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PPMC: PERIPERTUM or POSTPARTUM CARDIOMYOPATHY | 09 June 2015

PPMC is a rare disease where a pregnant woman's heart becomes weakened and enlarged. It can happen anytime between the last weeks of pregnancy up until five months after delivery.

First, women should know the symptoms:
o    Shortness of breath and coughing that generally occur at night.
o    Difficult or uncomfortable breathing on exertion.
o    Cough.
o    Swelling above and below the knee.
o    Abdominal pain or chest pain.
o    Palpitations (awareness of heart beating)
o    Pink sputum.


Now women should be aware of the numbers:
50% of women recover normally
30% of women live with the disease throughout their lives
20% of women die.


Why does it happen?
The causes are unknown. Studies can't make it a rule that smokers, alcoholic are obese people are the ones that get PPCM because it's not true. A woman, 26 years old, didn't meet any of the risk factors of heart disease but had PPCM. Some studies relate this medical condition to the stress put on a woman's body during pregnancy, including the 50% increase of blood volume.
Never underestimate the symptoms, whenever you feel something unusual, check it with your doctor!