December 01, 2008,
D.K. asks from Danville, CA on November 27, 2008
5 Week Old Son That Has a Heart Murmur
My husband and I just went to our son's one month doctor's appt and found out he has a heart murmur. The dr. doesn't think it's anything to be concerned about but we are seeing a pediatric cardiologist next week. I want to know if any other mom's out there has a child with a heart murmur? If so, is it really nothing to be concerned about?
So What Happened?™
Thanks for sharing all your stories!! My son has an innocent murmur and the cardiologist thinks that it will be gone in about a year. He has no restrictions either. Great news!! =)
J.B. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
I was born with one and was also told it would probably subside as I grew. I'm 40 now and have never had a problem.
J.T. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
Hi D. --
Congrats on your beautiful new baby! You have plenty to be thankful for this holiday!
Pediatric heart murmurs are REALLY common. Many resolve on their own without any intervention, and many of those that don't are harmless (as you have already read!). Both of my kids had them, and they both went away -- it appears to be genetic.
Anyway, DO go to the cardiologist, but STOP worrying. You have enough on your plate as it is, and the chances that this is just a minor thing are very, very good.
Hugs and warm wishes!
J.H. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
Hi D.! I know you are feeling; at my son's 4 month appointment the doctor noticed a heart mumur and said, as yours, that it isn't anything to be concerned about. He said there are 2 kinds of heart mumurs; the kind you worry about and the kind that you don't. They are just keeping an eye on it, but we've been to a couple other regularly scheduled appointments and nothing has changed! After telling some of my family about it I found out that my Nana had a heart mumur all of her life!!!
Take care & I hope all goes well with the pediatric cardiologist!
A.M. answers from San Francisco on November 30, 2008
My daughter was diagnosed with a heart murmur at about 4 weeks old. My doctor also said it was nothing to worry about. I took her to a pediatric cardiologist as well. I think it's a great idea just to be sure that is all you are dealing with. My daughter is 2 now and doing great. It does seem to be nothing to worry about(knock wood) but I know how scary that news is when you're looking at your brand new baby. Good luck.
W.E. answers from Sacramento on November 27, 2008
My mom has had a heart murmur since she was born. she is now 73 years old with few health problems. she has traveled the world over hiking, backpacking, she has even hiked the chilkote trail in alaska as well as machu pichu and ayers rock. she even worked in antarctica for 12 years!! her mom kept a close eye on her when she was younger, but didnt limit her activity. good luck!!
G.B. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
Same situation with my daughter. They said it would be gone by the time she was school age. She is 4 now. I wasn't reminded of it until her first visit to the dentist, while I was filling out the forms. If you have any heart condition, you cannot have your teeth cleaned without having a dose of antibiotics first, because of the risk of infection. I digress. Anyway, I took her back to her pediatrician and he cleared her. She is great. Good Luck!
L.E. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
My son was born with bicuspid heart valve which was the cause behind his heart murmur. Heart valves normally are tricuspid (3 flaps) but he has only 2. He is now 16 and it has not affected his growth or developement and has never precluded him from sports or whatever he has shown interest in or wanted to do. He is seen every 2 years by a pedi cardiologist but his tests have always come back ok. Hopefully your cardiologist can determine the cause and you can go from there. Good luck and try not to worry.
C.V. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
I can't imagine what you are feeling with news like that. My mother still shares with me when she learned a day after I was born in the hospital in 1969, I was born with a heart murmur. At first they thought I had a hole in my heart. Back then medicine was very different. I being the first child my mother FREAKED. My mother did a lot of research looking for the right dr for me. She found dr after dr who wanted to put me under the knife to repair my valve. She finally found a great dr in San Jose for me. I have mitro valve prolapase. "leaky value". Where blood doesn't pump all the way into my heart there is a backwash of blood and that is the murmor. There are many different kinds of murmors I have learned. Im 39 now have 2 healthy babies and never had my heart repaired to this day. I have to take an antibiotic when I had my ears pierced at 12 and when I get my teeth cleaned just to make sure there is no infection from these procedures. I had normal pregnancies. I do have to have an ekg and echo done once a year. Ive been in aggressive sports all my life, waterskiing, snow skiing volleyball, Soccer, softball. Never had issues. when I was 28 I caught a life threatening staph infection that got into my blood stream. I was at Stanford for 40 days fighting for my life. I was told later since I was on life support on a feeding tube the dr's worried about the staph going to my heart value and killing me as staph effects the weakest part of the body and they were going to crack open my chest and repair it right then and there. They never did and I lived through the ordeal with no perm damage. I hope that gives you some hope that I have lived with this for almost 40 years and never had had any issues. Many people have heart murmurs. Make sure you find the right dr who has good bed side manners and has been in the field for a long time.
Good luck to you.
SAHM, 39 with a super funny active 3yo son & a 5 month old son who is full of smiles and bubbles.
E.M. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
My daughter had a moderate ventricular septal defect and had a very pronounced murmur. She has seen a cardiologist every few months until she was a year. They will probably do an echocardiogram and EKG, both of which are painless and easy. Then they will let you know what the diagnosis is. It really is likely to be nothing serious at all, but it's good to find out what's up. Then there's the very minor chance it's something more significant, but still nothing you can do until you have a diagnosis.
My daughter's VSD is closing well on it's own with no medication or surgery.
I hope it's nothing at all!
S.E. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
Our daughter had a murmur and doc said it was nothing, but sent her to ped. card. They were great. Checked it out and told us she has the healthiest heart they've seen in years. Good to go and get it done, and just as important to stop worrying.
S.C. answers from Sacramento on November 30, 2008
Hang in there . there are a lot of heart murmurs out there . alot of them childern grow out of .the rest may have to be fixed. but going to the cardiologist is the best way to find out. GOOD LUCK S.
L.S. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
My oldest daughter had a heart murmur when she was born. The doctor told us the same thing "nothing to be concerned about." And it wasn't. We took her to a cardiologist, had to follow up over thte years and now, 21 years later, she seems to have outgrown it.
W.W. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
Hi D., every heart and every baby is unique. I'd wait to find out what your pediatric cardiologist says. My mother is 54 and has a heart murmur. She has never had any problems. In fact the only thing she does is take an antibiotic before seeing the dentist - not sure why, but I know it has something to do with her murmur. Odds are good that your son will outgrow his like the other moms have suggested!
J.B. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
I was born with one and was also told it would probably subside as I grew. I'm 40 now and have never had a problem.
E.B. answers from San Francisco on November 29, 2008
Two of my 3 kids have a murmur. They both saw a pediatric cardiologist when they were just weeks old and were both found to have an "innocent" murmur. Nothing to worry about, according to the doctors, and we've never had problems. I hope your son's murmur turns out to be the same.
J.F. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
My daughter has one, she is now 19 months. We saw a ped cardio when she was about 4 weeks old. The cardiologist confirmed that it was nothing to be concerned about, given that she was growing and nursing well.
B.R. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
37 years ago I was given the information that our son had a heart murmur. Like your son's pediatrician, our son's pediatrician said it didn't look like anything serious. We went to see a cardiologist on a regular basis... I believe about once every two months... for the first year of his life. At the end of that time, the Dr. had determined it was what he called a 'functional' murmur... basically caused by our son's heart having an extra turn or two in the arteries and the blood sort of 'gurgled' through those turns. That boy is now a father and has lived a very active life.
I wouldn't say to you that it's 'nothing to be concerned about' but it is nothing for you to worry about. Simply do what the Drs. suggest regarding tests to be sure what kind of murmur you are dealing with. If it turns out to be something more than what our son has, there are miraculous ways of dealing with those problems today, and you are right on top of things to be able to correct things as soon as possible. If it turns out to be some sort of 'functional' murmur, you have nothing to worry about at all. I know hearing something like that is quite frightening at first. I found out while still in the hospital with our boy, and was scared to death, but fortunately the Drs. were able to reassure me quickly.
Our boy tells me that once in a while when he visits a Dr. he is asked if he knows he has a heart murmur so it isn't one of those things people 'grow out of' apparently.
A.P. answers from Sacramento on November 29, 2008
My son, now almost 4, had one also. The ped cardiologist we went to was great. My son was diagnosed at his 2 day appt and I was very nervous. Doctor explained that there are all sorts of reasons for a murmur, most of which are nothing to worry about. He said a "murmur" just means you can hear the blood flow in a different way than normal, which can be caused by lots of different things, including valve problems, etc. In our case, my son had a valve problem. The valve problem (there was a more technical name but can't remember right now) went away on its own but the murmur continues. IT has been no problem at all for our little guy. In fact, my husband and sister both have them and have had absolutely no problems because of it (both very athletic). Good luck to you and try not to worry too much, though I know it is difficult when they are so little.
S.H. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
I was also told my daughter had a heart murmur. It scared the daylights out of me! However, when we did see the cardiologist, he assured me it was nothing. She was about 2 months old at the time, now she is 3 and healthy as can be. Good luck, however, I know he will be just fine!
D.G. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
It is a good idea to see the Pedi Cardiologist but it is probably nothing to worry about. My oldest son was born with a heart murmur and by the time we went in for his 3 month check up it had closed up. I have several friends with the same situation and have not known anyone that the murmur has not closed by the time the baby turns one.
K.B. answers from Yuba City on November 28, 2008
My first daughter had heart murmur (it showed up on the APgar tests they do right after birth). Your doc is right, it prob is NOT anything to worry about. It is documented at the pediatrician's, and you know about it. They will always listen harder to his heart beat when they check it at physicals etc, you will remind them he had heart murmer as infant.
I think sometimes the heart mends itself in time. They will not ALWAYS hear it.
He may require antibiotics before any dental work (not check-ups) Women may have trouble during pregnancy (my daughter did not) but you have aboy so that is not a problem.
She also got a little lightheaded in middle school (PE) and they did an echocardiogram, very cool to watch and no pain. But
All my kids went through a lightheaded phase at that time so it is/was nothing.
Don't even worry about it, and do NOT treat him differently because of it. The doc wil tell you when and IF it is time to worry. This is actually pretty common. Good luck.
J.H. answers from Bakersfield on November 28, 2008
You've gotten some wonderful reassurance so far from these wonderful moms. That's so good to see. I will add my story, too, but only for extra info, not to scare you. My second child had a murmur that the ped found on her 3 day visit. Long story short, she had several major congenital defects and had to have major surgery at 10 days old. She's had her second surgery last December and all is well. She is a moose and you would never know she once was so fragile. However, overwhelmingly murmurs are extremely common and usually resolve within the first few days. Those that don't may resolve within the first year of life. However, as many people have already said, people can live their whole lives with murmurs. Most murmurs are caused by an atrial septal defect (ASD) with is a hole between the top two chambers of the heart, or a ventricular septal defect (VSD) which is a hole between the two bottom chambers of the heart. The "whoosh" they hear is a small amount of blood going through those holes in the wrong direction as opposed to going from top to bottom on the right side of the heart, and from bottom to top on the left side. Some of these defects are large enough that they need to be corrected, which actually now is a very simple procedure. Many more of them are so small they do not need to be closed surgically, and some close on their own and some stay open throughout an entire life with no problems at all. Our third daughter was born with no problems whatsoever. Now, at her 18 month checkup, the pediatrician heard a murmur. I guess I could get really freaked out about it, but I'm just not going to. She has lived this long with no obvious problems, and chances are she is perfectly fine. We are going to the cardiologist on Monday to rule out anything critical, but we're just not worried. Just a little tidbit of info, the louder the murmur, the more resistance it's meeting, and in the case of a VSD or an ASD, that's actually good news because it means the hole is beginning to close. BTW, the "holes" aren't defects themselves. They are simply the fetal pathway that the blood follows before the baby is born. They are supposed to close off with the baby's first breath and the blood flow switches to "live" blood flow. So they're supposed to be there in the first place and are supposed to close at birth. Again, many murmurs resolve within a few months or years, and some murmurs are life-long, both scenarios with no problems whatsoever. The antibiotic issue comes in because it's a precaution to prevent the possibility of endocarditis, which is an infection of the lining around the heart....also rare with your average, everyday murmur. We treat both of our murmur children completely normally. They run around just like any other child and are completely active all day long (in fact I'm more exhausted than they are by far!). I can e-mail you when we find out about our 18 month old so hopefully that will be encouraging for you! And lastly, as has been said so many times before, don't worry until you HAVE to. Good luck and God bless! E-mail me if you have any other questions.
J.R. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
I'm suprised it wasn't noticed in the hospital, my son has one, and was diagnosed right away. They gave him an Echo and found several defects (not to scare you), he had surgery at 12 days young. The best thing you could do right now is to get him to the cardiologist ASAP and demand an echo. We go to Dr. Vangundy in Citrus Heights, he is a specialist and I truly believe he saved my son's life. He is now 8...J. S in Fair Oaks
A.P. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
I was born with a heart murmur in 1982. There were a few problems like medications and such. It was corrected, easily but stressful on my parents, in 92. Modern meds have done wonders lately and you will have lots of support. Don't worry. It will be fine as mine was 20 years ago!
K.B. answers from San Francisco on November 27, 2008
My daughter has one, due to a bicuspid aortic valve, which basically means that flaps in the valve don't close completely, making the blood pump a little odd. She saw a cardiologist once for a full workup, with a follow up a year later, and now it's considered something to just keep in mind, mostly with dental work, as infections there can travel. Protocol used to be prophylactic antibiotics with serious dental work (not just a filling) but at our last visit to the dentist he told me the guidelines have changed. Definitely see the cardiologist, but chances are very good that it's not going to affect him much. Deep breath, and congrats on your new baby boy!
J.S. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
Hi, My daughter was born with a mumur as well and she sees a cardiologist about every 2 years just to make sure there are no changes. She is 11 know and the mumur has not affected her life in any way.
E.W. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
I had a heart murmur when I was born and "outgrew" it - so I have no problems at all now. Chances are you have nothing to be concerned about with your son...but always good to get it checked out so you have peace of mind. In the unlikely event that there is a concern, you'll have caught the issue early and will be able to ensure you do what you can for your little guy.
T.M. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
Some murmurs are nothing to worry about...my 28 year old son has one...it's cool to listen to...boom, boom, woosh...the only time they used caution was with major dental stuff like extractions, and they would put him on antibiotics first...other than that he has lived a very active uneffected life...a second opinion is good...and I know that some murmurs resolve themselves over time...T.
W.M. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2008
Our daughter is 15 almost 16, and has a heart murmur. She gets it rechecked every one to two years dependant on the doctor. It was not discovered until she was 9. It really freaked me out because she had been getting her teeth cleaned every 6 months, and never been premedicated. That was required at the time, they seem to keep changing the rules as to wether or not to pre-medicate. If you live in Sacramento, I can tell you who our cardiologist is....if you would like. We used to go to UC Davis, but they kept over charging, and expected us to spend an entire day there.
N.G. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
I have lived with a heart murmur all my life and have had two kids and did several physically demanding sports in high school and college. The dental guidelines have recently changed. Most medical and dental forms you have to check a box, but in my case it's been nothing to worry about just more of a "*" in my medical history. Definetly get it checked out so you know the extent you are dealing with. But I wanted to let you know it has not effected my life in any way.
D.S. answers from San Francisco on November 28, 2008
My twin boys (now 6 1/2) were born at 28weeks and one of them had a hole in his heart as well as a narrow valve (due to being born early). This produced a heart murmur and made his heart work harder because less blood was pushed through one chamber to another. The hole also was to be monitored because of its location and if it didn't close up, it would need to be surgically fixed. He was closely watched by his cardiologist and as far as we know, does not have any conditions that are limiting. You'll feel more at ease once you meet with the cardiologist as they have the equipment to monitor the condition. Other times, the condition will fix itself over time. Hope this helps and good luck with your appointment!
P.K. answers from Stockton on November 29, 2008
My son had a hear murmur when he was an infant. He went through the testing and the Dr. said it was due to low iron. We increased his iron and it went away. He is now thirteen and I can't remember the last time we thought of the murmur. It hasn't been detected in years.
L.R. answers from Fresno on December 01, 2008
Glad your doctor found the murmur and he is going to the cardiologist. My son has a congenital hear defect and he is almost 12 and has his murmur still but he also had open heart surgery. This may not mean he has a heart defect. But the cardiologist will run tests to identify if he has a defect. These tests are not harmful to your child. You have a very good pediatrician. There are a lot of pediatricians out there who will hear a murmur and disregard it. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me. Also, please let me know what the cardiologist finds out. Please know that you are not the only one out there.
co-coordinator Mended Little Hearts, Central Valley, California.
S.P. answers from Sacramento on December 01, 2008
My oldest had a murmur. it was a complete surprize since she didn't appear to have it at birth. an EKG was done eventually, but her doctor really only did it to cover himself. she had no outward signs of anything wrong. like i said, it was a surprize. she has 'outgrown' the murmur (in a couple years)and never appeared to have any effects of it being present. my aunt apparently had the same issue.
i know it's scary, but if you haven't thought there was something wrong, then trust the doctor when s/he says not to worry.