Peripartum cardiomyopathy

peripartum cardiomyopathy

peripartum cardiomyopathy

Many a times I thought of sharing this news with you, but I backed out at the last moment… Denis told me to deal with my demons once and for all… It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve been detected with “Peripartum cardiomyopathy”, a rare heart disease occuring during the last stages of pregnancy. I’ve been admitted at the CCU at Al Qassimi for 4 days and am now back at home for a prolonged rest period of 6 months  and medication. Unfortunately for me, I am not even allowed to take my daughter who is now 1 month old or feed her… For a mother and that too a first time mom it is the most heart breaking thing to happen.

For those of you who would like to know more about this,  I’m citing below some info on this disease.

Peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM) is a form of dilated cardiomyopathy that is defined as deterioration in cardiac function presenting typically between the last month of pregnancy and up to five months postpartum.  As with other forms of dilated cardiomyopathy,  PPCM involves systolic dysfunction of the heart with a decrease of the left ventricular ejection fraction (EF) with associated congestive heart failure and an increased risk of atrial and ventricular arrhythmias, thromboembolic events (blockage of a blood vessel by a blood clot), and even sudden cardiac death.  In essence, the heart is weakened and does not pump sufficiently for the needs of the body.

PPCM is a diagnosis of exclusion, wherein patients have no prior history of heart disease and there are no other known possible causes of heart failure.  Echocardiogram is used to both diagnose and monitor the effectiveness of treatment for PPCM.

The cause of PPCM is unknown.  Currently, researchers are investigating cardiotropic viruses, autoimmunity or immune system dysfunction, other toxins that serve as triggers to immune system dysfunction, micronutrient or trace mineral definciencies, and genetics as possible components that contribute to or cause the development of PPCM.

The process of PPCM begins with an unknown trigger (possibly a cardiotropic virus or other yet unidentified catalyst) that initiates an inflammatory process in the heart.  Consequently, heart muscle cells are damaged; some die or become scar tissue.  Scar tissue has no ability to contract; therefore, the effectiveness of the pumping action of the heart is decreased.  Also, damage to the cytoskeletal framework of the heart causes the heart to become enlarged, stretched or altered in shape, also decreasing the output or systolic function of the heart.  The initial inflammatory process appears to cause an autoimmune or immune dysfunctional process, which in turn fuels the initial inflammatory process. Progressive loss of heart muscle cells leads to eventual heart failure.

Reference :

~ by Sabitha Denis on August 16, 2009.

16 Responses to “Peripartum cardiomyopathy”

  1. get well soon,dear……

    • I’m so sorry. Go to for the latest info and support. You are not alone.

      Best wishes,

      Anne ( a fellow PPCMer)

    • I’m not new to PPCM, I’m a 14 year survivor, with a recent deterioration of function for no reason, still trying to wrap my head around battling this again. I hope you are doing well!


      • I have just seen the comment posted by you on Sabitha’s blog. I am her husband. Sabitha passed away last December, 2009. She had severe left ventricle dysfunction. Nice to know that you have survived. Thanks for stopping by her blog.
        Kind regards
        Denis Eugene

  2. I’m so sorry. As a PPCM survivor I know how devastating this disease can be. It’s a terrible thing to go through. Check out the link for It’s a great place, filled with women who have been through what you are going through. And just know that you *can* get through this. I was diagnosed 7 years ago and after a painfully slow recovery period, I have my life back and am happier and stronger than I ever was before.

    Stay strong and enjoy every moment you can with your precious baby.:-)


    • Hi Teresa,

      Thanks for your support! It means a lot for me especially during this trying period. I am going through the site you recommended. Take care…

      Best wishes,


  3. Hi my dear
    I just read your painful yet very informative essay. I got deeply impressed, it must be toooooooooooo difficult for a mother not to see her new born baby. I hope things work out well ASAP.
    Take good care and be happy since you already have a healthy and lovely daughter.
    Best Wishes

    • Hi Taraneh,

      I hope you will be reading this reply. Thanks a lot for your kind words! Only women can understand completely the pangs of motherhood… Anne will be back with us insha allah after Eid when my maid will stay back until 7pm to take care of her. It is very painful not to care of your daughter when she is nearby, sometimes the pain makes me numb… but seeing her giggles and sweet smiles make up for all that…

      Take care… Ramadan Kareem!

  4. Hi Sabitha,

    I can very well understand what you are going through right now as the mother of a new born child, whom you are unable to hold, caress, nurse and love at this moment.My second son, Adon was born through a C-sec and we were both fine until…he developed acute respiratory distress syndrome, 3 hrs after birth and was put on the ventilator for 36hrs. He was in the neonatal ICU for 3 weeks and I actually saw my child (as a visitor in the ICU), only after 4 days of delivery and I could hold him in my hands only after 11 agonising days.

    And today, by the grace of the Lord, he is absolutely hail and hearty and I understand that God definitely knew His plans for me, my child and our family and we are so thankful to Him for the blessings He reserves for us through the simple joys in our everyday life, the treasure I call my children.I wish you a speedy recovery and may every moment with Annie be a meaningful and joyfilled experience.

    • Hi Jaicy,

      Thank you for sharing your traumatic experience. I can understand the feeling better since my baby is a visitor I get to see only during weekends. It’s been only a week since my Doc has given me the permission to hold my baby while sitting, I should say just holding her was just an awesome experience and whenever she smiles looking at me, I feel all my efforts and pain are worth it just to see that sunny smile on her face! Thanks again!

  5. Hi Sabitha,
    Reading about your condition and to know that there are so many women out there who go through the same…makes me wonder…WHY??? Sabitha at this moment all I can think of is this song by Don Moen
    You are my God that healeth me
    You are my God my healer
    You shed your blood and you healed my disease
    You are my God my healer.

    Sabitha, Jesus died on the cross for you taking all your sickness and pain and suffering on HIS own body. It says in the Bible that by HIS stripes we are healed. I encourage you sister to have complete faith in Jesus who is the ultimate healer. He has already healed you. Its in times like this when you need to keep praising the Lord for everything He has given you.

    I will definitely keep you in my prayers. Please do keep in touch of your developments. God bless and PRAISE THE LORD

  6. Hi Sabitha,
    Sad to hear this. I am sure you will pull through. My support and best wishes are always with you. You will be hale and hearty soon…:-))

  7. Sabitha ia no longer with us. She is resting in the Lord

  8. sabi,one of my good old frnds from assumption, it really wet my eyes,i did not know anything untill i see u in orkut,otherwise i could have prayed for you ……………….

  9. Denis Eugene Brother!!!
    sorry to hear abt ur wife ….. can you please give me your contact info as I want to discuss some thing

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