Due to some of the physiological changes of pregnancy, it is common for women’s resting heart rate to be about 10 to 15 beats per minute faster while pregnant. Pregnant women are also more likely to have bigger increases in their heart rate with exertion since they are doing more work while pregnant. This increased work starts even in the first trimester, as pregnant women have a blood volume expansion of over 40%. It doesn’t stop there, as pregnant women also do more work, moving around an extra 30 pounds or more in the third trimester.

As the uterus gets larger, the heart is pushed upwards and rotated to the left. This changing position of the heart allows women to become more aware of their heart beating and sometimes this is alarming because they don’t normally perceive that their heart is beating in their chest. Couple this with the fact that the heart may be beating faster than normal, then this can be quite anxiety-provoking. But if your heart rate isn’t too fast at rest and you don’t notice that it is beating irregularly, don’t worry too much. If you feel like your heart rhythm is irregular or your heart rate is persistently fast and staying that way, talk to your doctor.