Table of contents:
- Signs and Symptoms of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
- Causes and Risk Factors for Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
- Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
- Prevention of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a heart disorder that occurs at the end of pregnancy, before delivery, or several months after delivery. This condition is generally rare, but if not treated immediately, peripartum cardiomyopathy can lead to dangerous complications
Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a type of cardiomyopathy that occurs in women who are late in pregnancy or mothers who have just given birth. This disease can appear near the time of delivery or several days, weeks, and even months (at least 4-5 months) after giving birth.If it occurs after 6 months postpartum, it is called postpartum cardiomyopathy.
Peripartum cardiomyopathy is characterized by weakening of the heart muscles, thereby weakening the left ventricle (ventricle). The left heart chamber is the part of the heart that functions to pump blood throughout the body.
As a result of this condition, the heart cannot pump and circulate blood properly throughout the body. In severe conditions, heart failure can occur.
Signs and Symptoms of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
Peripartum cardiomyopathy often appears suddenly and is often not noticed by the sufferer. Women who experience peripartum cardiomyopathy will usually experience symptoms similar to those of heart failure, namely:
- Easy to get tired and tired
- Heart pounding
- Shortness of breath when lying down or doing activities
- Frequent urination at night
- chest pain
- Swelling in legs and ankles
In mild cases, peripartum cardiomyopathy may not show any typical symptoms. On the other hand, in more severe cases, symptoms such as shortness of breath, swelling, and chest pain may get worse and last longer after delivery.
If you are pregnant or have just given birth and feel some of the symptoms above, you should immediately consult a doctor. The reason is, if treated too late, cardiomyopathy conditions during late pregnancy or postpartum can cause serious complications, such as:
- irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Heart valve disorders
- Heart failure
Causes and Risk Factors for Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
The cause of peripartum cardiomyopathy is not known with certainty. However, this condition is known to be associated with the performance of the heart muscle which gains weight during pregnancy.
During pregnancy, the heart muscle will pump up to 50 percent more blood than when not pregnant. This is due to the presence of the fetus which must receive oxygen and nutrients from pregnant women.
In addition to these factors, there are several other factors that can also increase the risk of peripartum cardiomyopathy, including:
- Overweight or obesity
- twin pregnancy
- Certain diseases, such as hypertension, preeclampsia, diabetes, and heart disorders such as myocarditis, cardiomyopathy or heart weakness, and coronary heart disease
- Malnutrition or malnutrition
- The habit of smoking or consuming alcoholic beverages during pregnancy
- Over 30 years old
- Side effects of certain drugs, such as tocolytic drugs to reduce uterine contractions and narcotics, eg (cocaine)
Diagnosis and Treatment of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
Peripartum cardiomyopathy is important to be detected early by a doctor so that it can be treated immediately. To diagnose this condition, the doctor will perform a physical examination, obstetrical examination, as well as supporting examinations such as chest X-ray, CT scan, echocardiography, electrocardiography (ECG), and blood tests.
If you are diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy, your doctor may advise you to stay in the hospital. To treat peripartum cardiomyopathy, the doctor will prescribe the following drugs:
- Drugs of the ACE-inhibitor and beta-blocker class to help stabilize blood pressure and ease the work of the heart
- Digitalis drug to strengthen the pumping function of the heart
- Anticoagulant drugs or blood-thinning medications to prevent blood clots from forming that can worsen cardiomyopathy
- Diuretic drugs to reduce fluid buildup from the body
The doctor will determine the right type of treatment according to your condition and the fetus in the womb or the newborn.
In addition to giving medicine, the doctor will also advise you to follow a low-s alt diet, limit fluid intake, avoid cigarette smoke, and not consume alcoholic beverages.
After your condition improves and your heart has improved, the doctor will let you go home from the hospital, while still giving you medicine and suggesting that you return to control after the medicine wears off.
To treat peripartum cardiomyopathy that is severe or not successfully treated with medication, doctors can perform several other treatment steps, such as installing a breathing apparatus to surgery, such as heart transplantation.
Prevention of Peripartum Cardiomyopathy
Women who have had peripartum cardiomyopathy are at risk for it again in their next pregnancy. If the disease occurs a second time, the peripartum cardiomyopathy may get worse.
In addition, to prevent peripartum cardiomyopathy, doctors will generally advise patients to lead a he althy lifestyle, such as:
- Monitoring weight gain during pregnancy and keeping it ideal
- Consulting with obstetrician during pregnancy
- Live a he althy diet during pregnancy and limit high s alt intake
- Quit smoking, consuming alcoholic beverages, and using certain drugs
- Exercise regularly, such as taking yoga classes, pregnancy exercise, and other activities, such as relaxation and meditation to avoid stress
- Get enough rest and don't do strenuous physical activity
So that peripartum cardiomyopathy can be detected early, it is important for you to regularly check with your doctor, especially if you have risk factors for experiencing this condition, such as a history of heart problems, preeclampsia, or hypertension.