Did you recently have a baby, have resumed your exercise routine, but are now experiencing frightening PVCs?

A PVC is a premature ventricular contraction that makes it feel as though your heart is either skipping a beat or adding an extra beat in between beats.

For this article I consulted with cardiologist David N. Smith, MD, owner of Premier Cardiovascular Care, Charlotte, NC.

I asked if this situation could be related to hormones.

Cause of PVCs During Exercise

Soon After Giving Birth

Dr. Smith explains, “The PVCs and women getting back in exercise after having a baby may reflect hormone changes.

“There is some evidence that suggests fluctuations in estrogen may alter the heart’s underlying rhythms; however, the fluid shifts that occur after delivery as well as the relative deconditioning may better explain premature ventricular contractions.”

For optimal health and fitness, a woman should make exercise a part of her life; there’s never a perfect time to begin a fitness regimen. Just do it.

Don’t wait till you lose weight to work out, and that includes strength training.

A leaner body is NOT a requirement for pressing dumbbells and lifting kettlebells, nor is it a requirement for doing aerobic activities.

Consult with your OBGYN for exercise guidelines during the postpartum period.

But keep in mind that pregnant women can exercise, but should be guided by their OBGYN.

Housework and taking care of babies and kids should never count as exercise—whether a woman is expecting or not.

One reason for this is because housework and caring for babies often come with a component of stress and/or anxiety.

Exercise should be done under circumstances of structure, bilateral body movements and freedom from mental stress.

For example, kettlebell swings will do so much more for the human body than will pushing a vacuum cleaner, and won’t come with the stress of “Oh, this dirty house!”

Greater fitness means a stronger heart, and this knowledge will help you feel less fearful of premature ventricular contractions — even if you’ve recently given birth.

dr. smith

Dr. Smith is a published author, national lecturer and Yale-trained physician-scientist certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Cardiovascular Disease.