My Marvellous Guide to PPCM (Peripartum Cardio-myopathy)
This guide has been created by women who have all been diagnosed with Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM). The Foundation wishes to express a huge vote of thanks to Emma, Tracy, Aleena, Sarah-Jayne, Paula, Janey and Claire, who came together to share their emotions around their own experience of being diagnosed with this condition, many a tissue was required as the women discussed the impact on them and their families. Thank you for your courage and willingness to share your understanding of PPCM. This “Marvellous Guide” therefore reflects on their journeys, from diagnosis to a life living with PPCM, and their belief that there is HOPE and a positive future ahead for you and your family.
If you have recently been diagnosed with PPCM, then you will have many questions that you wish to have answers for, we HOPE the following is helpful. If your question is not here, then do ask your Clinician. You or your loved one may not be able to take in all this information at once, the guide is there for you to return to whenever you wish, indeed you may find the information is something you wish to refer to time and again as your understanding of your condition grows.
How does the heart work and what has happened?
The heart is a muscle that pumps blood around the body. The blood contains oxygen and nutrients that your body requires in order to function effectively. Indeed, in pregnancy the heart has to greatly increase its workload to supply the blood the growing baby requires. With PPCM the heart is unable to pump efficiently and is thus termed to be failing to do its job, as a consequence you may have been told you have heart failure or PPCM. We are not completely sure what actually causes PPCM, although a number of theories exist. These theories include alterations in the immune system, genetic links, inflammation and infection – but we really don’t know. Research continues into the exact cause of PPCM.