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Abnormal heart rate in pregnancy
Q: I’m in my sixth month of pregnancy and my heart seems to beat irregularly at times. Sometimes I feel my heart pounding and it scares me.
A: Occasional pounding of your heart is common in pregnancy. This may be your body’s reaction to the numerous cardiovascular changes that occur during pregnancy. Palpitations (rapid heart beats) may be exacerbated by physical or emotional stress, anxiety, drinking caffeinated beverages or being dehydrated or anemic. If you notice an occasional irregularity to your heartbeat, stop what you are doing take several slow, deep, calming breaths. You should notice a return to a normal heartbeat within several seconds. If you are have frequent or prolonged episodes of irregular heart beat, feel short of breath, or have chest pain, seek medical attention from your doctor. There are tests that can assess how your heart is functioning.