Pregnancy can increase your risk of blood clots

By Missy Jaramillo

Pregnancy can increase your risk of blood clots

During pregnancy, your body will undergo a number of changes. You'll look different, of course, but your estrogen levels will also jump and even your taste in food my be different during fetal development. While some of these symptoms are harmless or just annoying, pregnancy can put you at risk for certain health hazards. 

KPLCtv​.com recently reported that Melissa Meaux​, a mom living in Oberlin, Ohio, developed a blood clot during her pregnancy. The clot had traveled to her right leg, restricting blood flow and causing pain. While Meaux asked doctors to examine her after she first felt the problem, they were only able to identify the source two weeks after the exam at which point her leg was turning purple and had swollen to twice its size. 

The hospital admitted her for the night and put her on a blood-thinning IV drip. For the next 13 weeks, Meaux injected herself with blood thinners to keep her and her developing child safe. 

"At that time, the estrogen levels are really high, and most pregnant people tend to put on their weight in that third trimester and we become a little bit more sedentary," Trivia Guidry, M.D., an OB/GYN at Women & Children's, told the news source.

As this can be a reoccurring problem, Meaux would have to undergo the same treatment during future pregnancies. Thankfully, she caught the problem in time and is now the mother of a 7-month-old boy, Jake. 

Stay aware
While your pregnancy increases the chance of developing a blood clot, there are a few steps you can take to lower the risk. The American Society of Hematology says that knowing about the problem is one of the best ways to combat it. Expecting mothers should be aware of the risk and if their family has a history of developing blood clots. They should also keep an eye out for the symptoms - swelling or tenderness in the arms or legs, as well as pain in the heart, lungs or abdomen. 

While a clot can be life threatening, they're also highly preventable. The American Society of Hematology suggests staying active. Though you may be tempted to take it easy during your pregnancy, a light exercise routine can reduce your risk of developing a clot and minimize other health risks. 

Did you have any health complications during your pregnancy? How did you manage them? Let us know!