Peripartum Cardiomyopathy

What is peripartum cardiomyopathy?

Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a very rare type of heart disease that occurs during pregnancy or immediately after giving birth. Hormone changes that occur during pregnancy may weaken the heart muscle, making it difficult to pump blood to the rest of the body.

What are the symptoms of peripartum cardiomyopathy?

The symptoms of peripartum cardiomyopathy may include feeling short of breath or having trouble laying flat. Women with peripartum caridomyopathy may also develop swelling in their legs or stomach due to excess fluid in the body. If you develop these symptoms, you should call your doctor immediately.

How is peripartum cardiomyopathy treated?

Peripartum cardiomyopathy is treated with medicines that strengthen the heart muscle and help it to pump more easily. Under the care of a cardiologist with appropriate medications, most women’s hearts will return to normal, but they are at higher risk of having peripartum cardiomyopathy with future pregnancies.