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Midwife told me baby has heart arrhythmia- feeling nervous

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hey Mamas, we had our first appointment with our midwife yesterday- I'm 19 weeks. We were seeing a hospital based midwife but decided to switch providers and are now having a homebirth. The hospital based midwife listened to baby's heart at 16 weeks and said it sounded great. Yesterday our new midwife listened and said she heard a definite arrhythmia. Now I'm feeling nervous- all of the literature I read online said it could be (and most likely is) benign, which is reassuring. But there is also a chance that it is not and is part of a larger problem. We weren't going to have any ultrasounds but if we hear it again at our next appointment we are going to have one. I called MIL, who is a PA and asked her about it last night- she said DH had one when she was pregnant with him that was so severe they originally thought she was having twins- DH is find and his heartbeat stayed irregular into his teens. This made me feel a bit better, just wanted to see if others have had babies with the same thing 

Edited by GreenGranolaMama - 7/6/11 at 6:25am
post #2 of 3

You'll need further testing to see whether it is a problem.


First thing that they will do is another fetal heart with a doppler to see whether the arrthythmia can be heard - it may have been transient or had something to do with the doppler the midwife was using. 


You may need to seriously consider an ultrasound to see if there is a physical reason if it's there or it may be an electrical issue.  Just be aware that an ultrasound doesn't pick up all problems.  It misses a lot as some issues don't become apparent until after the baby is born.


You may end up with serial CTG's (pretty sure no one is going to do one at this gestation - probably will happen a lot closer to 24/25 weeks) if there is a problem.


If there is a problem you may want to deliver in a tertiary hospital with a NICU for back up.  And if there is a problem, depending on what it is, that may change on how you birth your baby.


But really no one can say what will happen until they actually know what the diagnosis is.  So testing may be appropriate that you can be prepared if there is, in fact, a problem.

post #3 of 3

My last baby had this in utero.  We were doing a UC and also I was doing my own prenatal care, so we found it with the fetoscope. I read all of the things you are talking about, and consulted with a lay midwife. I too found out that this is not uncommon, especially earlier in the pregnancy like you are.  It usually resolves closer to the end. 


My baby was still having it right up until 38-39 weeks, when he was born.  We went back and forth on getting an ultrasound for a lot of reasons, and ultimately ended up not doing it. I read so much and felt really confident that it was a benign arrhythmia, but I can't say that part of me didn't worry that it really was a problem and he wouldn't make it through delivery!  He was born hearty and healthy, and we didn't hear the arrhythmia after he was born.  We took him to be looked over and listened to by our doctor a day or two later.


If it were me (it was!), I would not worry much at this stage of pregnancy. And if I was seeing a midwife for care, kept hearing it later on in the pregnancy, and could easily get an ultrasound to check the heart thoroughly, then I would do that.  Try to relax, you know it's probably benign and will go away.



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