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20 weeks - Low Lying Placenta

(19 Posts)
Lalunya85 Wed 11-Sep-13 14:05:15

Hi all,

I'm new to Mumsnet, so hello everyone!

I had my 20wk scan a few days ago and was told I had a low lying placenta which needs to be re-scanned at 34 weeks. If it hasn't moved up (which apparently in most cases it does) I will need to have a c-section. I know this is not the worst scenario at all - most importantly, the little bumblebee inside me is healthy - but I would much prefer a vaginal birth. Anyone else had a low lying placenta at this stage of your pregnancy? How common is this?

They say that as the uterus grows the placenta usually moves up. I still barely have a bump at all - does that indicate that my uterus is still quite small so has plenty of time to grow (and hence plenty of time for the placenta to move also?), or is there no link between the two?

Any knowledge or experience would be great!


Nocturne123 Wed 11-Sep-13 14:40:34

Hey , I am also quite new to mumsnet ! I had my daughter 4 months ago and like you, found out at 20 weeks I had a low lying placenta . Mine was still covering the cervix until 35 weeks and completely moved out of the way . I had a normal delivery and all was well ! During the later stages I was advised not to do anything too strenuous and If I had any bleeding to go to a&e right away ! Hopefully yours will move too and give you some peace of mind ! Best of luck smile

ChristineDaae Wed 11-Sep-13 16:02:48

I had it with DD, but it moved well before 34 weeks. We had scns every 4 weeks from 20 (nothing tondo with placenta) and it moved pretty quick

MrsFtn Wed 11-Sep-13 18:45:32

I also had this with DD and was rather concerned but like you I counted myself lucky that a low placenta was all I had to worry about. By my next scan at 34 weeks it had moved up and was no longer an issue. I has a normal delivery of a healthy 9lb 8oz girl!

I'm afraid I don't know of any correlation between this and uterus size, maybe ask your midwife at your next appt?

I've known a few people that have had this and none ended up with c/s because of it. Stay positive smile

tinkerbell666 Wed 11-Sep-13 21:56:42

I just went through the bad side of this, placenta previa grade 3 major, discovered at 20 weeks, never moved, big bleeds at 31 weeks, 34 weeks, 35 weeks and 37 weeks, high risk section at 37 weeks as i had an anterior placenta too, bed rest from 34 weeks, hospital stay from 35 weeks, healthy baby and healthy mum now smile

please, if you ever bleed, call 999 xxx

Chilli81 Thu 12-Sep-13 07:06:07

I also had low lying placenta at 20 weeks which moved. vaginal birth with minimal problems. most do move so stay positive.

Lalunya85 Thu 12-Sep-13 10:22:01

Thanks very much everyone for sharing your stories - it's very reassuring to read that for most of you the placenta moved up!

And it's also somehow reassuring to read tinkerbell666's story - even with all the drama and difficulty you endured, the result is a healthy baby and a healthy you which in the end is all that matters.

diege Thu 12-Sep-13 11:36:57

I'm 34 weeks and having my scan this afternoon to see if placenta has moved up (it was low lateral at 20 weeks, and also at 28 weeks when scanned for something unrelated). Consultant was pretty confident so we'll see! Quite nervous, but this is one thing you can do absolutely nothing about! I am also keen to avoid a section, having had quite a traumatic one in the past (and 4 vaginal deliveries) but as you say in he scheme of things it's not the worst to have happen. Will update later x

Lalunya85 Thu 12-Sep-13 13:39:13

Oh, Diege, good luck today!! You get to see your baby again, which is always nice so maybe try to focus on that rather than be all nervous.

diege Sun 15-Sep-13 10:58:02

Hi! Just thought I'd update. Scan on Thursday (at 34 weeks) showed the placenta was still low. To the side of the cervix, so not covering, but still at risk for big bleed if attempting normal delivery. Am being rescanned at 36 weeks (appointment actually makes me 37 wks) as apparently the upper portion of the uterus is still moving up until this time so there's a chance I might avoid a section hmm. Having said that, baby was measuring big (post 40 weeks!!!) so who knows maybe low placenta is actually a blessing and will take the decision about labour away from me...

AnotherStitchInTime Sun 15-Sep-13 12:37:39

Me too Lalunya.

I had my 20 week scan on Wednesday and I have a grade 4 complete placenta praevia.

I have to be re-scanned at 28 weeks to check for placenta accreta due to my history of 2 previous c-sections.

It is 50/50 that mine will move, because of my history, but in most cases you have a 90% chance it will move, which is good odds especially if your uterus hasn't stretched much yet.

Having had 2 previous emergency c-sections after labour and pushing, I am not nervous about that, I am more nervous about having a pre-term baby.

If your section is basically elective and without much complication your recovery time can be quite quick and it can be a positive experience. Even with my two EMCS I still breastfed my girls, dd1 to 2 years and still breastfeeding 18 month old dd2.

Lalunya85 Mon 16-Sep-13 12:42:55

Hi AnotherStitchInTime

Thanks for your encouraging comments! It's really good to hear that you are breastfeeding your babies after c-section because this is one of the things I was worrying about most. My mother told me that after a c-section it would be harder for me to lose the "baby weight" - but I don't know whether this is true! Anyone?

My sonographer didn't mention anything about grades or placenta praevia - she just said it was lying low (is there a difference?). Maybe I should have asked for more details?

50/50 is still a pretty good chance still, and the most important thing will be the outcome which I'm sure will be fine...

Diege - sorry to hear you will need another scan, but maybe you're right and it'll make your decision about what kind of birth you will go for easier. Sounds like your body knows what it's doing... smile Good luck, I hope you have a good experience either way.

AnotherStitchInTime Mon 16-Sep-13 13:27:18

I don't really think that it true about losing weight post c-section, yes you cannot exercise as vigorously straight away, but once you are given the ok by the GP you can work out as much as you like. A healthy diet and regular exercise plus breastfeeding help a lot. Pilates is great post-natally for bringing you abdominal muscles back into shape as is yoga. If you eat healthy and keep active in pregnancy you will not put on too much weight anyway.

The grades of placenta praevia are to do with how close it is to the cervix, good guide here.

They will probably tell you more about grades if it hasn't moved by the next scan, but think positive for now as most of them do.

2Labradors Mon 16-Sep-13 20:47:16

I had a low lying placenta at 20 wk scan. They couldn't complete all the 20 wk checks so I was booked in at 24 wks for another scan. I was told it was very unlikely that my placenta will have moved by then, so also have a 34 wk scan booked.

At my 24 wk scan my placenta had moved and is no longer low lying. I'm 30 wks now (very nearly) and have been advised to still have the 34 wk scan to check the position of the placenta, I'm hoping it's well out of the way still.

BinarySolo Mon 16-Sep-13 20:54:12

My placenta was covering the cervix at 20 weeks but by 34 weeks it had moved right out of the way and I had a normal vaginal birth. In 95% of cases it moves so try not to worry too much. As someone else said tho, if you bleed get it checked immediately. Oh we had a sex ban too.

tory79 Mon 16-Sep-13 21:02:32

Can I just say to anyone with a low lying placenta/placenta praevia please please please speak to the sonographer about checking for vasa praevia.

My 20 week scan showed placenta praevia. Rescanned at 26 and 34 weeks and told it was moving and was nearly clear. Then I had a bleed at 35 weeks and was admitted. Only then did they pick up on the vasa praevia. It is not routinely checked for, yet if undiscovered has a 95% infant mortality rate. I was kept in and had a cs a week later. Ds was born healthy at 36 weeks. If I'd not had that small bleed it could have been a very different story.

Lalunya85 Mon 16-Sep-13 23:08:24

Tory79 - what is vasa previa?

Sounds scary what you had to go through, but glad to hear everything turned out well in the end...

tory79 Tue 17-Sep-13 09:41:27

Vasa praevia is where one or more vessels carrying the babies blood grow across the cervix unprotected by the placenta. This leaves them completely exposed and if you go in to labour or even if baby engages or can even catch them with a fingernail then the vessels will burst and baby can bleed to death in minutes as its their blood, not yours like in most bleeds.

Placenta praevia at any stage can be a risk factor, as the vessels can be exposed as the placenta moves away from the cervix.

mikkii Mon 23-Sep-13 21:32:21

Alunya, I think they call it low lying until after you are rescanned at about 34 weeks because it does usually move up before the end of the pregnancy. If, at 34 weeks it is still in the way, then it is called PP.

I know 3 people apart from me who were diagnosed with PP but had no bleeds, just elcs.

I thought it was normal procedure to see a consultant after a diagnosis of low lying placenta.

As Tink says, any bleeding, call an ambulance.

Incidentally, I had PP with DD1&2 (DC2&3), grade 4, numerous admissions. 4 weeks in hospital with DD1, first admission with DD2 at 24 weeks. I was just grateful we had got to 24 weeks so the doctors would intervene.

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