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C-section patients need blood clot protection, obstetricians say

Myth.  Well, this is partially true. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, pregnant women should not be given vaccines for varicella (chicken pox) or MMR. But the inactivated flu vaccine is safe and even recommended for pregnant women, Dr. Brown says. During pregnancy, women's immune systems are compromised, making them more susceptible to infection. But many are not getting the flu shot; the CDC says that, at last estimate, only 11 percent of pregnant women got one. Dr. Brown says the shot triggers the mother's antibody production, protecting her baby through the first six months of life. More from 12 vaccines your child needs

(CBS) A leading obstetricians group has issued new guidelines for women undergoing C-sections, saying they should be fitted with inflatable compression devices to reduce the risk for blood clots.

The guidelines, issued by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, say that wearing the sleevelike devices on the legs can help prevent thromboembolism. That's a condition in which a blood clot that forms in a leg travels via the bloodstream to the brain or other organs.

If the clot travels to the lungs, it can cause a life-threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism.

"Fitting inflatable compression devices on a woman's legs before cesarean delivery is a safe, potentially cost-effective preventive intervention," Dr. Andra H. James, who helped develop the guidelines, said in a written statement. "Inflatable compression sleeves should be left in place until a woman is able to walk after delivery or - in women who had been on blood thinners during pregnancy - until anticoagulation medication is resumed."

Pregnancy is associated with a fourfold increase in the risk for thromboembolism. The increased risk is linked to physiological changes that occur during pregnancy, including slower blood flow, blood that clots more easily, and reduced mobility.

The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has more on c-sections.