I am not a midwife or ob/gyn nurse, but I am a baby and kid nurse with some ICU training. I also cannot comment on your specific case or diagnose anything (have to put in a disclaimer).
When a person has a severe illness and fever their blood circulation will shift from what it considers non-essential organs to more essential organs. The body's metabolism also rises quite a bit. My guess is that the baby's metabolism will also rise quite a bit, and the blood flow to the placenta may be temporarily altered from the norm.
I see infants on our unit with heart monitors on who have pertussis or RSV, and their heart rates are of course higher because of fever. When they have a coughing fit or cry, the monitors go crazy and show tachycardia past the normal parameters, and often show SVT or PVC or even asystole (stopped heart). A lot of this is just the movement of their bodies during the coughing/crying, and it looks a lot worse on the monitor than it does in real life by looking at the actual patient. I am wondering if you had a similar thing going on with your monitors not being quite accurate since the baby was kicking and active.
Also, what we look at with our babies, is not that they do get tachycardic sometimes, is do they stay that way or go back to normal when the couging stops- and do they recover quickly afterwards. If they do that's a good sign.
HUGS! I am sorry that you are going through this. I know from personal experience how incredibly stressful it can be worrying about your unborn baby (my son had some issues on u/s too). I hope that your recovery from your illness is going well. I don't really have a lot of information that I can offer. Like the previous poster, I am not a midwife/ob so I can't give a lot of insight into what caused this change all of a sudden, but I am a NICU nurse, and I do see some kiddos that have had problems with cardiac arrhythmia's in utero. Generally, depending on what caused the arrhythmia's and what type it is, there is a lot that a cardiology team and NICU can do (if necessary) to solve it and the kids seem to do OK after they have been born. A resting heart rate of 220-240 is definitely out of the range of normal, although it doesn't necessarily mean that the baby is in SVT. When I do see babies in SVT, their heart rates tend to be more in the 260-270 range, and then they can really get into trouble. But, I have never run across a case of SVT that we couldn't fix, either. Of course, this is after the baby is born, I have no idea what they can do before the baby is born - sorry! It may be the case the this illness that you had did stress your baby, and stressed babies have high heart rates. It may also be a totally unrelated thing that just happened at the same time. One thing that we see with some regularity with babies with high heart rates/ intermittent SVT are Mom's that have thyroid issues. Have you ever been diagnosed with hyper/hypothyroidism? It might be worth having your midwife check your levels. Just a thought.
On another note, if it were me, I wouldn't attempt a homebirth with this baby. I switched from planning a birth center birth (possible homebirth - I was still considering it) to a hospital birth just in case. Birth is a very physiologically stressful time for babies that require a lot of changes in the heart to switch from fetal circulation to adult circulation. Ducts in the heart need to close, the blood can no longer be shunted from the lungs, and the pulmonary arteries have to be nice and dilated for the transition from life in womb to outside of womb to be successful. Given the fact that there is some question about cardiac arrhythmia's, it is possible (not likely, but more likely than in the general population) there might be an underlying cardiac defect that won't be fully appreciated until the baby is born. Does your midwife deliver at a university hospital? Outcomes for babies with possible problems tend to be much better there than at small hospitals with a lower level NICU (although the rate of OB intervention in birth is atrocious!) Just a thought. At any rate, I hope your baby has a nice, healthy heart rate at your next check, and this is all is just pronounced "one of those things we will never know what caused it, but we don't care because it is better". It is a decent possiblity. If your baby does need some help, I guess what I am trying to say is that it will still likely work out well. I am truly hoping for the best for you. Keep us posted! Good luck!
Vegetarian, breastfeeding, cloth diapering and EC'ing mama to my bare-foot, TV-free, free-range toddler and loving it!!!
i am an l&d nurse, who has recently had 3 different patients with fetus' in SVT. i work in a very high risk ob setting, but also a very naturally inclined baby friendly hospital, where my last 4 patients labored and birthed with out epidurals. so don't get me wrong. i'm as crunchy as a medically minded person can be. i used to be even more crunchy, but i've learned better.
At my hospital, the women who were pregnant with babies in SVT were admitted to the ICU and given drugs to cardiovert the baby's heart back into a normal rhythm, a fetus will not last in SVT forever. a baby can be in SVT anywhere above 200, but i've also seen fever induced tachycardia to 200, above 200 is more from that.
2 of the babies cardioverted back to normal rhythms with digoxin and were delivered, and will have SVT intermittently probably always, and have to carry around emergency medications, or take daily meds.
the 3rd baby we were not able to cardiovert out of the arrhythmia through the mom, and that baby was delivered because it was developing hydrops and needed a pace maker.
i wouldn't mess around with a diagnosis of a serious arhythmia. seriously. if you want a living healthy baby its no joke.
at such a high heart rate, the babys heart is not perfusing it's little body well. the heart is in a flutter, and they can develop hydrops, and or die in uteru.
SVT in a fetus is not a joke. its more manageable baby out than in. because they can treat the baby directly as opposed to giving the mother digoxin for cardioversion
you having been very sick and having a fever- could have caused something to go wrong with fetal development, i would continue to get this checked out.
i wish you the best of luck, and please if your health care provider suggests you go get treated. please go get treated. this is not something to be messing around on the internet message boards with
i wish you the best of luck, and i hope your little one cardioverts himself back to a nice normal 120-160.
Thank goodness everything turned out well for you. We had a similar issue in that we were going to have a home birth, but then when my wife went into labor, the baby's heart rate shot up to 240 and we ended up having to transfer to a hospital. Baby was born with no problems though, as the heart rate fell after the water broke. Full story is:
Baby is 14 months old now, no health problems at all aside from the normal baby teething pain.
Another update! The baby's heartrate has been normal for over 4 weeks and no other signs or problems. As I suspected it was stressed because of the stress I was under. I'm looking forward to my 3rd homebirth!
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