By, Dr. Jayanti Kamat, Gynaecology
Blood clots are a critical issue, and even more so when you are pregnant. During pregnancy, blood clots are serious concerns for you and your baby. Fortunately, they are rare during pregnancy and there is not much to worry about them.
Normally, when you cut your finger, your body sends platelets to curb the blood flow from the wound. During pregnancy, your body prepares itself for the blood loss at childbirth, thus clots develop as a safeguard.
Blood clots get serious if a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) develops. DVT occurs when clots develop in the pelvic region and legs. However, you can prevent DVT and easily cure it if and when it occurs.
There are certain risk factors associated with DVT, such as:
- Previous history of DVT (it could be you or a relative).
- First-hand or passive smoking.
- Maternal age above 35.
- Travelling long distances during pregnancy.
- Prolonged periods of inactivity.
- Caesarean childbirth.
Symptoms And Signs
The signs and symptoms of blood clots include -
- Pain or swelling in the leg.
- Pain that increases if you walk.
- Veins that appear larger than usual.
There is no drastic medical treatment that is required for blood clots during pregnancy. Your doctor will mostly likely prescribe anticoagulants to dissolve the blood clots. Anticoagulants also prevent further clotting of blood.
A few lifestyle changes can go a long way in preventing blood clots when you are pregnant. Some examples of such changes are:
- Staying active is extremely important to prevent blood clots. Talk to your doctor to learn about exercises that are appropriate during pregnancy.
- Eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water (about 2-3 litres every day)
- Avoid smoking - both first-hand as well as passive smoking.