Cardiac Signs and Symptoms During Pregnancy

Cardiac Signs and Symptoms During Pregnancy

Signs of heart disease may occur during pregnancy. Symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Fainting
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trouble breathing while lying down
  • Palpitations (awareness of heartbeat)

Note that these symptoms do not always signal heart problems. For instance, you may faint due to blood pressure and volume changes in pregnancy. Shortness of breath and trouble breathing while lying down may be caused by the growing uterus. Palpitations may occur because the diaphragm shifts up in the chest during pregnancy. This causes the heart to sit higher in the chest. If you have any of these symptoms at rest during pregnancy, though, see your healthcare provider.

A heart murmur and ankle swelling are also common during pregnancy. Nearly 90% of pregnant women develop a heart murmur. This may be due to the increased volume of blood flowing through the heart. Only your healthcare provider can tell you if these symptoms are normal or due to heart disease.

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