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Retained placenta - can I avoid it happening again?

10 replies

lazzaroo · 26/04/2012 19:42

That's about it really. I had a retained placenta with my first child. The actual delivery went pretty well and then it was just awful! they ended up having to remove it manually, and did so with no pain relief (I later learnt this is quite unusual!).

I am now pregnant again and am more anxious about this than anything else!!! anyone know if I can do anything to reduce the risk of it happening again?

OP posts:
LadySybilDeChocolate · 27/04/2012 13:49

Hi Smile

That sounds really horrible Sad I've heard that it helps to contract the uterus and expel the placenta if your baby starts to suckle on your breast? I'm hoping someone with some more knowledge comes along soon.

ShushBaby · 27/04/2012 13:55

I will watch this thread with interest, as I had the same thing. Delivery fine, aftermath terrible. Lots of bleeding and an operation to remove placenta. It never occurred to me that the third stage could pose problems, and I actually found myself started to feel quite traumatised by the whole thing months and months after the birth. It was so hard to be taken away from my baby for an hour or so, so soon after birth. Unlike you I did have pain relief in theatre, though, which is at least something!

The suckling thing is interesting- although my dd did suckle straight away and it didn't help things in my case. It can't do any harm though, obv. My instinct is that, in my case, it may have been to do with being induced (and having to have labour kickstarted with hormones several times)- my body was not going through the natural motions, iyswim. But that could be completely off the mark.

I am desperate for this not to happen again. Have also been advised against having a homebirth in case it does, but have not been given any actual stats as to whether it is more likely to happen again or not, having happened once. I don't want to give up on the idea of a homebirth with no real grounds.

goosey123 · 27/04/2012 13:56

I had this first time round, and like you, it was the thing I dreaded most when pregnant again. Second time round the placenta literally fell out when I stood up! I asked to see an obstertrician during the pregnancy to discuss it - it was useful talking it through, and we talked about whether or not to have that injection. Terrible, but I can't remember what she said, but I'm pretty sure i did have injection straight away. Can't remember any other advice. (another friend had this first delivery, and no problems at all second time)

good luck - also, can't believe you had it removed without pain relief you poor thing, I had a spinal block...

moogalicious · 27/04/2012 14:01

I had this with my first - they tried to remove it without pain relief but I kicked up such a stink, they gave me an epidural. I hadn't been induced.

I didn't have any problems with my subsequent births - i didn't do anything to prevent it either.

mamij · 27/04/2012 14:06

I had an injection both times.

LowRegNumber · 27/04/2012 14:08

Did you have a quick labour? It can be common as the womb goes back down very quickly too and this coupled with the injection they give to speed things up can cause the issue. With mine I was advised not to have the injection (i put it on ky birth plan and told everyone who came anywhere near me throughout the labour) and had no trouble at all. It is worth looking into, the injection is great for the vast majority of people but is a real problem with a few.

ShushBaby · 27/04/2012 15:40

I had the injection and a 16 hour labour.... and a retained placenta

elizaregina · 27/04/2012 16:23

I had a large peice of placenta left in that I didnt know about, my midwife seemed to thoroghly check what did come out. But days later I passed this massive piece, i didnt know what it was, I thought it was an organ it was so big or blood clot!

Now I have found out I have a bironcate uterus - heart shaped uterus and that this can be common with that anomoly.....

lazzaroo · 27/04/2012 19:58

Thank you for your replies. I was completely unprepared for it when it happened as it was never discussed as a possibility. When they asked about helping manually rather than going to surgery I didn't really know what I was letting myself in for! My husband told me that watching me go through that was far worse than the birth! Next time I'll be ready!

My delivery was about 12 hours from waters breaking, she arrived after about 5 hours in hopital, so I guess pretty quick for first baby. I did have the injection and she did suckle straight away but it they were worried quite quickly about amount of blood loss. Then the cord broke when the midwife tried to help the placenta along!

I did a bit of reading online last night and there is apparently some connection with vitamin E (e.g in massage creams) although I'm not aware that the stretch mark cream I used had excessive Vit E in it...I'll check it out some more!

OP posts:
LowRegNumber · 29/04/2012 19:31

By quick I mean under six hours or so (precipitate) obviously it can happen in a "normal" labour too but there is a connection between precipitate and the injection and retained placenta. I think you need a good talk with your mw. Manual assistance is not nice but I don't think they are supposed to break the cord! Certainly they tried very hard not to break mine. Hopefully it will just have been a one off, it would be interesting if anyone knew the stats on 1st/2nd labour correlations.

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