Women may be at a higher risk for blood clots for at least 12 weeks after they give birth, doubling the amount of time that was previously thought, according to CBS News.

Blood clots can cause life-threatening conditions, including strokes and heart attacks, due to blocking blood flow to the brain and heart. The blood clot can also get stuck in the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism or block blood flow to other organs, causing deep vein thrombosis.

Researchers determined that there was an almost 11 times higher risk of blood clots between zero to six weeks after giving birth, dropping to a little over twice as high during weeks seven through 12. One out of 10,000 women had a pregnancy-related blood clot 6-12 weeks after the baby was born.

New mothers should contact a medical professional immediately if they experience chest pain or pressure, problems with breathing, swelling or pain in one leg, severe and sudden headache or immediate loss of speech, vision, balance or strength on one side of the body.

“Sometimes there’s the notion that once they deliver they don’t have to worry about these things,” said Dr. Andrew Stemer, a Georgetown University neurologist. Read the full details here:

Blood clot risk for women may last twice as long after pregnancy than once thought

For three months following delivery, mothers need to be mindful of pain that shortness of breath, chest pain, severe headache, leg swelling or leg pain could be signs of a blood clot.

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