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Low Lying Placenta

(13 Posts)
lwb Wed 19-Jan-05 12:29:08

Hi all, new one here.

Saw my midwife on Friday and she said that she thinks that I have a low lying placenta which I will need to get checked out when I have my next scan, in two weeks, which is when I will be 22 weeks. Since she said this, have read up about it, and am hoping very much it will move. She also said that whilst it is in the position it is, I won't feel the baby moving as it is in the way. Has anyone had any experience of this? Am sure it can't be as bad as they say in the books.

littlemissbossy Wed 19-Jan-05 12:52:29

Hi lwb, I have no experience of this but a close friend had. At the time, she told me only a very small percentage of placentas remain low-lying. Try not to worry, you'll know more at your scan and if the placenta remains low, they'll offer you another scan later in your pregnancy.
Have a look on for more info Good luck

Slinky Wed 19-Jan-05 12:54:45

I had a low-lying placenta picked up at my 20 week scan with DS1. They said that in most cases they do move up and out of the way well before birth.

Had another scan booked for 34 weeks which did in fact confirm it was out of the way.

PrettyCandles Wed 19-Jan-05 12:58:05

Half-way through the pregnancy is far too early to be worried about a low-lying placenta. Many are low-lying at this stage, because the upper part of the uterus grows larger before the lower part. If there are any concerns at your next scan then you will probably be called back for another scan around 3something weeks, and only then, if it's still low-lying, would you need to be prepared for any possible consequences.

BTW, I was told that I wouldn't feel the baby moving much because my placenta was very high! It's true that with dd I felt much less rib-kciking than with ds, so quite possibly the placenta did muffle the kicking.

juniperdewdrop Wed 19-Jan-05 12:58:10

i had this twice and both times it moved out of the way in time for the baby to be born normally. It's very common from all accounts and they rise up as the womb grows in most cases.

dawnie1 Wed 19-Jan-05 13:00:59

I'm the same as slinky. Has a low lying placenta at 20 weeks so had to be booked in for a 34 week scan by which time it had moved. I wasn't able to feel baby moving/kicking at all until about 26 weeks so may be thats why.

Grommit Wed 19-Jan-05 13:24:18

I was diagnosed with a low-lying placenta at 20wks andwas told there was a 90% likelyhood it would move up. I was scanned again at 34 weeks and it hadn't moved. I did feel the baby moving all the way through though.
I had to have a c-sec at 39 weeks which was fine and now I have a gorgeous little ds (1)

lwb Wed 19-Jan-05 13:30:01

thanks for that all. Am sure it will move out of the way and all will be fine. Just a normal worry for a first timer.

Sallie Thu 20-Jan-05 16:21:25

I had the same thing diagnosed at my 20 week scan. Was referred for a scan at 34 weeks to check the situation and the placenta had moved up. Apparently it often does move so best of luck.

lilsmum Thu 20-Jan-05 16:31:10

i had the same as slinky, it was great having a scan so late on, amazing could see everything in so much detail and my scan pic looked 3d, they do mostly move towards the end when the baby gets bigger x

lilsmum Thu 20-Jan-05 16:32:00

forgot to add, i felt my dd move at aroung 16 wk

Ellbell Fri 21-Jan-05 14:01:14

Hi lwb

I am the world expert on low-lying placentas !

20 weeks is far too early to worry about what your placenta is doing IMHO. When I had my DDs, my hospital actually refused to comment on the position of the placenta at the 20 week scan, as they said it was irrelevant. Most placentas, even those which are low-lying at 20 weeks, will 'move' out of the way by the time you approach your EDD.

(The placenta doesn't actually 'move' btw, it just appears to do so. It was explained to me as being like a piece of sellotape stuck to a balloon. When the balloon is deflated, the sellotape might be quite near the bottom, but as you blow the balloon up - or as your uterus expands - the sellotape appears to move higher up the side of the balloon. This is why most placentas will be well out of the way by the time your baby is big enough to be born.)

Placenta praevia (when a placenta is low-lying enough to prevent a natural delivery) is 'graded' on a scale of 1 to 4. 1 means that the placenta is just touching the edge of the os (mouth of the cervix), 4 means that the placenta is completely covering the os. So, if you are really worried, when you go for your next scan, you could ask whether the position of your placenta would be classed as placenta praevia at the moment, and if so what grade. This might reassure you, and would at least allow you to picture what is going on in there!

My own experience is that in both my pregnancies my placenta was low-lying at 20 weeks. Of course, because the hospital didn't mention it I wasn't aware of this the first time round. However, at 27 weeks I began to bleed quite heavily. I was admitted to hospital and they discovered that I had grade 4 placenta praevia. (They told me that my placenta was sunk in the os like a plug in a sink.) Because I kept bleeding on and off, I was not allowed home and eventually had my DD by c-section at 36 weeks. Please DON'T PANIC! Apparently it is very rare for this to happen (my hospital saw a couple of cases a year). However, if you know that your placenta is low-lying and you do notice any bleeding, however slight, it's important to get to hospital asap to get it checked out. It is VERY RARE for the placenta to come away completely, but IF it does it is an emergency situation and the baby would have to be delivered immediately.

With my second pregnancy I was inevitably worried about the position of the placenta, but they still didn't want to tell me anything about it at my 20 week scan. In the end I insisted and basically said that I was gonna lie there till they told me where it was (I explained my history) and they did admit that it was low-lying again, though not actually covering the os. I had another scan at 34 weeks to confirm where it was (I wouldn't even have been offered this, btw, if I hadn't insisted on being told where it was at the first scan - they are so convinced that it won't be a problem) and it had 'moved', and I had a very successful VBAC with my 2nd DD.

It is odd that your midwife says that you won't be able to feel the baby moving with your placenta where it is, though. That suggests that the placenta is towards the front (which can sort of 'muffle' the kicks, iykwim). Was your midwife looking at a scan when she said this? Or was it just 'a feeling'? If the latter, you may well be worrying about nothing.

Good luck with it all anyway.

P.S. Please don't let what I've said about emergency situations worry you. Everyone knows that all kinds of emergencies CAN occur in pregnancy, but mostly they don't! I was very very unlucky... and even so at the end of the day I had a healthy and beautiful DD who was defiitely worth every minute of the 10 weeks I spent in hospital waiting for her to arrive!

P.P.S. I am not a doctor or a midwife or anything. I just spent 10 weeks in a maternity ward and asked a lot of questions (out of sheer boredom mostly!).

Lonelymum Fri 21-Jan-05 14:16:29

I had a low lying placenta up to about 37 weeks with my fourth baby, and then it moved up out of the way and all talk of caesarians disappeared. I could definitely feel the baby moving all day every day! (and night!) I really think you are too far from your due date to have to worry about this, although it is just as well to know about it so you can get it checked later on.

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