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Is fast heart rate normal in pregnancy?

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

Normal heart rate is 60-100 beats a minute. If your heart is racing at 100 and beyond, it is considered to be fast (tachycardia). When you get pregnant, you may often find that this is the resting rate.

An increased heart rate while pregnant is normal. This is physiology to produce extra blood flow to help your baby grow . A faster heart rate can sometimes be felt as palpitation. You feel like your heart is fluttering.

Heart palpitations is normal and harmless. But sometimes, there could be underlying causes.

Your heart is beating at a faster rate and this is normal physiological response to pregnancy. This is to cope with the demands of increased blood supply to the baby. If you experience chest pain and breathlessness, see your doctor for a check.

5 Causes of tachycardia during pregnancy

#1 Anxiety or stress

Anxiety can be due to excessive worry about the pregnancy or the baby’s health.

#2 Growing bump

The growing womb diverts most blood flow to it. This means 20% extra work for your heart.

#3 Breasts prepare for lactation

Your mammary glands prepare for breastfeeding. The breasts enlarge and require extra blood supply.

#4 Change in thyroid level

Complications of the thyroid or a drop in iron level (anaemia) also increase the heart rate.

#5 Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes and weight gain also cause tachycardia in early pregnancy.

Symptoms of high pulse rate during pregnancy

  • Shortness of breath when lying down.

  • Palpitations or skipped heartbeats.

  • Dizzy or fainting spell.

If you experience any of these symptoms, best to let your doctor know to rule out other causes.

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