New Moms if you have any of the following reoccurring symptoms please call your doctor.
* Feeling of racing heart or skipping beats (palpitations)
* Increased night-time urination (nocturia)
* Shortness of breath with activity and when laying flat
* Swelling of the ankles
Doctor’s exam may show Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
neck veins swollen.
low Blood pressure worse stands up
lungs/veins to lung congested
cardiac output/functioning decreased
A real time case
Tanya Ginther, 26, had given birth to her second child just two months earlier, so she thought it was only natural to feel tired, and out of breath. But packing the car one day in the garage attached to her Bismarck, N.D., home, Tanya collapsed her heart had stopped without warning – a cardiac arrest.
Doctors later determined Tanya was suffering from a mysterious condition called Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PC).
PC strikes as many as 3,000 new mothers in the United States every year, is characterized by symptoms that include fatigue and shortness of breath. No one is certain of its cause or why Peripartum Cardiomyopathy develops.
“The heart muscle weakens in the last months of pregnancy,” Sharonne Hayes, a doctor at the Mayo Clinic, told ABC News. “We don’t know what causes it. It could be inflammation, or a virus, or the changes in hormones.”
At a Bismarck, N.D., hospital, Tanya Ginther’s heart stopped, again and again. Doctors, shocking her back to life each time, She needed a heart pump. In a last attempt to save her life, the Mayo Clinic dispatched one of its “air ambulances,” a Learjet equipped with the latest emergency medical equipment, to lift Tanya to its hospital in Rochester, Minn.
But at an altitude of 30,000 feet, Tanya’s heart failed yet again. Today she is fine. She and her family are grateful she is one of the fortunate ones to survive. (1)
Cardiomyopathy occurs when there is damage to the heart. As a result, the heart muscle becomes weak and cannot pump blood efficiently. Decreased heart function affects the lungs, liver, and other body systems. Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a form of dilated cardiomyopathy in which no other cause of heart dysfunction (weakened heart) can be identified.
In the United States, Peripartum Cardiomyopathy complicates 1 in every 1,300 – 4,000 deliveries. It may occur in childbearing women of any age, but it is most common after age 30.
Risk factors include obesity, having a personal history of cardiac disorders such as myocarditis, use of certain medications, smoking, alcoholism, multiple pregnancies, being African American, and being malnourished. (2)
1.Excerpts and video courtesy of ABCNews HeartHealth/story?id=6724565&page=1
2.Excerpts and Image courtesy of NIHMedline