ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta)– Though still rare, birth complications are all the same increasing in frequency throughout the United States.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observed a rise in heart attacks, incidents of severe bleeding, strokes and kidney failures during or following childbirth.

Those involved in the government study looked at births occurring between 1998 and 2009. According to Reuters, researchers found that complications were up 75 percent in just one decade.

Additionally, the CDC, based in Atlanta, learned that post-delivery hospital stays are also on the rise, with a 114-percent increase over the past decade.

But the also discovered that, though they are increasing, incidents of severe complications are still rare – an estimated 4 million women give birth annually, while the study only found approximately 590,000 total cases over the 11 years observed.

“We don’t want to send the message that pregnant women should be afraid,” William M. Callaghan of the CDC, who led the study, told Reuters.

Callaghan reportedly attributed the shift in part to a rise in young women surviving serious conditions, including heart defects, and going on to have kids.

He explained to Reuters, “The characteristics of the pregnant population are changing.”

He recommended that women with pre-existing conditions consult their physicians before becoming pregnant, if possible.

“Not all complications can be avoided… [b]ut the best outcomes happen when a woman is as healthy as possible going into pregnancy,” he was quoted as saying. “Most women do fine … And even most women with significant disease before pregnancy do fine.”


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