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POTS and Pregnancy


kcgrant
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:) I have only recently been diagnosed with POTS. To be honest, I don't really have a physician that I feel knows much about it. We're trying things hit and miss and I guess I'm doing OK. But, my husband wants us to have one more child (have two already). I'm scared because I don't want this to get any worse. I have good and bad days, but can generally function. The more I read about this condition and what other people go through, the more afraid I am that this will become debilitating. I don't want to be an invalid with this and so I'm trying to avoid anything that could exacerbate it. What experience do the women have out there about being pregnant with POTS?
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Hi ~ I have 2 children too and would love to have a third. From what I've read, there is the possibility of having a POTS crash after birth. Of course, some people might be fine or recover. At this point, I have to think of my 2 daughters. I definitely don't want to get worse, just because I want another baby, know what I mean?

I hope some people can give you there personal experiences. I'm not sure whether I had POTS before giving birth to my last daughter or not. As I look back, I think I had symptoms long before I was diagnosed. So, it very well may be that I had a child and did okay.

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kc -

welcome! i don't have any experience with pregnancy myself but know that folks have had MANY different experience both during & after pregnancies. and obviously medications are a consideration. there have been multiple discussions on pregnancy on the board so you'll likely find A LOT of info by doing a search. the search function is at the upper right hand side of the screen. hope this helps!

:) melissa

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Hi ~ I have 2 children too and would love to have a third.? From what I've read, there is the possibility of having a POTS crash after birth.? Of course, some people might be fine or recover.? At this point, I have to think of my 2 daughters.? I definitely don't want to get worse, just because I want another baby, know what I mean??

I hope some people can give you there personal experiences.? I'm not sure whether I had POTS before giving birth to my last daughter or not.? As I look back, I think I had symptoms long before I was diagnosed.? So, it very well may be that I had a child and did okay.

Dear Jennifer,

thanks for writing! I think I've had it for years as well, probably soon after my second child was born. I'm leaning more towards your thinking that I want to be there as much as I can for my two children. It's just husband who really wants the third. I think if he can read stuff like this, he'll know it's not just be being paranoid.

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Hi--and welcome. I copied this from a previous message I sent on the same topic.

http://dinet.ipbhost.com/index.php?act=ST&f=1&t=3462

This is completely a personal decision, but it certainly helps to talk to others about it. I think there are many factors that went into my decision not to have a second child. Some are directly or indirectly related to POTS and some are not (and I won?t go into those). The issues for me are: my personal POTS ?triggers?, family economics, uncertainty regarding my POTS future, meds during pregnancy. First, my POTS was clearly brought on by pregnancy. Many women with POTS see an improvement of symptoms during pregnancy. I was the opposite. I was even more sick post-partum with it?after a c-section?which is what I believe really exacerbated the condition for me. In my specialist?s experience, women who have an onset of POTS during one pregnancy, tend to experience the same thing with subsequent pregnancies. Unfortunately there is no data out there on this, other than anecdotal. However, I feel I cannot afford to do something that is likely to make me disabled again?for economic reasons and for my long-term health. I have one child already and I want to be able to provide for her and care for her to the best of my ability in the future. My husband and I rely on my income as well as his. Also, I have no family nearby to help me with daily life should I become ill again. And so I am going to make decisions that I think are best for my health.

I know some women do take POTS meds (beta blockers, SSRIs, etc) during pregnancy. According to my specialist, this is far from ideal b/c of the unknown effects on the fetus?particularly in the first trimester. Again, the decision to use these drugs during pregnancy is a personal decision made with help from a specialist -- I would not judge someone else in any way for her decision. But, it is something to consider. The conventional medical wisdom seems to be that if you are stable with your POTS and not on meds, a pregnancy is not advised against. My specialist said that if I were to have another pregnancy, he would want me off all POTS meds (SSRI and beta blocker in my case.)

Bottom line, it would be important to consult with a POTS specialist (e.g., an electrophysiologist) about your care during and after a pregnancy, and have that person continue to be your partner throughout your pregnancy. I don?t know about a high risk ob-gyn. I guess I personally have a low opinion of ob-gyns and their expertise with POTS. Also many of us have had successful pregnancies and deliveries without a high-risk ob-gyn. POTS is not really a threat to a pregnancy?although issues of bp can cause problems. But, again, this is just my opinion?and consulting with your ob-gyn and a POTS specialist should help you make a decision about the care you would need.

My decision has not been made easily?and it is still sad to me that I will not have another child. BUT, I feel so fortunate that I have her, that she is healthy and happy, and that I have a good amount of health back now. And adoption is still an option for us.

Katherine

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Hi, I thought I'd add my experience. Pregnancy was the best I ever felt, and am begging my husband to have another. According to my son's cardiologist, it has something to do with the extra blood volume during pregnancy. But everyone has different variations of orthostatic intolerance, so I guess it depends on the individual. And medications are a definite consideration. Some used to treat various forms of ortho intolerance can be harmful to a developing fetus. The blood volume does not increase as soon as you're pregnant, so the first trimester was rough for me. So, being off medications may be a necessity and may be very difficult for some. It has been my experience that OB docs have a better handle on what's dangerous for a fetus and what's not. A lot of general practice docs will say that you should not take ANYTHING during pregnancy, and an OB doc will give you a list of what's okay. Talk to an OB/GYN. They'll know best and help you through it. I had more sympathy and help from my OB docs than I ever got from my primary care physician at the time.

And, yes, there's the postpartum "crash" that many here are talking about. I actually didn't experience it until I stopped breastfeeding. But I'd get pregnant again in a minute if I could, because I love children, AND to have the nearly 2 years of being virtually symptom-free!!

Melly

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I had POTs before I got pregnant and everything went fine for me. I didnt have any problems. Pregnancy, labor and delivery were all normal. I felt fine afterwards and my daughter is healthy. I would definately talk to your dr if you are concerned. Pregancy is different for everyone.

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I am too in the same boat. I want another child, but uncertain how I would surivive without propanolol. I do not know if I could continue taking it. I am waiting to see the POTS dr, and ob, and will discuss all this with them. I really do want another and on a good day, I feel I can do it. I remember feeling better during the 1st pregnancy. I did terrible afterwards--I thought it was the c section--I did not know I had POTS. Not sure what I will do this time.

I cannot take Florinef, so the dr told me to raise the bed 4 inches, and it would do the same thing as florinef after this for a month. Something about your body thinks it is upright, so liver or what ever it is produces something that helps you retain water. that is what I can remember--so just ask your dr.

Pregnancy is a hard decision, but knowing what is wrong and the right dr, I wonder if it would not be easier this time. I will more than likely have another. Just not sure what to do about propanolol. --Oh, and I think mine is hereditary so, that is an issue--especially if it is girl. Jennifer TX

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I've had two babies after being diagnosed with POTS. Both pregnancies and deliveries were very normal and healthy. I too have felt relatively good during the postpartum months and while breastfeeding. I did have to remain on beta blockers dring both pregnancies because the tachycardia was hard to bear in the first trimesters, but I felt great during the second and third trimesters, other than normal pregnancy fatgiue and back pain, etc... I also remained on Florinef for the first pregnancy but not the second. My youngest is 4 months old now and I still feel so normal that I am loving life. I wish it was always this way!! It's definitely a nice break, but each pregnancy brings another child which is a lot more work when the symptoms do return- I LOVE my children and wouldn't trade them for anything, but I do have a lot more fatigue and the hard days are harder when I can't rest. I would recommend having children several years apart...mine are 2 years apart and it is VERY physically demanding every day ALL day long. If I were to have a third I would wait at least 4-5 years. Good health is a requirement for sure :P I wish you luck in making your decision...children are such blessings. Take care!!

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