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Gooday everyone.

My brother has a very big issue with his wife. She never was sick before but at their kid birthday party she fainted. The biggest problem is  - she is pregnant. She was so pale before it and when she fainted we called 911 immediately. They took her to the hospital and they did some analysis and they find out that she had peripartum cardiomyopathy. Is there any possibility to tell me what is the common cause of it and how dangerous can it be for the pregnant woman?

I really hope that it is nothing dangerous and that she will be fine, but I am scared.

I can see that my brother is losing his mind …

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Hi Z,

There is no common cause.  During pregnancy the heart has to pump a lot more blood that when not pregnant.  This can put stress on the heart.  Combine that with other factors, some genetic, and it can lead to a weakening of the heart muscle.  Other factors that can contribute include obesity, smoking, drinking, etc.

The damage is irreversible.  In severe cases a heart transplant could be needed.

Her doctor will run tests and based upon the results treat her.  In some cases managing her blood pressure will suffice. 

Hope it helps.

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Hello Big Z,

This condition called peripartum cardiomyopathy only affects pregnant women or it happens right after the delivery, it is a rare type of heart failure. This condition weakens the heart muscle and causes it to become enlarged and then the heart can't pump the blood properly throughout the body.

Medic Dan has a point about the cause of this: there are no known causes for this except the fact that when a person is pregnant, her heart needs to pump up to 50 percent more blood throughout the body which isn't easy to the heart. Pregnancy combined with some risk factors can lead to peripartum cardiomyopathy.

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Hello guys,

It is true that there are no known causes for this matter, but there are risk factors which can contribute to getting this condition. These risk factors combined with pregnancy can easily cause peripartum cardiomyopathy. I know which are the risk factors and I'll write them down for you:

- obesity

- high blood pressure

- diabetes

- personal history of heart disease including myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle)

- malnutrition

- smoking

- alcoholism

- African - American descent

- multiple pregnancies

- being over the age of 30

- premature delivery medications.

In case you are pregnant, you should avoid the things from this list that you can.

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Hello everyone,

This is a very serious condition Big Z, and a very dangerous one. It is extremely dangerous for pregnant ladies who are obese. In order to prevent this, a person must exercise regularly, be on a low fat diet and avoid both cigarettes and alcohol. 

It is very serious because it will eventually cause arrhythmia, blood clots, particularly in the lungs, congestive heart failure and death. Like Medic Dan wrote above, the damage done to your body by peripartum cardiomyopathy is irreversible: it is definitely one of those conditions which can more or less easily cause death so your brother's wife needs to be extra careful with this one.

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Hey there.

I am really sorry to tell you this but this is very serious condition and it can be fatal for pregnant lady. I agree with everyone in here, especially with medic dan who explained so well to you. I remember that my brother's ex girlfriend had this situation just after she gave a birth to a wonderful baby girl. I am sorry because they are not together anymore. The baby is fine but I really don't know what has happened to her. I know that she was struggling so hard with this situation. I hope that she is fine because it is very serious. 

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Hey. First let me answer your first question – no one can tell you what is the real and what is the common cause of peripartum cardiomyopathy. But whatever cause it is I can tell you that it is very dangerous and it can have bad effect on pregnant women. Remember that any disease can and will have very bad effects on pregnant lady if it is not treated.

I really don’t want to repeat what are the risk factors and what this lady needs to do if she wants for both her and her baby to remain healthy.

Doctor is necessary in this case.

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Good day everyone.

First, I really want to thank you for all your posts because I know that you are trying to help me. OK, we are talking about small heart changes, but what this actually means? Should I be afraid about this? 

Medic dan, can you tell me more about this? It is helpful but the problem is that this health issues was discovered when she already was pregnant, not before her pregnancy. That is why we are extremely scared. Some of her friends told her that she will need to have an abortion. I really hope that this is not the case...

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Hey there. Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a very rare disorder in which pregnant woman's heart becomes very weak and much enlarged.  It usually develops during the last month of pregnancy or even within 4 or 5 months after the baby is born. It occurs when there is some damage to the heart and in that case heart muscle becomes weak and it will not pump well. This can affect different organs in your body such as lungs, liver and other. There are a lot of different risk factors such as : smoking, multiple pregnancy, using certain of medications, obesity, etc.

Good luck.

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