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3rd Trimester Of Pregnant- What Did You Experience?


ethansmom

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I am 30 weeks pregnant and have been in a POTS flare since about 5 weeks along. I hadn't had severe symptoms at all in about 7 years (since before my first pregnancy) so I am sort of re-learning how to cope. Weeks 5 through 15 were awful, I was completely bedridden and horribly nauseated, dehydrated, etc...and around week 20 I began to slowly feel halfway human again, which I am so grateful for. However, my body feels very weak and deconditioned due to spending the better part of 7 months on the couch and unable to exercise or eat or sleep properly.

The last month or two I've been mostly keeping up with normal activities and had decent energy, which is the great thing about the second trimester, but now that I'm hitting week 30 I've noticed I'm getting more tired and unable to keep up. I know some of this is normal for pregnancy (I've already been through two POTS pregnancies with little to no cardiac symptoms) but this time I am really struggling with my heart rate and related symptoms. The past week or so it skyrockets to 130-ish every time I simply do something standing up, and I am subsequently experiencing constant air hunger/shortness of breath, dizziness, and fatigue. I spend a lot of time sitting but this is certainly not helping with the deconditioning issue, and I've gained 45 lbs already.

I had two main questions 1) did anyone else get worse in the 3rd trimester and 2) what can i do to help myself feel better? The warm weather in FL is coming soon and I am sooooo nervous about dealing with my symptoms then. Right now I am doing the following:

1) Trying to drink half my body weight in ounces of water each day, with electrolyte (Emergen-C) added during tachy times of day

2) Getting plenty of sleep at night and taking a short nap when I can

3) Avoiding sugar, caffeine, carbs, and other foods that increase my heart rate

4) Just started taking magnesium last night, because palpitations have gotten really bad and I'm afraid of having an episode of SVT, which I'm also prone to.

Anything else I should be doing? I do take a BB (Sectral) once daily, but it seems to wear off after half a day and increasing my dose made me horribly sick and dizzy, so I am trying to stay on the lower dose.

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My POTS acted up once at 16 weeks (fainting episode) and then when I got to 34 weeks my resting heart rate was in the 120-130's. I ended up having a c-section at 38 weeks because of that. I was really just told to take it easy and rest as much as I could. I felt extra tired since my heart was running a marathon without the rest of me. I can't take BBs but it was briefly looked into a little more to see if there would be some benefit. Is your cardio working with your OB? Maybe they could talk.

It sounds like you are doing everything else right. If it helps, my daughter is 10 weeks old now and my POTS is missing. My average heart rate is in the 70s now. It wasn't even like this pre-pregnancy. I'm not sure how long it is going to last but I'm enjoying it while it does.

I'm in Florida too so I understand your concern about the weather. I've been known to hibernate in the A/C when my POTS is flaring up.

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HI ethansmom,

My POTS started post-partum (upon starting weaning), so not sure if my situation will be of any help (but I had SVT and some weird PVCs, etc pre-prgnancy and during, so very hard to date real beginning of POTS). Therefore, my last pregnancy was not like the first 3. The 2nd and 3rd month I was way more fatigued than usual......really bad. It did get much better at the beg of the 2nd trimester. My main problem was that my PVCs increased to maybe 35 per day that I felt - and they would group up badly around 7pm. So, about 6-7 mths was when I had the implantable loop recorder put in - never showed anything but PVCs and high heart rates - like 160s, 170s, to which they would always ask, when do you exercise, and I would say I don't....clearly POTS or at least foreshadowing it. But I did not know that then, I just knew I had had the SVT arrhythmia and scary PVCs. Delivery was good EXCEPT I had a nasty (will never have one again) reaction to the epidural (have had 2 before w/ no reaction)....felt super-hot - had ice on my neck, which didn't help, wanted to leave the hospital, my arms felt dead, and my chest felt hot & dead. Very very nasty...terrifying. Thus, after suffering for about 2 hrs with this...while the epi wore off, while they gathered around to wonder what was wrong w/ me and say my vitals were fine, I had the baby - which was pretty uneventful and fast, except that my epi had worn off pretty much - oh, and they gave me Benadryl during that nasty 2 hrs, which did little except allow me to oscillate between sleep & panic. Not fun. While I nursed the baby for the first 9 months or so, I felt FANTASTIC. About 9 months, when he was eating more, I started having major heat intolerance - terrifying episodes, where I could not cool down for an hour or so - needed a freezer to get even a little relief. By fall, when he was almost weaned, I was having strange awful episodes (felt like death, heat, weakness, exhaustion, racy heart) periodically when I would exert myself. Went to my saint of a cardio-ep, who sent me to Grubb, and was Dx in Feb '08 (baby was born in Sept '06). So, though I would like to have more children, it scares me to death. I am overall improved....would just like to know when/what exactly started my POTS. Don't know if this helps you - hope it doesn't scare you - nursing was a fantastic break from any sort of symptoms, but I would wean very slowly.....problem is I can't take Klonopin, nor my migraine med during pg or nursing. ugh.

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i just had my daughter on the six. for me the first trimester the symptoms really sucked. second trimester i was okay and third trimester i was always in bed. i was so dizzy, couldnt see straight. My heart beat was always above 100 even resting. during birth it reached 160. BUT i feel sooo much better post pardon. If you are like me, you feel feel so much better after birth. My POTS and body hated being pregnant. Third trimester was truly the worst for me.. i know its hard but it will end :unsure: good luck!

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oh i wanted to add, just like worththewords said, my heart rate is very low for me.. around 60-70. My BP is a little high but i feel fine other wise. only problem i have is i still have sinus problems. But ill take this any day compared to POTS :unsure:

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Hi Jessica--I think you already know my story. 3rd trimester was the worst for me. I had to quit work at 32 weeks. I wasn't necessarily in bed, but I was pretty much homebound and have no idea how I could have taken care of another child (or 2) in that condition. I delivered at 40 weeks plus. My ob/gyn refused to believe anything was wrong so did not induce early. I was even sicker postpartum...

The one thing that I remember that did help me was getting IV fluids. I wasn't diagnosed w/ POTS at the time, but this was done a couple of times and I would feel normal after this for at least 48 hours. Increasing salt helped but it also may have contributed to bp problems in the last few days before delivery--who knows...

My sister is at 28 weeks now.

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