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HELP!! Heart Arrythmia in utero...what to do??

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
For my little sister who's due in November....

midwife heard a pronounced arrythmia during the home visit today. like 3 beats- pause- 10 beats- pause- 7 beats pause. Kinda random but consitant like that. She suggested my sister call her pediatrician (who is great- very non-vacc-home birth friendly) and ask her what she thinks and possibly go in for an ultrasound of the heart to make sure everything is working ok. She also gave her a stethescope to check it every few days to see if it clears up on its own. Do you know anything about this??

ANY help would be appreciated!! She lives in GA and is already fighting against the powers that be just to have a HB in that state!!

Thanks soooooo much!
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Anyone? She is freaking out right now and all the stuff I can find is scary or indeciferable
post #4 of 11
Most fetal arrhythmias are benign and go away after birth. Usually, because there are a few potentially serious ones, we have an ultrasound (fetal echo) of the heart done to rule out more serious problems. The most common cause are premature atrial contractions. I've taken care of a number of mamas with fetal arrhythmias and they have all turned out to be normal babies after birth. Often, the arrhythmia has been more pronounced, and then less noticeable later on, and sometimes it persists until delivery or even after.
As an aside, one problem I've had with fetal arrhythmias is that an electronic fetal monitor often cannot trace the heart rate accurately due to the arrhythmia. With fetal arrhythmias during labor, we've had to use doppler and charting what myself or the nurse can HEAR because often what the monitor reads out is terribly innacurate. Make sure her care providers are aware of that, because you'd hate to see a monitor read out relied on if the arrhythmia was making it difficult to trace.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for responding!!

Yep, she's not in labor so that's good!! They're using the stethescope to prevent any mis-reads and she'll be having a homebirth so nothing printed out...they told her they plan on doing it manually...

Okay, I'll relay that to her...

again, thanks SO much!
post #6 of 11
I'm in GA-she can email me if she wants to chat w/ another homebirther locally. laura@babystepsonline.net.
post #7 of 11
I just had the fetal echo a couple weeks ago and it really set my mind at ease! My baby was skipping like every 4th beat at one appointment and then just random skips at another. By the time of the appointment there were no more skips! Just a healthy beating heart!

post #8 of 11
Talk about your weird random coincidences -- I was reading posts yesterday while waiting for the nurse to put a patient in a room for me. I saw this post and wanted to respond quickly since the OP had posted 3 times and sounded worried. I posted quick, then went in the room to see my own client. She is 21 weeks pregnant with baby #4. When I went to listen to heart tones, lo and behold, there was a fetal arrhythmia! I hadn't heard one in months, and as soon as I talk about it here, minutes later there is one in my own practice. Very odd. My client will have her fetal echo next week.
post #9 of 11
I've heard several babies with heart arrhythmias post partum (and a couple prenatally)...all else was normal...no s/s of heart problems like cyanosos (paleness or bluishness of the extremities). I note it on their chart and make sure their pedi is aware. Nothing ever came of it with these babies...it was gone by the 3rd or 4th pp visit.
post #10 of 11
My last baby had an arrhythmia in utero, heard only in the last month or so. I consulted with a peri (off the record) who said that IIRC, 99% are "benign" and spontaneous convert to normal rhythm with birth. That combined with the fact that I was near term and had no other signs of heart issues - wasn't small for dates, normal fluid. I declined further testing and yup, she was fine.
post #11 of 11
I've only heard one arrhythmia and it was in labor. We transferred to the hospital and once born, it continued but resolved by day 4. No other issues.
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