Placenta previa? Any experiences?(14 Posts)
So I'm currently 28 weeks pregnant. At 24 weeks I was told that I had a partial placenta previa. I was back at the hospital today and a scan showed that I now have total placenta previa. The consultant that I saw told me in one breath not to worry too much but then started quizzing us about how far we lived from the hospital and how quickly we could get there in rush hour and non rush hour traffic! She didn't seem to want to give me much info as in her words "most of them move by 32 weeks and you'll have been worrying for nothing". She did tell us that if it was still like this at 34 weeks then I would likely have a c section at 37 weeks. I was also warned about bleeding and told not to engage in any kind of sexual activity.
So over to you, can anybody share any personal experiences, good or bad? I just feel really out of control now and it's not a nice feeling. Some knowledge would be good! I will be scanned again in 2 weeks time.
Right I am going to tell you all this not to scare you, but to prepare you because one of the worst things for me when I had praevia was the worry because I didn't know what to expect.
Praevia increases the risk of bleeding during pregnancy. Some people don't bleed. Others bleed a little. Some bleed lots and on multiple occasions. You need to be prepared for lengthy hospital stays, having to have cannulas put in your arm if you have been bleeding and possible early delivery. You need to be within 10 minutes by ambulance of a hospital with a fully equipped obstetric high risk service, preferably one with a tertiary neonatal care unit. You need a hospital bag ready and your partner needs to be contactable at all times. If you have other children have emergency care arrangements in place so that should something happen you can leave asap in an ambulance in the knowledge that your kids will be ok.
I had grade 4 total praevia with percreta. I had ds at 34+5 weeks by ELCS, we managed to breastfeed and he stayed with me, home 6 days later. I had an emergency hysterectomy and bladder surgery at the birth because due to my history of two previous cs my placenta grew through the thinner scar tissue into my bladder. Mine was the very worst case scenario. It is very, very unlikely that would be the case for you.
I was in hospital for most of the two months before his delivery after a big bleed at 26 weeks. Of the other ladies in antenatal with praevia, one had her baby at 30 weeks after repeated bleeding, baby in NICU then SCBU, but home within 6 weeks; one at 34 weeks baby breastfed and stayed with mum, home 4 days later; one at 37 weeks baby and mum home 3 days later.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.
My partial placenta previa was picked up at 20 week scan, went for another at 32 weeks and was told that it had moved, but not by enough. So had another at 35 weeks when it had moved.
The sonographer told me firmly that if I had any bleeding at all I was to ring immediately and say placenta previa to the MWs. And then not to worry too much about it because most of them move, and even if they dont, planned c section will remove a lot of the risk.
Thanks everyone for sharing your experiences, AnotherStitchInTime and islandmama that must have been such a scary time for you both .
My biggest worry is bleeding and having to move quickly, hard with 2 older children but have sorted out a few emergency options for them just in case. Do you think I should pack an overnight bag I can grab quickly just in case?
Yes you should. When I got rushed in by ambulance at 26 weeks I had to wash in hand soap and wear a hospital gown until DH could come in the next day. He had to stay at home with my older two children. Be careful of lifting too much as well as sex as that can trigger a bleed too IME.
If you have a big bleed like I did the best thing to do is phone an ambulance first and leave the front door open door for them, then phone your DH/DP/birth partner, get them to phone the emergency child care and hospital (make sure they have your details just in case) while you lie down with a towel under you and one between your legs. Put a waterproof sheet/pad (pads are also useful to sit on if going in by car for smaller bleeds) on your bed or sofa and cover yourself with a blanket. Try to stay calm and reassure your children as much as possible if they are around. My eldest was only 4 and was very worried and affected by what happened even though I disguised what was happening from her. Just me disappearing in an ambulance was upsetting for her.
I have a good story. Partial o/s picked up by 20 week scan, no placenta movement at 32 or 34 weeks, went in hospital at 37 weeks, nice easy section at 38 weeks. No bleeding whatsoever.
Also on second pregnancy they could tell at the 12 week scan that the placenta was fine! (Yes I asked!)
Ok bag now packed. I know that I will find it very hard to remain calm if I bleed as I had a PPH at home last time and lost around 3litres of blood, I guess I just have to though won't I!
It will be hard to remain calm, it was for me, but the breathing they teach you for dealing with contractions helps.
I hope your pregnancy progresses as uneventfully as possible. No matter what happens you will be OK with a squishy newborn to hold at the end of it all.
Just one more thing. Make sure the Consultant Team you are under is aware of the previous PPH if they do not have your previous maternity notes as it places you at higher risk of PPH in future deliveries. They need to know so they can have enough units of blood ready for you, should you need them.
Another yes management of another possible PPH was discussed at my booking in appointment and a plan is in place. Tha fact I've had one is also plastered all over my notes. They said they would discuss the management plan again nearer my due date. It will obviously change if I have a c section, incidentally I've read that you are at higher risk of a PPH with a c section. Is that right?
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