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Pots And Pregnancy


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For Women who had children AFTER developing POTS  

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I felt much better during my pregnancy. I was still very much disabled and nowhere near normal functioning, but I did feel better than pre-pregnancy. My symptoms improved within the first month of pregnancy. By the 5th month I was feeling much better due to the increased blood volume. My sitting and standing time was greatly increased.

As soon as I found out I was pregnant I stopped all meds. They weren't helping me anyway.

I did make it through labor without having to have a c-section, but that was a miracle. I did have to have an epidural at the end of labor because I was so absolutely exhausted that I needed to sleep and couldn't because of the pain. I had been up all day, all night, and all day again - not good for someone with hypersomnia and extreme fatigue!!! After the epidural kicked in I slept for an hour. Then my son was finally born.

I have gotten worse since delivery, but, for me, I don't think that is in any way connected to the pregnancy itself. I had steadily been getting worse since 1998. If anything I think that pregnancy actually slowed the dysautonomia progression for me because it improved my symptoms, allowing me to do more exercise and physical activities for 9 months, and thus build up more strength.

Rachel

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I had pre-term labor at 28 weeks with both of my pregnancies, bed rest and then at the end ........high blood pressure.

2 healthy babies but very difficult after 28 weeks. Delivered them both full term.

mary

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I'm not sure if I fit the category to answer this question or not, so I didn't respond to the poll. I believe I had POTS prior to pregnancy, just that it was mild and I never saw the right doctor to diagnose it. I was told the symptoms I was feeling (palpitations mainly) were "normal". I know I had tachycardia on standing at times prior to pregnancy. However, POTS became infinitely worse during pregnancy, by the 2nd trimester and I was ill for nearly another year. Finally diagnosed post partum.

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Thanks to those who voted - keep them coming!

MomtoGuiliana, yes, you fit the category to vote. I specifically didn't mention "diagnosis of POTS" in the poll because often, it may take years to get a diagnosis of POTS from a doctor. The real marker is when you developed symptoms of POTS, so if you felt you had mild symptoms before the pregnancy, you definitely qualify to vote.

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I voted! Thanks for clarifying! I am glad someone is interested in this. I am curious why you are!

I would say that I am now, generally, back to where I was pre-pregnancy except that I have flare-ups of somewhat disabling symptoms (sick enough to stay home) that I never experienced before pregnancy. But I can go months now with barely noticable symptoms.

I am scared to attempt another pregnancy b/c of the unknowns--could I get worse and not get better this time? Even if I could use meds during pregnancy, would I be disabled and unable to work in the last trimester, as before?

I had a very traumatic birth experience--emergency c-section under general anesthesia due to placental abruption during labor. I lost enough blood to need a blood transfusion. My new ob-gyn says that a "normal" c-section would not be nearly as traumatic and that she feels this trauma made recovery in the first months even harder for me. If I were to have another pregnancy, a c-section would be scheduled at 37 weeks in an attempt to avoid what happened the first time. I have always wondered if the abruption was related to the POTS or not. My bp had risen in the last few days of my pregnancy, but my ob-gyn at the time didn?t seem terribly concerned that it would affect the course of labor and delivery.

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I voted Improved. I am getting better as time goes. My son is 6 months now. I was hospitalized for 2 weeks after having him due to POTS. POTS hit me hard in my 5th month of pregnancy. I went all natural no drugs during my labor and delivery. Thought PG would make my BP go up cause of the added blood volume but mine only got worse!

Jaie

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My first pregnancy was my POTS trigger. I developed it within days of delivery. It got very bad for the first year postpartum, then got a bit better. I felt much better during my second pregnancy -- I finally had energy again, the highest my heart rate got was in the 90s WITHOUT meds, I gained some weight and muscle, etc. Now that I am nine months postpartum I'm almost back to where I was after the first. I think the hormones definitely are a major part of my POTS.

Amy

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Pregnancy No 1: Prefect all the way through , perfect birth then my son died at a few weeks old with no apparent reason.

Pregnancy No 2: Twins, I lost a twin at 15 weeks but held on to one , went full term , then her heart stopped and she had to be 'helped out 'under general , they smashed her face , broke her nose , 2 black eye's and she had 4 stitches to her forehead ( she 's no scars now ) I was in labour 46 +1/2 hours before they realised I was in trouble. Had 3 weeks in hospital as was so ill Over 25 internal and 20 external stitches Ouch !

Pregnancy No 3: Twins , lost one twin at 13 weeks , held on to second one , had to be induced as blood pressure started to rise, normal delivery ...........then I had Septicemia, Pulmonary Oedema, heart failure , kidney failure. Was unable to look after my child, ill for 6 months , heart still bad to day some 26 years after.

Pregnancy No 4: Stillbirth at 30 weeks.

Pregnancy No 5: Miscarriage at 24 weeks.

Pregnancy No 6: Miscarriage at 27 weeks.

Pregnancy No 7: Pre eclampsia at 20 weeks , my very precious son was delivered 6 weeks early after they diagnosed me as having had a very small stroke , post toxemia and 6 months of **** as 6 weeks after son delivered my uterus fell out of me in Tescos at the frozen chicken section .........more operations, blood transfusions ...........but 2 live daughter and a son.

My pots raged when I was pregnant and some days I was unable to function at all , at night the pain was incredible , but I so badly wanted children , especially a son , I shall never forget Johnathan which is why I work for children's Hospice South West helping other parents who loose children .

No replies please this has been very heard for me to talk about Ami .

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After my first pregnancy it was almost 3 years before I received the dx of POTS. I did pretty good with my next pregnancy and again, it had been 4 years after that pregnancy that things have got worse.

JJH

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I was pregnant when POTS hit, but lost that baby at 8 wks. 6 Months later, we tried again, and now I have my daughter, who is 4 years old.

During the second pregnancy, I became better overall. I was fainting an average of 3xs per day before pregnancy (for 6 months). Dizziness was CONSTANT, and I was bedridden. During the first trimester, however, I stopped fainting for two months! Tired, but not bedridden (at age 20). This is despite the fact that I was hyperemic, grossly underweight and almost TPN'ed due to the vomitting and wieght loss. (I recently saw an inexperienced doctor who chalked my entire disease up to being underweight, but I'm now 30 pounds heavier than that time, which was the best symptom-wise.) I believe this is due to increased blood volume...but since I was in kitosis and constantly dehydrated, it doesn't really make much sense at all.

Once second trimester began, nausea subsided slightly and I began to faint again.

When I delivered, I didn't faint for two or three weeks, then it quickly got to be 5xs per day. This is probably because of sleep disturbance, nursing through out the night. Once my husband started helping (by carrying the baby to my bed to nurse night feedings), the fainting subsided to 1x per day. Fatigue and overall dizziness was still better than before the pregnancy.

When I stopped nursing (14 months), it also helped.

This all happened before diagnosis, but after becoming sick. I was diagnosed when my daughter was 3 years old, fainting an average of 1x per week, and put on Midodrine. I am now almost fainting-free (about 1x month), but have fatigue and some other symptoms (shortness of breath, cognitive difficulties). The turn-around point was the first trimester of the pregnancy though....of course the later meds helped a great deal.

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Like momtogiulianna, I believe I had mild POTS prior to my first pregnancy - of course, I didn't know it then, but looking back on things I remember always feeling bad when my mom and I went for a day of shopping (lots of walking) and I could never stand in the checkout line for very long before feeling dizzy.

Anyway, I didn't know I had POTS...first pregnancy was fine. Vaginal birth. Lots of palpitations in the 9th month. Also 2 migraine headaches with visual auras 2 weeks before delivery - hormone related, I suppose (I thought I was having a stroke or something). Lots of palpitations during labor. My doctor was irritated that I was concerned about the palpitations. Hemmorraghed after birth (doctor pulled out placenta instead of letting come out on its own) and some placenta was stuck. Recovery was uneventful. No palpitations, no dizziness, nothing out of the ordinary.

Second pregnancy, still no POTS diagnosis. In my first trimester, my hubby had to bring a stool up to our bathroom so I could sit and do my hair and makeup. Reaching up to curl my hair made me dizzy (I look back and KNOW this was major tachycardia happening) first thing in the morning. I just thought is was normal pregnancy dizziness, but it was definitely tachycardia - I bet upwards of 150-160 in the morning. After the first trimester, I did better. Palpitations again during 9th month. Also, 2 more migraine headaches with visual aura 2 weeks before delivery. Vaginal birth. Wonderful labor - no palpitations. No complications. Recovery was fine.

Did not start to see more prominent POTS symptoms until I had a diagnostic laparoscopy 18 months after birth of second child. Came out of surgery with major adreline rushes with heart rate going from 70-130 in a matter of seconds. I also had anemia at the time which made the symptoms tachycardia and shortness of breath worse.

After correcting the anemia, I am back to functioning almost as well as before having two children. The only things that are more affected now (than before kids) is my performance in the heat and exercise intolerance.

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  • 5 weeks later...

My symptoms became CONSTANT during my second trimester of my pregnancy. I was miserable throughout the entire pregnancy and felt no better after delivery. I didn't have a hard time BP or Pulse wise with the delivery, just the baby's heart rate dropped a little during pushing. Glad she's here and i'm not pregnant bc that was probably the worst 9 months not getting ANY medical help!!!! now I can try to find some answers!!!!!

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I had symtoms before, but actually the best I felt was the second trimester. The first and third were awful. It took me forever to recover. My H & H was 24 and 6 after my second delivery, although I didn't bleed excessively. I never felt the same after my pregnancies. But wouldn't trade my boys for anything. morgan

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dg, i was not dx either before any of my three births. i wanted to specify for you that i checked epidural, but that was only with the last child i had at 30. the 1st birth was at 16 and natural, i believe it was more mild pots then. 2cd child was natural also (age 18 at birth) i know i had it then for sure, but still milder than now. it began getting worse for me in my early 20's.

during pregnancy i felt great,of course after initial morning sickness went away. never felt better during pregnancy.

thought u could use that clarification, for proper research.

i forgot to tell you i had significant blood loss during last pregnancy. not at birth, during pregnancy.

pm, me if u really want specifics.

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I had two pregnacies. The first I was on bed rest for 2 months due to pre-term labor. I was very ill after my first pregnancy. Three years later I had my second child. I did quite well after this birth for about 5 months, then I crashed. I was able to be more active durring my second pregnancy and I think that helped.

Rhonda

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  • 1 year later...

Just trying to resurrect this poll from the past. It would be great to have the 42 women who responded to this poll participate in a research project on POTS and pregnancy and explore this topic further. After this project is completed and results become available to the medical community, it would educate OB/GYNs, primary care doctors, cardiologists, neurologists, nurses and midwives, as well as help other women with POTS who are planning to have children. If you would like to participate in this important project, e-mail me at doctorguest@gmail.com. Thanks!

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I did not know I had POTS at the time, but looking back I've had it for most if not all my life. With both pregnancies, my symptoms improved while pregnant and worsened dramatically with the birth and after. With my first, I had no pain medication for the delivery (which was induced) and my BP climbed so high that the automatic meter could not read it. The delivery was fast and furious and very painful and I swelled all over. My post delivery/happy new mommy pictures look like a different person. With my second, I received an epidural and had an uneventful delivery of a very blue, quiet baby. Immediately after delivery my BP plummeted so the nurse put me in pressure boots till it came back up to "normal."

After the first child, my gall bladder ceased to function and had to be removed within a year.

After my second child, I became hypothyroid, but that is currently "resolved."

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I got POTS on the same day that I gave birth to my first child. Although, now that I know about POTS, I suspect that I had it a while before the birth. I remember standing around cooking while I was pregnant and getting episodes of tachycardia and having to lie down for a while and wait it out, or standing around talking to friends and suddenly feeling really out of breath and a sensation that my heart was racing (again, the tachy). I just thought at the time that it was just a part of being pregnant.

Other than that, I felt fine throughout the pregnancy, and my blood pressure was always perfect.

My POTS got very bad after the birth and ended up with me staying in hospital for 2 weeks waiting for a diagnosis. My POTS seems to be back to how it was during the pregnancy, only with a few added (strange) symptoms. Hopefully someday I will be back to how I was BEFORE the pregnancy, but maybe this is only wishfull thinking...?

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