Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms may mimic common symptoms in normal pregnancy.

Common symptoms of PPCM include:

  • breathlessness
  • increased breathlessness, particularly when at rest or lying flat
  • reduced exercise intolerance
  • cough
  • palpitations

The condition can lead to heart failure (when the heart is not pumping enough blood round the body to meet its need).

The document below explains the causes, symptoms and diagnosis of PPCM. It discusses the tests and treatment for the condition, and looks at the question of subsequent pregnancies.