What is the pulse rate for the 1st, 2nd & 3rd trimesters of pregnancy?

(January 13, 2010)


Pregnancy results in several changes in a woman’s body. A change in heart rate is one such change. During pregnancy, the requirements of the body increase and as such there is an increase in the flow of blood from the heart as well. This elevated heart rate has an effect on the fitness of the mother as well as the baby. As such care must be taken when engaging in physical activity.

Soon after conception, changes begin to take place in the blood circulation within the body. With the growth and development of the baby, the body requires extra blood so that it can provide adequate nourishment to the baby. During pregnancy, there is circulation of blood within the placenta as well in order to ensure sufficient supply of blood, nutrients and oxygen to the developing baby. The uterus receives one fifth of the blood supply from the mother during the last trimester. There is a 30 to 40 per cent increase the in the output of the heart and a slight decrease in blood pressure occurs as more of the mother’s blood circulates to the uterus, skin and kidneys.

As the baby grows, the mother’s body inhales more oxygen and as such the heart rate elevates slightly. Normal heart rate of a woman is 70 beats per minute. During pregnancy, the heart rate elevates to 85 to 90 beats per minute. If it is a twin pregnancy the blood that is pumped by the heart increases more and hence the heart rate will also be higher, often at 120 to 140 beats per minute. This also tends to occur in the case of subsequent pregnancies. The heart rate is likely to elevate by 10 to 20 beats during the third trimester of pregnancy.  After about six weeks following the delivery, the heart rate becomes normal again.

It is important to monitor the heart rate during the course of the pregnancy. Any deviances from the normal must be reported to the doctor. Intensive exercise workouts must not be engaged in and simple exercise such as walking must be opted for. Vigorous activity can further increase the heart rate and pose health concerns. In case if breathlessness, chest pain or any type of uneasiness occurs, it is advisable to consult the doctor. Maintaining proper dietary habits and drinking plenty of water is also essential. Getting adequate sleep and keeping the body and mind stress free is very important for a healthy pregnancy.

Submitted by P T on January 13, 2010 at 10:55

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