Have Peri/Postpartum Heart Failure symptoms added to the "What to Expect"pregnancy books.
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PPCM Peri/Postpartum Cardiomyopathy is a diagnosis of Heart Failure brought on by pregnancy. A form of dilated cardiomyopathy that can occur in the last trimester of pregnancy into and up until 5 months postpartum. Women may show symptoms that are similar to those of normal pregnancy conditions and is often overlooked or dismissed by doctors.
All women should know the symptoms of heart failure and know when to seek medical help. A woman may initially exert one or all of these symptoms, and many will have their symptoms dismissed as normal signs of pregnancy.
Shortness of breath and coughing that generally occur at night (Paroxysmal Nocturnal Dyspnea)
Difficult or uncomfortable breathing on exertion (Dyspnea on exertion)
Cough day or night
Shortness of breath on when lying flat, causing the person to have to sleep propped up in bed or sitting in a chair.(Orthopnea)
Swelling (edema) above and below the knee
Abdominal pain or chest pain
Palpitations – awareness of heart beating
Excessive weight gain during the last month of pregnancy
With conventional heart failure treatment consisting of diuretics, ace inhibitors, and beta blockers, survival rate is high and almost all patients improve with treatment. Many fully recover, but prompt diagnosis and awareness is key.
PPCM can happen to any woman, of any racial background, at any age ,in any pregnancy.
A simple echocardiogram or BNP blood test is all that is needed to diagnose the condition.
Awareness is needed for everyone.Too many times patients have been dismissed and not taken seriously when discussing the symptoms with their caregivers.
Young mothers are dying leaving their children. This must not happen. Awareness needs to be accessible to all.
The well known books that sell to countless mother's to be, "What to expect ,When Expecting " should add this condition to their publishing.
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