Pregnancy & Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome - What You Need To Know

Posted on: 28 April 2019

Pregnancy can be a mix of excitement and anxiousness for the expectant parents and their family members. There are so many things to accomplish and take care of prior to the baby's arrival that it's easy to feel overwhelmed, but that's when nesting typically kicks in. However, for mothers who have postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, standing up can be overwhelming and nesting won't help with that.

It's important to note that, according to NIH, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) does not put a pregnant woman and her baby at an increased risk during pregnancy and childbirth. However, that doesn't reduce the impact of POTS on daily activities. Here's what you need to know about POTS during pregnancy and how to get help.

Pregnancy May Affect POTS

According to Dystautonia International, 60-70% will have improved POTS symptoms during pregnancy but 30-40% will experience a worsening of their POTS symptoms. In their study, nearly 60% of pregnant woman with POTS had severe vomiting or persistent vomiting. POTS symptoms of fainting, rapid heartbeat and fatigue were also commonly reported in the study. Of course, fainting during pregnancy can be dangerous for your baby should you fall on your belly, particularly in the last trimester.

Have Your POTS Medication Evaluated

Any medication you are taking for POTS and any other conditions you may have will need to be evaluated immediately upon learning of your pregnancy. Depending on the specific medications and dosages you are taking, it may be necessary to completely stop the medications or lower the dosages. Call both your obstetrician and cardiologist for their instructions. Also, your obstetrician may refer you to a maternal-fetal specialist for further evaluation as a safety precaution. 

Consider Home Healthcare Services

As always, you'll need to continually take your blood pressure and heart rate readings during your pregnancy, particularly when you feel extreme symptoms. If your symptoms make it difficult to carry daily activities of living, it may be extremely helpful for you to have home healthcare services assist you in areas such as bathing, household chores, and meal preparation.

More importantly, home healthcare aides can take your blood pressure and heart rate for you, since it may become difficult to do so yourself if you experience presyncope and/or syncope. It's also a good idea to continue with home healthcare services postpartum as well, due to the adjustments your body will experience during that time and the affects those adjustments may have on POTS. For more information, contact home healthcare agencies.