Posted: Oct 18, 2010 10:53 AM by Scott Friedman
Updated: Oct 18, 2010 10:59 AM
More young women are having strokes and other serious medical problems shortly after giving birth.
Doctors are trying to understand why that's happening in hopes that it will help others catch the warning signs before it's too late.
Everyday in America, two women die from complications of pregnancy or child birth, and those rates have been rising in recent years.
Many of those deaths are caused by strokes.
Dr. Karen Benz says all pregnant women are at some increased risk for strokes. Age can increase that risk. So can multiple births, having a C-section, and obesity.
Deaths from childbirth are still relatively rare, but researchers are now trying to understand why the numbers have crept up in the U.S.
Knowing the signs of a stroke can help pregnant women and their families spot one and get treatment faster.
The American Heart Association says symptoms can include sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding, and trouble seeing in one or both eyes.