Are obesity and high blood pressure triggering more strokes in pregnant women and new mothers?
Rising rates of obesity and high blood pressure are suspected of putting thousands of new mothers at risk for a dangerous health problem: Strokes.
Stroke among pregnant women increased by approximately 50% during last ten years," says the Centers for Disease Control's Dr. Elena Kuklina.
A new study from the CDC finds the number of women hospitalized with strokes either during or right after their pregnancies swelled from about 4,000 in 1994 to more than 6,000 in 2007.
Many of the pregnancy-related strokes are uncommon in the general population.
They're the result of blood clots in the veins of the head, and there are warning signs.
"Someone who gets a headache and it won't go away, and it gets worse and worse every day, that can be an emergency and they need to be seen right away," advises Dr. Cathy Sila.
Paying attention to those symptoms, getting good prenatal care and controlling blood pressure are key to a healthy pregnancy.