Peripartum cardiomyopathy

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (also known as PPCM) is pregnancy related and affects women towards the end of pregnancy or in the first few months after delivery.  The condition affects the heart’s ability to pump properly.

PPCM (sometimes called postpartum cardiomyopathy) is rare, affecting between one in 5,000 and one in 10,000 births, and may develop in women who have not previously had heart disease.

Most women make a good recovery, and some recover completely. However, the condition can lead to heart failure (when the heart is not pumping enough blood round the body to meet its need).

Treatment for PPCM is with heart failure drugs, oxygen support and when severe, heart pumps.  PPCM can be life-threatening and in around five per cent of cases a heart transplant is needed.

More information


Abigail Findley was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) 5 years ago following the safe delivery of her daughter - read her story

Further reading

Genetic link found in peripartum cardiomyopathy

Risks for developing peripartum cardiomyopathy and

why do women get peripartum cardiomyopathy?