Take the self test  

If you score more than 5 demand testing

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ask for bnp test

IF your BNP is >100 ng/Ml, demand an echocardiogram 

ask for echo 

An Echocardiogram will identify the size, and function of your heart. Any ejection fraction below 55% should be treated by a cardiologist. 

Peripartum Cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is, put simply, heart failure caused by pregnancy, that typically takes place in the third trimester and up to 6 months postpartum. During pregnancy your body is required to pump 50% more blood and in some cases, your heart cannot keep up. When your heart cannot keep up, it weakens the heart muscle, causing a low "Ejection Fraction" and allowing your body to store additional fluids, thus putting pressure on your heart, lungs, kidneys and other vital organs. While PPCM is not reversible, the damage is preventable and the prospective future is worth saving. A simple BNP blood test being regulated by all OBGYNs and insurance companies can identify PPCM before it's too late. Catching it early can help doctors treat before the heart function is affected, thus saving the life of both the mother and child. A BNP test measures the amount of "Brain Natriuretic Peptide" hormone in your blood stream. An elevated amount of BNP in your system means your heart is working harder than it should be and the elevation will allow doctors to do additional testing such as an echocardiogram to be able to diagnose heart failure.


PPCM is very commonly misdiagnosed as Preeclampsia. For the simple fact that it is more well known.  Our goal, is to get PPCM considered in all hospitals by all OBGYNs as a health condition that can be prevented, if identified early.


Important Terms:

PPCM-Peripartum Cardiomyopathy- heart failure caused by pregnancy

BNP-Brain Natriuretic Peptide- Hormone released by the heart, will be elevated when heart is in distress.

Echocardiogram- An ultrasound of the heart that can identify its size and ejection fraction.

Self Test-At home test that can be taken at any point during pregnancy to identify if heart failure could be occurring.

Ejection Fraction-Percentage measurement of blood leaving your heart each time it contracts. Healthy hearts have an ejection fraction of 55-60%


More Information can be found at the below links:


​http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/Cardiomyopathy/Peripartum-Cardiomyopathy-PPCM_UCM_476261_Article.jsp#.WZ8Y_1GGOUk


http://www.myheartsisters.com/


http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/heart_vascular_institute/clinical_services/centers_excellence/womens_cardiovascular_health_center/patient_information/health_topics/peripartum_cardiomyopathy.html


​http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/153153-overview