Concept: low placenta or placenta previa is a rare disease in about 0.5% of pregnancies.
Instead of implanting in the uterine wall, the placenta is implanted totally or partially on the cervix, which can block the baby’s descent into the vagina for birth.
However, not everything is fatal if placenta previa is diagnosed. If you have a low placenta at 18-20 weeks, it is still too early to say what could happen in most cases.
In your third trimester (up to about 36 weeks), the lower part of your uterus does most of its growth and stretching, taking the placenta.
It does not “migrate” up but is attached to the uterine wall and transported upwards. In only 0.5% of cases, the placenta does not move up with the uterus.
An ultrasound in your third trimester will give you and your caregiver a better picture of what is happening and if it is of genuine concern.
Who is at risk of having Placenta Previa or Low?
Although the cause of the Placenta Baja is often unknown, it is less common in early pregnancies. Placenta previa can be found in multiple pregnancies due to a larger placenta area.
It can also be scars on the uterus lining, a previous cesarean section, or a curettage.
Some studies have recently shown that those using assisted reproductive technologies may be at higher risk for Placenta Baja.
The late implantation of the fertilized egg may result in the egg being set lower in the uterus rather than the conception at ovulation.
In this case, the ovum usually sits high in the uterine cavity.
It has also been suggested that fertility specialists may be inserting lower embryos into the uterus to obtain higher success rates.
Given that the number of cesarean sections and surgical procedures is increasing, this may lead to an increased incidence of Placenta Baja.
The following other problems have been found that increase the risk of Placenta Baja:
- If you have a large or abnormal placenta (for example, twins).
- If you had a previous cesarean or uterine surgery.
- If you are a smoker or use illegal drugs.
- More than 35 years old.
- If you have had many previous pregnancies.
The main symptom of placenta previa or low, and the most significant risk to you and your baby, is vaginal bleeding. Other symptoms include anemia, pale skin, rapid and weak pulse, shortness of breath, or low blood pressure if you have bled too much.
Bleeding marked by Placenta Baja may occur at the end of the second trimester or the beginning of the third trimester. It can be heavy or light.
Symptoms include sudden, painless, bright red bleeding, usually towards the end of the second trimester until the third trimester. You may experience cramping.
Bleeding may stop independently, but you may experience additional bleeding before reaching your estimated due date. Blood loss can be hefty, so it is essential to seek medical attention immediately.
On the other hand, some women will not have any bleeding until they go into labor.
It is important to remember that the mothers’ blood is lost, not the babies. The more centrally the placenta is placed on the cervix, the earlier the hemorrhage is and the greater the blood loss.
The main reason for infant deaths with a low placenta is when the baby was born prematurely, before 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Since there are several causes of hemorrhage during pregnancy, this symptom alone is not an accurate diagnosis of Low Placenta – other diagnostic tests will be necessary to confirm if you have not been previously diagnosed.
For example, a placenta detachment results in sudden, bright, red, and clotted blood loss.
If you have Low Placenta, you may need to deliver your baby by caesarean section depending on the degree or degree of placenta previa or low.
You may be able to be born vaginally if you have a Low Placenta of grade 1 or 2 (Lower Placenta Low); however, if you have grades 3 or 4 (Major Placenta Baja), a cesarean section will be necessary.
This will not happen immediately; if you do not go into labor, you will probably be reserved in around 38 weeks for your baby to be more mature.
You will need an emergency cesarean section if you give birth before this. A Placenta Baja of degree 4 usually means entering the hospital in the first hemorrhage and remaining as an inpatient until birth.
Some women may find the idea of a cesarean section annoying. Not being able to give birth to your baby vaginally can leave some women feeling that their birth will be a failure on their part.
However, delivering your baby by cesarean section is not a failure – it is the safest way (and sometimes the only way) to bring your baby into the world.
If you have trouble dealing with your emotions, it is essential to seek the help of an experienced perinatal psychologist specializing in pre-and postnatal issues. It may also be helpful to join some support groups after the cesarean section.
What can I do if I am diagnosed with Placenta Baja?
Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do to change the position of the placenta. Therefore, there is little you can do to help the situation.
Make sure your iron levels are adequate to prevent anemia. A practical and quality iron supplement is essential to keep your iron reserves covered.
Talk to your naturopath for an effective but gentle treatment. During pregnancy, you are more prone to constipation, and some iron supplements may increase your chances of constipation.