Here’s a frightening trend: The number of women who suffer a stroke during pregnancy - or just after giving birth - has jumped 54 percent.
Dr. Elena Kuklina is an epidemiologist and stroke expert at the Centers for Disease Control. She and her team studied 13 years’ worth of discharge records from hospitals across North America. The result: One in 14-hundred new moms or moms-to-be had a stroke.
So what’s going on here? Experts say the risk of stroke rises during pregnancy because there’s a higher volume of blood, and because of increased rates of high blood pressure, blood clots, and migraines. And since one in every 5 women who get pregnant are already considered obese, their risk is even higher. And the stroke risk post-baby stays high because of dramatic fluctuations in hormones and blood pressure.
So, would you know you know if you were having a stroke? Symptoms include sudden numbness or weakness on one side of the body, which may affect an arm or leg, and one side of the face.
You may also experience vision problems in one or both eyes and dizziness, or loss of balance.
Experts say if you experience any of these symptoms, call 911. Because the faster you get treated for stroke, the less damage there is to your brain.