SHARECOMMENTMORE

(KPLC) -- A terrifying diagnosis for a Louisiana mom-to-be put herself and the life of her unborn baby in jeopardy. Melissa Meaux was told she had a substantial blood clot, something that is more likely in pregnant women.

"A blood clot is a process that occurs that prevents bleeding when a blood vessel is injured," explains Dr. Tricia Guidry.

Family history, weight or trauma can all lead to blood clots in pregnancy - most common during the third trimester.

"At that time, the estrogen levels are really high," said Dr. Guidry, "and most pregnant people tend to put on their weight in that third trimester and we become a little bit more sedentary."

The symptoms are sudden pain, tenderness or swelling in the arms or legs. Chest or abdominal pain might also be experienced, as well as complications with the lungs.