Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Risk Factors Symptoms Evaluation Treatment drugs fluid restriction low salt diet specialist Home Care diet lifestyle self-monitoring BP checks pulse checks taking control warning signs Prevention Underlying Cause Anatomy

Heart Failure after Childbirth Treatment

Treatment for postpartum cardiomyopathy may include medications, restricting the amount of liquids in the diet, a low salt diet, and elastic support stockings.

Specific treatment for postpartum cardiomyopathy may include:


Tips on how to reduce your salt consumption:
  • Avoid cooking with salt.
  • Avoid fast food.
  • Avoid salty foods, such as pickles, cured meats, salty snacks, and canned soup.
  • Avoid seasonings that contain sodium, such as soy sauce, steak sauce, garlic and onion salt, and monosodium glutamate.
  • Do not add salt to your food after it is prepared.
  • Read food labels and buy foods that are low in salt.
  • When eating out, ask that your food be prepared without salt.

Heart Failure after Childbirth Drugs

Medications used for the treatment of postpartum cardiomyopathy include:

Heart Failure after Childbirth Fluid Restriction

Some patients with postpartum cardiomyopathy are unable to remove excess liquids in the diet. The accumulation of fluid in the body places stress on the heart. These people require a limit on the amount of fluids they may safely consume each day. Water is a major component of solid food. Two cups (about 500 cc) of fluid is equal to about one pound of fluid.

Tips on limiting fluid intake for those with postpartum cardiomyopathy include:

  • Drain fluid from canned fruits and vegetables.
  • Place your daily amount of liquid in a container so you can monitor your intake.
  • Avoid coffee, tea, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages.
  • Use lemon wedges or hard candies to reduce thirst.
  • Rinse your mouth with water but do not swallow it.
  • Use small cups and glasses.

Heart Failure after Childbirth Low Salt Diet

A low salt diet can be an important treatment in postpartum cardiomyopathy.

Increased salt leads to fluid retention and subsequent heart failure in some people with heart disease. Many heart patients benefit from a low salt diet, which limits their sodium intake to no more than 2 grams of sodium per day.

Tips on how to reduce salt consumption for those with postpartum cardiomyopathy include:

  • Avoid cooking with salt.
  • Avoid fast food.
  • Avoid salty foods, such as pickles, cured meats, salty snacks, and canned soup.
  • Avoid seasonings that contain sodium, such as soy sauce, steak sauce, garlic and onion salt, and monosodium glutamate.
  • Do not add salt to your food at the dinner table.
  • Read food labels and buy foods that are low in salt.
  • When eating out, ask that your food be prepared without added salt.

Heart Failure after Childbirth Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat postpartum cardiomyopathy:

Continue to Heart Failure after Childbirth Home Care

Last Updated: Oct 25, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Heart Failure after Childbirth References
  1. Airoldi ML, Eid O, Tosetto C, Meroni PL. Post-partum dilated cardiomyopathy in anti-phospholipid positive woman. Lupus. 1996 Jun;5(3):247-50. [8803899]
  2. Bower M, Freeman LJ, Rickards AF, Rowland E. The automatic implantable cardioverter/defibrillator for a life threatening arrhythmia in a case of post-partum cardiomyopathy. Postgrad Med J. 1989 Dec;65(770):932-5. [2616435]
  3. Ng WH, Reid JM. Post-partum cardiomyopathy. Scott Med J. 1978 Jan;23(1):32-3. [635537]
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