Conditions that threaten women’s lives in childbirth & pregnancy

Clare

Female
Age at interview: 34
Age at diagnosis: 34

Brief outline: Clare gave birth to her second child without any complications but developed pains in her legs a couple of weeks after the birth. She had developed a clot in her leg, and was given injections and put on warfarin for several months to remove the clot from her legs.

Background: Clare is an occupational therapist. She is married with two children. White British.

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Clare had a good pregnancy with her second child, and the birth went fine. Everything went fine until two and a half weeks after her son was born. She had osteopath appointment and began to feel some pain in her leg. Over the next four days the pain gradually got worse, although she thought at first it was the aftermath of her osteopathy. On a Sunday night the pain became unbearable and she called out of hours doctor who suggested she go in to hospital. By this time her leg was swelling, a funny colour and hard. 
 
At the hospital they scanned her and told her she had a clot the length of her thigh. She was given Clexane (enoxaparin) injections and then put on warfarin to start to break down the clot. She was upset by the lack of information about breastfeeding on the drugs. She had established feeding well and was devastated to have to stop. She and her husband had to panic buy formula on the way home and start feeding baby with a bottle, which was very stressful. 
 
She asked her GP and health visitor to find out about the drugs and breastfeeding and was told two days later it was safe to breastfeed. But her baby was so hungry he fed constantly and she landed up with thrush, blistered nipples and had to use a nipple shield. She was house bound, in a lot of pain for several weeks. She was able to feed her new baby, but do little else and needed help and support from her husband and parents. The pain lasted many weeks, and during the interview (eight months on) her leg still did not feel right. She stayed on warfarin for four and a half months. 
 

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