Don't Let a Blood Clot Spoil the Joy of Pregnancy or Childbirth (NewsUSA) - One health issue pregnant women should think about is the risk for a dangerous blood clot. Blood clots occur usually in the legs, arms, or lungs. Women are especially at risk for a blood clot during pregnancy, childbirth, and the 3-month period after delivery. During pregnancy, a woman's blood naturally clots more easily to help her body deal with blood loss during childbirth. A pregnant woman also may be at even higher risk for a blood clot if she: * has a family or personal history of blood clots or a blood clotting disorder, * has a C-section, or * is immobile for long periods of time due to decreased activity, such as being on bed rest.   Signs and Symptoms of a Blood Clot   It's important to recognize the signs and symptoms of a blood clot. The signs and symptoms of a blood clot in the legs or arms include * Swelling * Pain or tenderness not caused by injury * Skin that is warm to the touch, red, or discolored. If you have these signs or symptoms, alert your doctor as soon as possible. A blood clot in your legs or arms can travel to your lungs, which can be life threatening. Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in your lungs include * Difficulty breathing * Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath or cough * Coughing up blood * Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.   Prevention of a Blood Clot   The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Blood Clot Alliance share these safe and effective ways to prevent a blood clot: * Tell your doctor if you or a family member has had a blood clot and discuss all your possible risks. * Work with your doctor to reduce your risk for a blood clot. * Exercise as much as your doctor recommends, move around frequently if you sit for long periods of time, and drink plenty of liquids. * Follow your doctor's instructions for prevention of a blood clot. Take medicine as prescribed, and use any compression devices your doctor prescribes to help improve blood flow. If you are expecting a baby or recently gave birth, there are many exciting things to do - from doctor's visits, catching the first glimpse of your developing baby during an ultrasound, to picking out baby clothes. The list can seem never-ending. Make sure you are able to enjoy all these special moments and plans by making your health a top priority. For more information, visit www.stoptheclot.org/spreadtheword.