AF Association
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AF and Pregnant

Hello,

I am 31 years old and currently 10 weeks pregnant with my second baby.

Following the birth of my first little boy, I have been going into AF every couple of months, needing IV flecinide to cardiovert me.

As my husband and I were keen to have another baby and I wasn’t keen to avoid taking long term medication, I opted to have an ablation, which I had in November last year.

I was discharged from the cardiologist in January.

Since becoming pregnant I have been in AF twice, both times requiring Flecinide to cardiovert and the most recent required admission to the coronary care unit. My heart rate was 170bmp when in AF.

Obviously because of the pregnancy, I’m a little more difficult to treat etc. The cardiologists and obstetric team have advised that I start taking a low dose of Bisoprolol to keep me in sinus rhythm.

Does anybody have a similar experience? I am not keen to take the meds especially as I am still in the first trimester but I am also aware of the risks to both me and the baby if I keep going into AF and needed flecinide.

X

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I had what was termed essential hypertension with my first pregnancy and took medication throughout with no apparent ill effect. It was 33 years ago and the drug (can't remember the name) is not in current use.

Sometimes one may not feel comfortable taking medication but that has to be weighed against the problems of not taking it.

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Being a bloke Squirm, clearly no experience, but I hope you get all the help you need for a successful pregnancy......

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I had to take labatolol for high blood pressure during my pregnancies. There were no ill effects to my knowledge. I understand your concerns. I had high risk pregnancies both times with complications unrelated to the drug I took.

There are a few safe beta blockers for pregnancy. I agree that the risks verses the benefits be weighed. These medications are studied and they would not knowingly give you something that would harm the baby. I don't know much about the drugs but I know many women need to be on the beta blockers and that they have been used for years in pregnant women. It seems like it would make sense to try it especially if that is what OB and Cardio docs say.

My heart goes out to you. While I didn't have afib during pregnancy, I did have some other things that were cardiovascular related. Please feel free to message me if you need any more help of encouragement! Hugs and prayers!

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Hi HopeinHim, thank you for your message. I agree with what you are saying, the obs and cardios seems very relaxed about me being on the drugs. At the moment I think I may wait until I’m out of the first trimester (hopefully I’ll be feeling more human) and then I will try the meds.

Fingers crossed no more AF before then. I also have an appointment with my obs consultant in two weeks so I will discuss again with her.

I had such a low risk pregnancy first time round with a nice chunky 9lb baby so this just feels so different.

X

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Keep us posted! Makes sense. I had complications with both of my pregnancies so I feel for you. Take care.

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I had Ablation in Jan 2017 which cured the A/F problem most of the time. I have a Heart Rate free app on my iPhone so can check my heart rate if I don’t feel right. If it goes above 100 Bpm I take 25mg of Atenolol as required as I found I had less side effects than taking Bisoprolol. I now control things in this way taking Atenolol as and went I need it. Hope this helps. Regards Mike.

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Congratulations on your pregnancy, Squirm :) I feel for you so much in your dilemma though. I’m sorry I have no first hand experience, but I did want to send my love, prayers and support.

I did a quick google and saw some discussions on netmums from people in your situation, and several who said they have gone ahead with bisoprolol through their pregnancy, feeling that the risks for the baby of not taking it outweighed the risks of taking it. The ones I skim-read about also said they were given numerous scans throughout the pregnancy to check the growth and heartbeat of the baby. Maybe you could check with your team just what precautions they’d put in place to oversee the effects of the beta blocker and make things as safe as possible? -and push for the maximum?

Not an easy decision either way I know... Do let us know what you decide and how youre getting on. Love and hugs x

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Hi Jane, thank you for getting back to me. I will have a look at some netmum discussions as that might help me make a decision.

At the moment, I think I will wait until I’m out of the first trimester and then I will start the meds. They will be doing regular growth scans throughout the pregnancy so I guess I will be reassured that they are keeping a close eye on me and baby.

X

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Well, I just hope they told you bisoprolol is a beta blocker and that by itself doesn't prevent afib from happening.

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