Blood Clots and Pregnancy

Blood Clots and Pregnancy

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in the deep veins, usually in the legs. DVTs can form when blood flow is slower than normal, when blood vessels are damaged or after childbirth, when the blood clots more easily than normal. A DVT can be life-threatening if it travels to the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism.

Risk Factors:

  • Previous blood clot or family history of blood clots
  • Age 40+
  • Surgery (including C-section)
  • Immobility (bed rest for 3 days or more)
  • Broken bones requiring a cast or surgery
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy and the first six weeks after giving birth.
  • Blood clotting disorders
  • Severe varicose veins
  • Current cancer treatment
  • Delivery of multiples (twins, triplets)
  • Four or more previous childbirths
  • Pre-eclampsia

Notify your doctor immediately:

  • Pain in leg
  • Swelling in leg
  • Tenderness along a vein
  • One leg feels warmer than the other leg
  • Redness or bluish color of the skin of the leg

Call 911 immediately:

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain – sharp or stabbing pain that may worsen with deep breaths
  • Fast heart beat 3unexplained cough (may have bloody mucus)

If you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant and have had problems with blood clots in the past, tell your physician at your first prenatal care checkup. Also tell your provider if someone in your family has had problems with blood clots. For more information on blood clots and pregnancy click here.