Blood Clotting & Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, or you have just had a baby, you are at greater risk of developing a blood clot.Blood clots in pregnant women tend to form in the deep veins of the legs or in the pelvic area. This condition is known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a life-threatening event that occurs when a DVT breaks off and travels to the blood vessels of the lungs.

DVT and PE, collectively known as venous thromboembolism, are highly preventable (see prevention tips below). The U.S. Surgeon General has issued a Call to Action on DVT and PE to raise public awareness of these blood conditions and increase research on the causes, prevention, and treatment.

Blood clots are also potentially dangerous to your baby. Blood clots can form inside the placenta, cutting off blood flow and harming your baby.

The risk of developing a blood clot during pregnancy is increased by the following:

Previous blood clots

A genetic predisposition to blood clots

Obesity

Prolonged immobility (e.g., bedrest, long distance travel)

Multiple births

Increased maternal age

Other medical illness