pregnant female with pectus excavatum

Pectus Excavatum and Pregnancy

Pectus excavatum is characterized by an abnormality that gives the chest a caved-in or sunken look.

It is one of the most common deformities that also affects women

But, this deformity happens five times less commonly in females than in males.  

The deformity can be recognized in women directly after birth, or during the adolescent period.

Although pregnancy is probably the most joyful phase in the women’s life, it can be quite tricky.

For women with pectus excavatum, the pregnancy period is exceptionally challenging.

How much the deformity affects the pregnancy, depends on the severity.

In this article, I will write some helpful tips on how you can deal with pregnancy better.

Common Difficulties

pregnant girl with pectus excavatum chest breathing trouble

According to a 2015 study, the most common problems pregnant females with pectus excavatum face are:

There can be anatomical changes that happen 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 it can have a negative impact on your baby.

If you have hard and unbearable pain in your chest and stomach, you must call your doctor immediately.

Research says that an increase in cardiac output and plasma is necessary to perfuse the uterus, during pregnancy.

KEY POINT:

There are a few symptoms that most pregnant females with pectus excavatum will experience. If you feel any pain, I recommend you to call your doctor.

Nuss Procedure and Pregnancy

There can be anatomical changes that happen 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 it can have a negative impact on your baby.

If you have hard and unbearable pain in your chest and stomach, you must call your doctor immediately.

Research says that an increase in cardiac output and plasma is necessary to perfuse the uterus, during pregnancy.

Risk of Bar Displacement

Because the chest wall is constantly changing during pregnancy, it may lead to bar displacement.

Pectus bar dislocation is categorized into three types:

  • Caused by 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 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 Type 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 by 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.

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 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, which is known as breast swelling.

Inform your doctor about every change in your body and your overall health condition.

KEY POINT:

Nuss bars can sometimes get displaced in pregnant females with pectus excavatum. However, if you’re careful the pectus bar won’t cause any problems to you.

Should You Exercise?

Most importantly, you need to be very careful with harsh movements and exercises.

You must avoid rigorous physical activity and heavy lifting.

Avoid any contact 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 her health and health of the baby.

Some exercises designed for pregnant women with pectus deformity are very beneficial.

According to Medical News Today, those kinds of activities improve your sunken chest problems and help you reduce the risk of weight gain and back pain, making the baby delivery easier.

2 Great Activities to Do During Pregnancy

  • Walking – 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, wearing a supportive and stable footwear is recommended. Also, avoid mountain routes, rocks, and every time you feel tired, take some rest and don’t push yourself too hard.
  • Yoga – 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. With the breathing techniques learned in a yoga class, you can stay calm. 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.

KEY POINT:

Most doctors recommend light exercise if you’re pregnant with a funnel breast deformity. Yoga and going for a simple walk will do wonders to you.

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 the lung capacity. It is essential to give your body enough oxygen while you’re pregnant.

However, be aware about every good, and bad 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
  • 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’re finished with training.

Exercising if you’re pregnant with sunken chest is great, but, if somehow your situation worsens suddently, stop the exercises and call your doctor.

KEY POINT:

While you’re pregnant, your body requires more oxygen. Stay away from doing heavy exercises. Please warm up properly before doing any type of workout.

Conclusion

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 do.

You can treat your pectus excavatum while pregnant, by choosing the safe methods for correction.

Doing light exercises while you’re pregnant with PE would be better for you, such as easy yoga, light bodyweight exercises, and proper deep breathing techniques.

You need to know that during pregnancy, you must avoid X-rays for 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.

Avoid hard surgeries during this period of your life.

Be careful, and don’t be scared of pregnancy just because you have pectus excavatum.

If you face any problems call your doctor without hesitation, and everything will be fine.

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