I've had placenta praevia 3 x now, and have found it hard to find information, so thought I'd stick up an information thread for any ladies who've been diagnosed with this condition.
I had a CSection for my first bub, due to heavy bleeding, but for the other 2 pregnancies my placenta migrated and so I was given the all clear for vaginal births.
What is placenta praveia?
Placenta praevia (also known as low lying placenta) is a complication of pregnancy, when the placenta is in the lower segment of the uterus and covers part or all of the cervix.
Will I be able to give birth naturally?
This largely depends on how low-lying the placenta is, or if it covers the cervix.
It's fairly common to be diagnosed with pp at 20 weeks, but oftentimes the placental location changes...(really, I would not worry about it if you are given this early diagnosis, but I've been there so I know what it's like!)
You can still be checked up to 36 weeks, after this time it is unlikely to change. As your uterus grows it can kind of stretch the placenta away from the cervical opening (os)... placentas don't exactly move as such.
I went for a scan at 30 weeks. The sonographer took time to locate the placenta and measure its distance from the cervical opening. Thankfully mine was 4cm and I'm OK to have a vaginal birth.
There can be other concerns, such as where the placenta is attached. There are further risks which can result from the placenta attaching to a CSection scar, in which case you will almost certainly be given a CSection.
I wasn't classed "at risk" with my first child so it was all a bit of a shock to discover in labour, then having a CSection I was at greater risk and have been scanned in late pregnancy to check.
"Risk factors for placenta previa include prior placenta previa, prior cesarean delivery, increased maternal age, large placentae (eg, multiple gestations or erythroblastosis), and a maternal history of smoking.
If you checked the link above, you'll see that placenta previa is something to be wary about, depending on how far along you are and the degree of placenta praevia. Always report bleeding to your care provider immediately, heavy bleeding can indicate that the placenta is seperating from the uterus. Take heart that you will be monitored closely and that if they've picked up the problem, it will be managed effectively.
The probable outcome is excellent when the condition is managed appropriately. This means hospitalizing those at risk who are having symptoms, and performing C-section delivery." http://www.pennhealth.com/ency/article/000900.htm
I had fairly heavy, bright bleeding with my first. I just got out of the bath, was sitting in my dressing gown and assumed it was a show. Then things didn't seem right as I had no pains. I went down to the hospital, they kept me in overnight and wanted to induce me in the morning, during this time I was monitored and bubs had a fetal scalp electrode placed on her head. After 17 hours I was pretty exhausted - Oxytocin drip induction can be very tiring... so I went for a CSection. During this time I haemorraged but after the birth we were both fine.
I bled only slightly with my DS and had a VBAC in a UK birthing centre, attached to a larger hospital with 24/7 theatre facilities.
Given my history, I am aiming for another VBAC but have chosen to travel to a further hospital which has 24/7 theatre hours, just incase there are any placental problems or VBAC issues.
Please add any further links if they're useful, or comments.
Ooops I spelt it wrong in the thread title!!! eeek!
BTW When searching for PP, be aware that the US spelling is previa.