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Heart Palpitations

Don't panic if your heart suddenly begins to pound. Heart palpitations are common in pregnancy because you have as much as 40 percent more blood, which is needed to bring adequate oxygen to your baby.

Your heart may be pounding because you're consuming too much caffeine. If so, cut down or eliminate caffeine from your diet. Occasionally palpitations can be a symptom of an overactive thyroid, so it's worth mentioning to your doctor during your next visit, especially if you have any of the other signs of thyroid disorder. In very rare cases, palpitations accompanied by shortness of breath can be a sign of a cardiac arrhythmia, an abnormality of the heartbeat. Call your doctor right away if your heart pounds and you have trouble breathing.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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