Placenta Previa – this is a very foreign term to me!
At my 15-week checkup/ultrasound scan, my OB noticed that I am diagnosed with complete placenta previa (low-lying placenta) meaning my placenta is overlapping my cervix. About one in 200 pregnant women has some degree of placenta previa, mine is a rare case and unlikely to move by the end of pregnancy. So what does it mean?
Normally, the placenta attaches toward the top of the uterus, away from the cervix. When a woman has placenta previa (the placenta has implanted at the bottom of the uterus, over the cervix), as your cervix opens during labor, it can cause blood vessels that connect the placenta to the uterus to tear. If your placenta is near your cervix when you’re ready to give birth, it may block your baby’s exit route through your vagina. This can lead to severe bleeding and put both the mother and baby at risk. Severe bleeding may prompt an emergency C-section before your baby is full term.
I can’t help to start googling what the f* is placenta previa as I got home, why the bleeding happens, all the possible complications, risk factors and where to get help.
What I found out is that the placenta doesn’t ‘migrate’ upwards; because it is attached to the uterine wall, it is carried upwards with the uterus. In 0.5% of cases, however, the placenta doesn’t move up with the uterus. That means there’s a 99.5% chance that your placenta will not be close to your cervix when it’s time to give birth…fingercrossed!!
There is nothing my OB can recommend at this stage and we will just need to closely monitor the situation. More frequent scan is required at this stage every 4 weeks. You can’t do anything to change the position of your placenta. But you can do a lot to stay healthy and well. Eat plenty of nutritious foods, particularly those that are rich in iron. This will reduce your chances of becoming anemic.
I try not to worry about it too much and stay positive. However, I have come so far to get to this point and as I thought everything should be a lot more stable by week 15, something shocking like this hit me. No one says pregnancy is easy, support group is important, keep having strong faith and believe in your little bun is going to be OKAY!
Seattle-based world traveler living my best life!! I am passionate about seeing the world and experiencing different cultures. Strongly believe the best adventures come from traveling outside of your comfort zone. Follow along this humbling journey of mine that I am very proud of.