Pregnancy and post natal days are somewhat critical stages for a woman of child bearing age. Women come down with different health challenges. Some of these health challenges could pose problem to the mother and baby .Some of these challenges can be managed with modifications and fair medical attention while some would require intense medical attention for adequate management. One of the latter health challenges is PERIPARTUM CARDIOMYOPATHY although it is uncommon. ,
It is also known as postpartum cardiomyopathy. It is a form of heart failure that occurs in the last trimester and the first five months after giving birth. Pericardium Cardiomyopathy occurs when the muscles of the chambers of the heart enlarges and weakens. This reduces the amount of blood flow and the heart is unable to supply sufficient oxygen to the organs in the body. This leads to deficiency of oxygen to essential organs like the liver, lungs and kidneys and others.
HOW DO I DIFFERENTIATE PERIPARTUM CARDIOMYOPATHY
Symptoms of heart failure can look like those of third trimester pregnancy: symptoms like swelling of the feet, shortness of breath. A medical professional will carry out a physical examination conduct some test to rule symptoms of third trimester. Severe cases are seen after delivery.
- Swelling of the ankles
- Shortness of breath with activity and when lying flat
- Palpitations(skipping beat of the heart)
- Swollen neck veins
- Low blood pressure or it may drop when standing up.
- Increased bed time urination
WHAT CAN CAUSE PPCM
The cause is not clear. Some factors has been identified to play roles in the occurrence of PPCM
- Poor Nutrition
- Coronary artery spasm
- Small –vessel disease.
Some risk factors have also been identified, they are;
- Use of certain medications
- Multiple pregnancies
- Poor nourishment
- African-American nourishment
- History of heart disorders
TREATMENT OF PPCM
In order to help the heart recover its normal function; affected individuals are placed on medications that are appropriate to the variations in the class of PPCM. Some drugs are safer for women who are breastfeeding than others.
Some modifications can also help to help the heart recover e. g low salt diet, fluid restriction, weight monitoring, ceasing of alcohol and smoking.
PREVENTION OF PPCM
To maintain healthy heart and reduce the risk of PPCM, regular exercise and good nutrition are key things women should implement during pregnancy and after delivery.