Beating for Two




What is Peripartum Cardiomyopathy?

Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a disease of the heart muscle that can develop during the last month of pregnancy, or the first five months after giving birth.

PPCM causes the heart’s left ventricle (chamber) to become enlarged, which stretches the muscle wall and weakens the ability to pump blood around the body.  

If undetected and left untreated, it can lead to serious implications.

Download our PPCM factsheet

During pregnancy, your heart is beating for two. It’s an amazing organ but sometimes it may need help. We want to empower you to help you understand what’s normal or not normal for your heart.

If you experience any of these symptoms:

  • Tiredness completing everyday tasks 
  • Shortness of breath when at rest or lying down 
  • Sudden swelling of the ankles 
  • Excessive and rapid weight gain 

We recommend speaking to your GP, or seeking medical help from NHS 111.

Download our factsheet on what's normal, or not normal for the heart during pregnancy here:

Factsheet on heart symptoms


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. A staggering 66% would not seek medical help if they were to experience them. 

We also found that 98% of patients or the family of those diagnosed with PPCM (taken from a small survey) were unaware that serious heart conditions could occur before they were diagnosed.


Download our press release here

Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of maternal death in the UK, with PPCM accounting for one-third of cardiovascular maternal deaths.

The opportunities to detect and treat the condition are being overlooked. 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. 

For press enquires please email