Although pregnancy is probably the most joyful phase in a woman’s life, it can be pretty tricky. For women with pectus excavatum, the pregnancy period can be challenging.
How much the deformity affects the pregnancy depends on the severity. In this blog post, I will write some helpful tips on how you can deal with pregnancy better.
According to a 2015 study, the most common problems pregnant females with pectus excavatum face are:
- Hard breathing
- Shortness of breath (especially while exercising)
- Constant cough
There can be anatomical changes during pregnancy, like the elevation of the diaphragm. Also, a common thing is sharp chest pain, especially while performing a deep breath.
While you are pregnant, you need to avoid hard medications because they can hurt your baby. You must call your doctor immediately if you have hard and unbearable pain in your chest and stomach.
Research says that cardiac output and plasma increase is necessary to perfuse the uterus during pregnancy.
NUSS PROCEDURE AND PREGNANCY
There can be anatomical changes during pregnancy, such as the elevation of the diaphragm. Also, a common thing is sharp chest pain, especially while performing a deep breath. While pregnant, you must avoid complex medications because they can harm your baby.
You must call your doctor immediately if you have complex and unbearable pain in your chest and stomach. Research says cardiac output and plasma increase are necessary to perfuse the uterus during pregnancy.
RISK OF BAR DISPLACEMENT
Because the chest wall constantly changes during pregnancy, it can lead to bar displacement. Pectus bar dislocation is categorized into three types:
- Caused by the unstable positioning of the bar’s top at the underside of the sternum
- Lateral sliding owing to uneven pressure exerted on the bar on each side
- A shift of the bar due to the stripping of supporting intercostal musculature
Please be careful with your postoperative treatment. Do what you can to avoid any chance of bar dislocation. Type 1 or 2 of bar displacement is most common in pregnant women.
DO NUSS BARS INTERFERE WITH PREGNANCY?
Studies have noted numerous examples of women who got pregnant postoperatively and didn’t show any critical problems with the injected bars. The way pectus excavatum affects pregnancy is through a mild form of dyspnea.
But, there is an example of a woman who gets pregnant two years after pectus excavatum repair. Her pregnancy was complicated by placenta previa and severe anemia, but she delivered a healthy baby.
Nuss bars can also get displaced in pregnant females with pectus excavatum. However, the pectus bar won’t cause any problems if you’re careful.
STAY IN CONTACT WITH YOUR DOCTOR
Before, during, and after your pregnancy, you must be in constant contact with your doctor. Physical transformations are happening during pregnancy. The breast can change its form and may feel heavy.
That can produce harsher pain and an uncomfortable feeling in your back. It is probably much better to wear a supportive bra to avoid chest pain and ligament injuries.
After birth, your breasts may feel uncomfortable or even hurt, known as breast swelling. Inform your doctor about every change in your body and overall health.
SHOULD YOU EXERCISE?
Most importantly, you must be very careful with harsh movements and exercises. You must avoid rigorous physical activity and heavy lifting.
Avoid any contact with sports or harsh gymnastics during pregnancy. Avoid activities that can increase any risk of abdominal trauma. Of course, every pregnant woman needs to care for the health and health of the baby.
Some exercises designed for pregnant women with pectus deformity are very beneficial. According to Medical News Today, those activities improve your sunken chest problems. They also help you reduce the risk of weight gain and back pain, making the baby delivery easier.
2 GREAT ACTIVITIES TO DO DURING PREGNANCY
It gives you a great cardiovascular workout without a lot of impact on your joints. Walking is good at any time during pregnancy. As the pregnancy progresses, your center of gravity changes, and you can lose a sense of balance and coordination.
Because of that, you are wearing supportive and stable footwear is recommended. Also, avoid mountain routes and rocks, and every time you feel tired, take some rest and don’t push yourself too hard.
Yoga helps you maintain your flexibility. It strengthens muscles, stimulates blood circulation, and makes you relaxed. Stress is a big problem if you’re pregnant with pectus excavatum. You can stay calm with the breathing techniques learned in a yoga class.
From the second semester of pregnancy, you should avoid poses that involve lying flat on the back. These positions can make the weight of the fetus put pressure on the veins and arteries, which can decrease blood flow to the heart. Overall, easy breathing exercises are best for your condition.
EXERCISING IS BENEFICIAL
Yes, you can do some light pectus excavatum exercises during your pregnancy. The body needs more oxygen and energy during the reproduction process. As you already know, the pectus excavatum deformity can decrease lung capacity.
It is essential to give your body enough oxygen while you’re pregnant. However, be aware of every good and wrong side of exercising. Benefits of exercising if you are pregnant with pectus excavatum:
- Increase heart rate and improve circulation
- Keep your body flexible and healthy for a more natural delivery
- It will help you recover faster after birth
- Helps with hard chest pain and irregular breathing
SAFE EXERCISING TIPS
Always start by warming up for ten minutes and soft stretching for five minutes. Complete your practice with 5-10 minutes of progressively slower and more passive exercises. When you train, you should wear soft and comfortable clothes.
Wearing a supportive bra and comfy shoes can help. To avoid pain, do your activity on a flat and smooth mat. To prevent dizziness, get up slowly and steadily after you finish training.
Exercising if you’re pregnant with a sunken chest is excellent, but if your situation worsens suddenly, stop the exercises and call your doctor. Stay away from doing challenging workouts.
You must know that during pregnancy, you must avoid X-rays of your funnel chest. There is a risk of possible radiation to the baby. Your doctor can help you decide whether your X-ray treatment can wait until you’ve had your baby.
Previous research shows that women can complete a successful pregnancy after pectus excavatum repair with pectus bars. However, you must be careful with the moves you make.
You can treat your pectus excavatum while pregnant by choosing safe correction methods. Doing light exercises while pregnant with pectus excavatum would be better for you, such as straightforward yoga, light bodyweight exercises, and proper deep breathing techniques.
Avoid hard surgeries during this period of your life. Be careful, and don’t be scared of pregnancy just because you have pectus excavatum. Call your doctor without hesitation if you face any problems, and everything will be fine.
- Jaroszewski DE, Ewais MM, Gotway MB, McMahon LE, Notrica DM. Successful
Singleton and Twin Pregnancies With the Nuss Bars in Place. Ann Thorac Surg.
- Brustveränderungen von der Schwangerschaft bis zum Abstillen [Internet].
Medela. [cited 2022 Dec 1]. Available from: https://www.medela.de/stillen/deine-stillzeit/brustveraenderungen-schwangerschaft-bis-abstillen
- Exercise tips for pregnancy: Types, benefits, and cautions [Internet]. [cited 2022
Dec 1]. Available from: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290217#six-types-of-exercise
- Physiological changes in pregnancy – PMC [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 1]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4928162/