We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Causes Palpitations in Pregnancy?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Palpitations in pregnancy can be caused by increased blood volume and strain on the heart, hormones, stress, or heart conditions. They are not uncommon and do not necessarily indicate a sign of disease, but it is advisable to receive a medical evaluation to check for potential problems. A medical provider can look for possibly serious causes to determine if the palpitations are benign, and may have some recommendations for reducing their intensity and frequency. If patients experience heart palpitations accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, and faintness, they should seek immediate medical attention.

During pregnancy, women produce more blood, and the heart has to work harder to circulate it through the body. This can cause heart palpitations, where the heartbeat feels momentarily stronger or may flutter in the chest. These can also explain changes in blood pressure and episodes of dizziness in pregnancy. Patients who notice heart palpitations can take note of the circumstances; for example, they might occur after rising from a seated to standing position, indicating that the heart had to start working harder to get blood to the legs.

Another potential cause is hormones, particularly progesterone. Hormonal shifts occur during pregnancy and can sometimes cause heart palpitations. Stress can also play a role, as women may be emotionally strained by the pregnancy and preparations for birth. These things are normal, but the physiological results may be alarming or unexpected. People with no history of heart problems who develop heart palpitations in pregnancy often have a benign cause like stress, hormones, or circulatory system changes.

More seriously, heart palpitations in pregnancy can be caused by an underlying heart problem. This may not have been apparent before the pregnancy, when the increased strain on the heart would make it more noticeable. Patients who develop arrhythmias or palpitations in pregnancy and experience symptoms like sweating and dizziness may need to be evaluated by a cardiologist. The doctor can perform some tests to learn more about the cause of the palpitations in pregnancy to determine if the patient needs a medical intervention.

People with existing heart conditions who are pregnant or planning to get pregnant may want to discuss the situation with their doctors. Such patients can successfully carry pregnancies to term, but may need to take some special care to protect themselves and their fetuses. It is also important to be aware that some medications used to manage heart problems can be dangerous to a developing fetus, which may make it necessary to consider alternatives for the duration of pregnancy.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By donasmrs — On May 27, 2013

@fify-- I completely understand, I've also been experiencing heart palpitations and I never had them before my pregnancy.

I've even been to the ER a couple of times because the palpitations got very bad. I though I might have a heart problem or maybe pregnancy related high blood pressure. But I was told that there is nothing wrong with me and that it's normal to have palpitations during pregnancy. They told me to take extra potassium, stay hydrated and rest. It's supposed to go away after some time.

By literally45 — On May 27, 2013

@fify-- It's probably fluctuating hormones but it could also be due to stress or even your diet. If it doesn't go away, you might want to see a doctor and get blood work done to see if you have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies.

Sometimes magnesium, iron and calcium deficiencies can cause heart palpitations. So it's possible that you just need to add more sources of these to your diet or maybe a supplement. During pregnancy, the body needs more of these vitamins and minerals, so even if you are eating healthy, you might have a deficiency.

By fify — On May 26, 2013

I'm four months pregnant and in the last several weeks, I've been experiencing a lot of heart palpitations, especially at night. It's hard to sleep when it's happening and I just don't understand what's going on with me.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.