DVT in Pregnancy – How a Pneumatic Compression Device Can Help Prevent Blood Clots
What is DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that develops in the leg, thigh, or pelvis. Pregnant women are 5-10 times more likely to develop DVT then non-pregnant women. Post birth women are up to 20 times more likely to develop DVT in the 3 weeks following delivery.
Blood clots are a scary thing. On average 274 people A DAY die from blood clots. That’s about 1 person every 5 minutes. Luckily there are ways to help prevent them. Look for any signs and symptoms early. Symptoms of DVT in pregnant women and post par-tum can include :
- A very painful or heavy feeling in your leg. It has been described as the feeling of a pulled muscle.
- Unusual softness or warmth in your leg or calf
- Slight to severe swelling
If the blood clot has moved to your lungs and you have PE, you may experience:
- Chest pain
- Unexplained shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Rapid heartbeat and breathing rate
How to know if you are high risk for DVT in Pregnancy. Here are some of the biggest high risk signs :
Factors that can increase your risk for DVT during pregnancy are:
- You have a history of clots or DVT
- Your family has a history of blood clots
- You are over 35 years old
- You are overweight (Not just from the new baby)
- You are expecting twins or more then 1 baby
- You went through fertility treatment to get pregnant
- You had a C-Section recently or in the past
- You sit still often or are on bed rest
- Your a smoker
- You have high blood pressure, hypertension or diabetes
- You have severe varicose veins
How to prevent DVT from developing :
The #1 thing to prevent blood clots from happening during or post pregnancy is to keep moving. For example :
- Get plenty of exercise – No this doesn’t mean heavy weight training. Doing yoga, aerobics and other pregnancy safe exercises are just fine.
- Walking and stretching after sitting for a long time. If you are working during pregnancy (or binge watching Netflix) make sure to get up and move every couple hours.
- Move while you are sitting – Move your legs up and down and your toes. DVT develops 80% of the time in your left leg.
- Wearing support compression hose will also help from DVT developing in your legs.
Get an Intermittent Pneumatic Compression Device (IPC)
What is an IPC?
Intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) devices are used to help prevent blood clots in the deep veins of the legs. The IPC devices use cuffs around your legs that fill up with air and and put pressure on your legs by squeezing them. This will increase the blood flow through the veins of your legs and help prevent blood clots. The process of squeezing and relaxing then repeats over and over. This compression will help your blood move better through your veins to your heart. IPC also increases the natural release of substances into your body and blood that help prevent clots. This process help your oxygen rich blood continue to flow through your body and is very effective in preventing DVT.