you don't feel so worried.

In my case the worst thing that happened is that I wasn't allowed to deliver in the birthing centre - so it was consultant led delivery suite and no choice. The extra monitoring was a bit of an inconvenience, but that was all - really hope that's all you end up having to deal with too.

tigger32 Fri 21-Aug-09 13:47:57

mummyofnearly4 I'm so sorry to hear this, you sound so worried that I had to respond. I'm sorry I have no real advice to give on this, but hopefully someone will be along soon. I do agree with numptymum though, deaths in childbirth in this country are very rare and the fact that they have picked up a problem now suggests that you will be given all the help and advice you need from your gp/mw before and during childbirth.
Hope someone who can help more comes along soon.

tigger32 Fri 21-Aug-09 13:48:59

crossed posts with alana

ChunkyChick Fri 21-Aug-09 15:30:00

I have had regular ectopic heartbeats for the last six years or so - don't know what brought them on! I have been under the care of a cardiologist. He says that they are completely harmless (and you can see that if you do a web search) and nothing to worry about. I had them when I was pregnant with dd 2 years ago to no ill effect, and have them again now. I am 15 weeks with dc 2 and not worried about them at all. I think the strain of pregnancy on one's heart can cause them or make them a bit worse when you already have them, which is what has happened in my case. HTH.

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