Pregnancy brings many physical and psychological changes! Besides the obvious ones, like a growing belly, there are many others that are less noticeable. An example is an increased amount of blood in the body.
During pregnancy, the body's blood volume increases. This extra blood results in a heart rate that is about 25 percent faster than normal. A faster heart rate can cause occasional heart palpitations. These feel like your heart is fluttering or beating extremely fast. Sometimes the extra stress on the heart can cause palpitations. Heart palpitations can be normal and harmless during pregnancy. But there's always a chance that they could mean you have a more serious underlying health condition.
How Do Palpitations Feel in Women During pregnancy?
Heart palpitations are a feeling or sensation that your heart is not beating normally. You may become hyper-aware of your heartbeat and feel like your heart is:
- Having extra beats
- Irregularity in the heart beat
- Pounding or flopping
- Racing or beating very quickly
- Skipping beats
You may feel heart palpitations in your chest, but you may also experience them in your neck and throat.
Tips to Reduce Palpitations During Pregnancy
You may experience heart palpitations while resting or working during pregnancy and you will undoubtedly be stressed and even worried that something is wrong. But you can control heart palpitations by taking simple steps. Here are some tips that you can easily adapt to reduce symptoms of heart palpitations during pregnancy:
- Your heart palpitations should decrease if you get enough rest. Get comfortable and lie down on your bed and take a short nap. You'll feel better.
- Pregnancy can make you prone to dehydration, which can trigger an increased heart rate. Therefore, stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other fluids and avoid dehydration.
- It is very common for any pregnant woman to experience mood swings or become emotional during pregnancy. This can trigger stress and lead to an increased heart rate.
- Drinking coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages can cause an increased heart rate during pregnancy. Therefore, keep the intake of such products to a minimum.
- Some over-the-counter cold and cough medications may contain stimulants. Stimulant medications can cause an increased heart rate.
- The best way to control heart palpitations is by taking a cold shower. Coldwater normalizes your heart rate and makes you feel better and more relaxed.
- A Valsalva maneuver is a breathing technique that can help restore a normal heart rhythm if your heart is beating too fast.
Many pregnant women experience heart palpitations. They may be disconcerting, but most heart palpitations are harmless. However, they can result from underlying problems that require medical attention. For this reason, a pregnant woman experiencing palpitations should report her symptoms to her doctor for further investigation. Palpitations during pregnancy often do not require treatment.