I want to go a little more in depth into some of the placental problems that can occur with pregnancy and can cause complication with childbirth. The placenta is formed early in pregnancy and supplies oxygen and nutrients to the baby and removes waste from the baby. Normally the umbilical cord is attached to it carrying the oxygen, nutrients and waste. It is usually attached to the front or side of the uterus. It is an amazing organ that God has designed, but like everything else in this world there are opportunities for things to go wrong.
This is the most common of the abnormalities that arise with the placenta. A complete previa covers all of the cervix. A partial previa covers part of the cervix. There is also a marginal previa where the placenta is touching part of the cervix. If any of these do not resolve a c-section will occur. Approximately 90% of the time a previa seen in the 20 week ultra sound will resolve before you are ready to give birth. There is nothing you can physically do to make it move. If you are desiring a vaginal birth, pray hard for God to move it.
A placental abruption occurs when the placenta pulls away from the uterine wall before the baby is born. There can be a partial or complete abruption. Both can cause serious problems for both mom and baby, however complete is more likely to cause death in one or both. Know the signs of abruption so you can seek medical help immediately.
Common signs are: vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain (usually sharp and very painful, but can be less severe), Uterine tenderness, back pain and contractions that are very close or a long contraction that will not let up.
If you have any of these signs contact your provider immediately. If you're in excruciating pain get to a hospital asap.
Placenta Accreta, Increta or Percreta
These occur when the placenta attaches too firmly and deeply into the uterine wall at different levels. An accreta is too deep into the placental wall and may not detach properly. An Increta is implanted even deeper into the wall keeping the placenta from being able to detach after birth. A percreta goes through the uterine wall and can attach to other organs, typically the bladder.
The most common symptom is vaginal bleeding and can cause premature labor and delivery of the baby. If they are suspected ultrasound or MRI might be done to check the severity. If known before delivery a c-section might be done to try to preserve the uterus or a hysterectomy may be necessary. Thankfully these are quite rare.
Sometimes after birth the placenta does not want to come out, which is called a retained placenta. If this happens a D&C will be required to remove the placenta before there is too much blood loss. A retained placental can cause severe blood loss for the mother and can be life threatening.
Have you had complications with your placenta? Share your experience.