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Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.

Postpartum Cardiomyopathy

By April 11, 2014

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On rare occasions, pregnancy can lead to a condition called postpartum cardiomyopathy, or pregnancy-associated heart failure.

Women who develop postpartum cardiomyopathy experience the onset of heart failure either during the last month of pregnancy, or within five months of delivering a baby. These women have no prior underlying heart disease, and no other identifiable reason to develop heart disease. Their heart failure can be a temporary, self-limited condition, or can progress to severe, life-threatening heart failure.

Read here about postpartum cardiomyopathy.

Comments
August 21, 2012 at 5:25 am
(1) nyakallo says:

my mom was killed by this disease,the doctors said that they have operate er so that she can have a new heart

September 27, 2012 at 1:34 pm
(2) G Smith says:

I developed this condition after having my third child. I was one of those that turned into a more severe problem. My heart will never be what it was. However, through many articles on the subject, much searching through published articles etc. I am off the heart meds I was told I would be taking for the rest of my life. My heart is still damaged but I know more what to do and what not to do to live a mostly normal life. I do get tired chasing down my now two year old but unlike my first two children I am also not in my twenties anymore, I was 38 when I had him. I appreciate the articles on this issue, they help so much.

January 21, 2013 at 4:06 pm
(3) Anne says:

I was 30 when I had my only child. I am now 62. I have been on medication most of my life since. I have led a normal life with this condition, avoiding stress as much as I could, and am now enjoying retirement.

February 17, 2013 at 11:22 am
(4) Kris says:

I was diagnosed with this 2 weeks ago and spent some time in the hospital in heart failure after my daughter was born. I had post partum pre eclampsia as well. Since my BP we t back down to normal, I am on one pill a day right now, with follow up to my cardiologist in a couple weeks. I am trying to increase my stamina, difficult and I have so many factors involved… Was on bedrest for couple months prior, had a c sec, on top of everything. It’s a lot better than what it was. My OB doc really was t sure what to do with me at the end. Luckily it all came together full circle and I had a great cardiologist, great intensive care docs too. I’m glad to hear from Ann . I needed to hear that she has had condition for many years….

March 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm
(5) Shae says:

Hi, Im 20 years old Im suffering from this disease it occured in december 2012 and I had My daughter August 2012. My conditon was very unstable and I was slowly decinigrating the doctors could not figure out what was going on with My body so i was flown to a different Medical center that specializes in heart conditions. They found that My heart was extremly enlarged and barely beating, I couldnt breathe well so i was on oxygen. I had to get feeding tubes because My body couldnt keep food in I eventually had to get a LVAD which is a heart assisting device that helps your heart not have to work as much.It also has its flaws like I cannot be submerged in water due to me having to wear batteries for My device and I have to plug into a Wall when I sleep. I lived a healthy lifestyle before this and it occured unknowingly. I was in the hospital for a month and Im now a stay at home mom to a 6 month old baby girl and i have to be constantly supervised due to My underlying condition and Im on alot of heart meds to help improve My heart so that hopefully I can go back to live a normal life. But Im dealing with My condition in a positive manner and I am thankful for still being alive and here for My child and Im thankful to God for giving me a second chance and for a loving family and fiance here helping me along the way to recovery. I hope My story can give someone hope and brighten someones life.

April 11, 2013 at 1:12 am
(6) mama says:

I had a heart attack 2 weeks after i gave birth to my 7th baby in Dec 2012. The cardiologist determined that it was postpartum cardiomyopathy. I am slowly being weened off the meds and am recovering well. The only problems I have due to this condition is that I am still weak and can’t do as much as I could before and I get tired easier. Other than that, I have no complaints. I was fortunate to have a great cardiologist who recognized it quickly and helped me recover. Im just grateful to be alive and here with my family.

May 11, 2013 at 7:10 am
(7) aksha says:

my sister is just 26 year old and she is also suffering from this desease immediately one month of her first delivery . Her heart beast are always abnormal since then she is taking treatment but i am very worried about her life . I don’t know how much time it will take to recover completely i can not see her in this condition she is very confused and sad about her life now .

May 22, 2013 at 10:19 pm
(8) Shanda says:

I was diagnosed with ppcm 12yrs ago after the birth of my twins. I was only 25 . They were three months when I started having symptoms. Since I was a very healthy person up until then I knew something was really wrong . I went back and forth to my doctor to different ERs and because I was so young they never thought to check my heart. As a result my ejection fraction was down to 18percent and was in need of heart transplant. Thankfully my cardiologist was able to get the right combo of meds that helped my heart to get a little stronger. After a month and a half I was able to leave the hospital but was not expected to live anymore than seven years. I take a lot of meds and cannot do as much as I once could but it’s been 12yrs and by the grace of God I am still here.

June 3, 2013 at 2:10 pm
(9) Rhonda says:

I developed ppcm in august 2001 with the birth of my 2nd child. I was diagnosed 3 days after my son was born, at that time my ejection fraction was 11. I was lucky enough to be excepted into a heart failure clinic run by an exceptional staff. To be honest the first two years was a sleepy blur. With the help of this wonderful clinic and my fantastic family, I feel like i get stronger every year. I turned 50 in april, and i am down to only 1 med a day, and only see my cardiologist 2 times a year. I dont know if i can do it but last month i started training for my first 5k!!! When this first happened i was so scared i was going to die, thats what the 1st drs told me. I thought i would never see my children grow. I thought heart failure was a death sentence, BUT IT IS NOT, I am living proof. hang in there my ppcm sisters, be tough, be strong, and know you are not alone

June 12, 2013 at 12:53 pm
(10) Iris says:

I was diagnosed with ppcm in September 2012 after the birth of my third child in June 2012. I was horrified that I was going to die and cried often. With the help of my wonderful cardiologist and treatment myjection fraction has returned to ppcm diagnosi level. My doctor told me that I needed to get more excersie to help build my heart muscle; however at first I was terried to do even that for fear that I would pass out and die of sudden cardiac arrest. My fear was so paralyzing that I decided to see a therapist to try to get back to a normal life. I am now more at ease with my outcome and looking forward to raising my 3 kids and bein here for all their wonderful growing moments. I am still on meds but doing everything to try to get to a healthier state (juicing, drinking green smoothies; eating cleaner; walking; keeping down stress) so that maybe one day I can come off the meds. My therapist helped me realize too how important having a positive attidtude is to my recovery. SO now I “Speak those thongs as if they were” and looking forward to living a long life. Hang in there ladies!!

June 29, 2013 at 6:12 am
(11) paul.v.daviesjunior says:

It was likely the sameproblem that had lead my mum to death during after my birth ,but i do not clearly know exterly what was her problem i learnt she died when after my birth because of her heart failure.Does it happen when even during time of birth ?

July 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm
(12) laura hamilton says:

My mother passed away from this in 1970.. 5 weeks after I was born. She told my grandmother that morning that she wasnt feeling well. My grandmother told her to take a shower as she might feel better. Upon leaving the bathroom after her shower and colapsed in the hallway and never woke up. My father was coming home from Vietnam that evening. He didnt know my mom had passed until he got off the plane. Autopsy showed postpardom cardiomyopathy.

August 22, 2013 at 10:43 am
(13) amy behymer says:

I went through a post partum cardiomyopathy right after I had my daughter. I was discharged after having her with no problem 24 hours later I was falling into her playpen having a seizure. they said that my heart had enlarged and made my brain swell which caused the postpartum cardiomyopathy because instead of going out of me my water had shifted and surround my heart. It made my heart en large and my brain swell. causing the seizures. to this day I still don’t remember having my daughter. I don’t remember the first couple years of her life. I still have daily short term memoryloss.from day to day I still don’t remember what I did r 1 I’m in the middle of doing I have a lot of problems with people, because the way I remember things is not the way they remember things . life’s not easy, they know how i am. but it’s something I have to deal with because I did survive it.

September 24, 2013 at 3:10 pm
(14) TraciB says:

I was diagnosed with PPCM in 2006, 6 days after my twins were born. I was very blessed to have an OB who quickly knew the symptoms I was having were not normal (or simple panick attacks) and a cardiologist who worked aggressivley to determine what was happening. While in the ER my EF was 20%. I stayed on multiple medications for a year and then convinced my cardiologist to wean me off. I have been med free for 6 years now with two gorgeous kiddos. We sadly never had anymore babies, but I suppose that just wasn’t in the plans. There seems to just be a blanket statement of “if you have ever had this, you can have no more babies.” I would love to see more research done on this disease and maybe get to the the root of the cause and the life long effects.

December 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm
(15) Rebecca ray says:

I was diagnosed with this wen I was 17 years old.in hospital for 2 month started with preaclampcia than had my son fine developed numonia an then got diagnosed with ppcm I’m nw 24 worry every day that I’m going to die. Still live a normal life working going to gym socialising but I’m so worried of dying n I’m so young it scares me on 1 beets blocker a day used to take bout 20 tablets bloo clots gone bt it’s a constant panic : (

December 15, 2013 at 12:32 pm
(16) carrie Mccarthy says:

I went into Cardiomyopthy four days postpartum after delivering my son almost 8 years ago! I do have a family history of heart problems but I never showed any signs while preg. I take lots of meds to keep me living life is sometimes harder with meds but Im very thankful to be alive and able to see my son grow!! I was told from day one never to have a second child, I often wonder if any other woman have a second child after having heart failure?? Thanks to Ann for her comment its uplifting to me!!

January 1, 2014 at 1:58 pm
(17) laina says:

I developed postpartum cardiomyopothy and went into heart failure 6 days after my 4th child..had a procedure done called essure..permanent birthcontrol ..but 3 years later here i am pregnant 34 weeks and counting..but very high risk .. everything is alright besides being severe anemic and praying it doesnt happen again..i want to live and see my kids grow up
Doctors say 75 % chance of developing it again and i have a 50% chance of dyin…i want to beat the odds!!

January 17, 2014 at 9:03 am
(18) Judles says:

I suffered ppcm with my first and sadly only child (I was strongly advised against a further pregnancy) 10 years ago. I had noticed difficulty breathing at night at 33 wks and was suffering from Oedemia and pre-eclampsia. My ob decided I have a c section and our daughter was born 3 wks early. Each day after I felt it difficult to breathe but was discharged when daughter was 5 days old. Unfortunately I got worse at home over the next day and eventually admitted to icu. My family were all called to come to see me (I was coma induced, ventilated and tube fed) as I might not make it through the night. It was a terrifying ordeal which puzzled the doctors for sometime before informing my family it was ppcm. I am glad to say I recovered and am now 50. I have researched the subject and I heard there have been trials for treatment to prevent this happening in future pregnancies and although it looks promising it’s early days yet as I’ve heard nothing of the treatment in the UK. Personally I could never have risked leaving my little one behind even though I ached for another even more so after reading papers on the internet and statistical evidence gathered during real trials. I love my daughter so. We were really blessed and thankfully I’m here to tell the story and devote my time to her.

March 1, 2014 at 7:06 pm
(19) Dennis Rose says:

My daughter died from this disease in March 2003. She had her healthy baby and at five months later she started developing dvt’s. Ankle and leg swelling. She was hospitalized for a month while they diagnosed what the problem was. She was placed on several heart drugs and blood thinners to help with the dvt’s. They let her out of the hospital and two weeks later she threw a blood clot that lodged in her lungs. She passed away shortly after that. My grandson is a healthy 11 year old now. It is a terrible thing for anyone to go through. Wish you all the best.

April 15, 2014 at 3:11 pm
(20) marcela says:

i had these problem too just 4 dY after having my baby i was told that my hearth will recover quickly but 3 months later i was put in big blue total artificial hearth , 9 moths later i received my new hearth these was in 2011 now im doing fine and my son is my biggest blessing

April 24, 2014 at 10:09 am
(21) JJ B says:

I suffered breathing difficulties and then 2 cardiac arrests and was admitted to ICU 3 days after the birth of my twins, I was 26. It was touch and go for a while but I was transferred to a specialist heart hospital and diagnosed with PPCM. I was in a coma, on a ventilator and had a pump beating my heart for me, at one point my EF was 9%. I then started to recover with medicine, 2 weeks after leaving ICU my EF was 45%. Its still early days and I am hoping to make a full recovery, Even if I have to take medicine for the rest of my life it is a small price to pay to watch my twins grow up!! I have been strongly advised to not have any more children. Up until a few hours before hand the only symptom I had was a fast heart rate which was put down to pregnancy related as I had had it from 20 weeks pregnant. The breathing problems came on gradually over a few hours, That was the only symptom I had. awareness really needs to be raised for this condition. I didn’t know it existed before and it nearly killed me!

May 7, 2014 at 4:01 pm
(22) Stacey says:

I’m 29 years old. I was 36 weeks pregnant with my first child and my OB induced labor because of high BP. I really think my dr should have scheduled a C-section, but I had my daughter naturally. I had fluid in my lungs and my OB couldn’t figure out why the fluid was not coming off. He also did not know why my BP had not come down. While in the hospital, a cardiologist determined I had PPCM. I was I the hospital for 6 days. I had to take 2 bp meds and a Lasix to remove fluid. I had to take it easy for several weeks because I could not catch my breath. Its been 7 months since and I’m now on 1 bp pill and the Lasix .I feel much better. I’m fortunate that my heart has healed. I was told that its not recommended to have a 2nd child.

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