Beating for two is our new campaign to raise awareness of the rare, but potentially life-threatening heart muscle disease; peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM).
PPCM can develop during the last part of pregnancy, or the first five months after birth.
Our new campaign aims to raise awareness of the condition among expecting and new mums and their families. Later in the year we will also be working with midwives, health visitors and other healthcare professionals to help ensure that fewer mums' lives are put at risk.
New research commissioned by the charity shows the majority of people (70%) are unaware that serious heart conditions such as PPCM, can develop during and after pregnancy.
In a small survey of patients and the family of those who have since been diagnosed with PPCM, an overwhelming 98% were unaware that serious heart conditions could occur.
Our research found that while people are better at spotting more obvious cardiac symptoms such as chest pain and heart palpitations; three quarters of those surveyed thought that PPCM symptoms were ‘normal’ during and after pregnancy.
An alarming 66% would not seek medical help if they were to experience symptoms.
Signs to watch out for:
- Tiredness completing everyday tasks
- Shortness of breath when at rest or lying down
- Sudden swelling of the ankles
- Excessive and rapid weight gain
Download our factsheet on what's normal, or not normal for the heart below:
Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of maternal death in the UK, with PPCM accounting for one-third of cardiovascular maternal deaths. However, because awareness of the condition is low, opportunities to detect and treat the condition early are being missed.