VA Working on Prosthetics for Pregnant Women

Tammy Duckworth talks with US troops.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is at work on a prosthetic leg for pregnant women.

A VA spokeswoman said Friday she does not know when the specially-designed prosthetics would be a reality, but that VA is working on it with the Disabled American Veterans.

According to Defense Department figures 15 women lost all or part of one leg in Iraq and Afghanistan, and four others experienced amputations to both legs.

Developing artificial legs for pregnant women was among the recommendations made by the DAV in its recently released report, "Women Veterans: The Long Journey Home."

"Pregnant women with limb loss experience increased wear on prosthetic components, need for realignment and frequent modifications depending on socket and suspension," the report said. "In addition, for women with above-the-knee amputations who need a caesarian section, a higher abdominal incision should be planned to avoid irritation by the socket brim."

Earlier this month, NBC's Today show reported that four women who lost limbs in Iraq have given birth are about to. The most widely known perhaps is U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Illinois, who lost both legs when the Blackhawk helicopter she was piloting was shot down by an RPG in 2004.

Duckworth is expected to give birth in December.

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