A Grande Prairie woman experienced cardiomyopathy after she gave birth to her daughter and she is spreading the word about the disease. According to Kyrstyn Oram, the type of heart failure she experienced is able to be cured with medication. Prior to giving birth, she had trouble breathing and swelling of her feet, but after telling her doctor she brushed it off. She says she regrets making that decision.

“When I first had my daughter, it was the day after I was still having a lot of difficulty breathing. I started complaining to the nurses. They sent me in for an MRI and immediately sent me in for an echo-cardiogram. They told me my heart was only functioning at 10 to 20 per cent.”

She wants others to be aware that although postpartum cardiomyopathy only happens to one in 3000 women, it is something that can happen. Oram is back at 40 per cent heart function after developing it in March thanks to a strict medication regime.

“If you do get any of the signs or symptoms, especially the unexplained cough. I really hope a lot of mothers push to get looked at instead of letting doctors brush it off.”

The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation says this congestive cardiomyopathy can be caused by pregnancy, but it is rare. They add that some people show no signs or symptoms. If they do, the symptoms include heart palpitations, dizziness, light-headedness, arrhythmias and breathlessness. Swelling of the hands and feet can also be a symptom.