Updated on 8 September 2023
Pregnancy is an extremely delicate time wherein a woman must brave the risk of complications and protect herself and her little one. One of the most common complications during pregnancy is a low-lying placenta, which occurs when the placenta attaches itself to the lower part of the uterus. In this article, we will explore some low lying placenta precautions that expectant mothers should take to protect themselves and their babies.
Normally, the placenta starts developing wherever the fertilized egg is implanted in the uterine wall during the initial weeks of pregnancy. It begins to grow around the womb. A low lying placenta means that it covers the cervix either entirely or partially. While it can move upwards and away from the cervix as the uterus grows, sometimes it remains in the lower position across the duration of the pregnancy. It can be identified through an ultrasound test or a transvaginal ultrasound during a routine prenatal checkup or after a vaginal bleeding incident.
After being diagnosed with a low lying placenta, the doctor will recommend the expecting mother some precautions for low lying placenta to ensure that her pregnancy progresses safely.
It's normal to wonder what is the reason for low lying placenta if you have been diagnosed with it. Here are possible causes of low lying placenta during pregnancy:
According to the International Journal of Medical Research and Review (IJMRR), women above 35 are 3.6% more likely to have a low lying placenta. Women under 20 and above 30 are more susceptible to placenta previa. Also, IVF increases the risk of placental issues.
Under normal circumstances, as the fetus develops, it naturally turns upside down to aid childbirth. However, an upright position of the baby can be a risk factor for a low lying placenta.
Not all second pregnancies experience symptoms of low lying placenta. However, any damage to the endometrium during the first pregnancy increases the risk of a low placenta, the second time. Placenta previa is more likely to occur in women who have already given birth once. Past C-sections that may have damaged the uterus are at higher risk.
Multiple pregnancies can increase the risk of a low lying placenta and placenta previa because the uterus over-expands to carry multiple babies.
Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking and consuming drugs and alcohol may cause a low lying placenta and placenta previa. Smoking leads to placental hypertrophy - an abnormally heavy placenta - making it difficult for the placenta to move upwards.
Now that we know what a low lying placenta means and the reasons behind it, here are some precautions for low lying placenta that can help you reduce the risk of any complications and ensure the wellbeing of your baby during pregnancy:
If you have a low-lying placenta that blocks the opening to your cervix or causes bleeding, you should avoid penetrative sex. This is because sexual intercourse can increase the risk of bleeding.
If the low-lying placenta is close to the edge of the cervix or you have placenta previa, your doctor may recommend you bed rest during pregnancy. This can help minimise any exertions to the body and prevent bleeding and premature labor.
Not lifting any heavy objects is among the low lying placenta precautions in second trimester. This is because lifting heavy things can put pressure on the cervix and cause vaginal bleeding, which can be dangerous for both the mother and the baby.
Low levels of iron along with low lying placenta during pregnancy can restrict blood flow to the fetus and cause problems in fetal growth and development and other complications. Iron-rich foods such as spinach, broccoli, kale, salmon, and lentils can sustain a healthy placenta and prevent iron-deficiency anemia.
If you have been diagnosed with low lying placenta, it is important to be on the look out for certain symptoms such as bleeding, contractions, or pain as they could indicate a complication. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should immediately contact your doctor.
If you have a low-lying placenta during pregnancy, it is important to limit or avoid exercise depending on the location of the placenta and how far along the pregnancy is. Strenuous exercise may increase pressure down on the cervix, which can pose a risk to both the mother and baby.
You may also like: When to Make an Emergency Doctor Visit During Pregnancy?
When it comes to low lying placenta precautions, nobody can advise you better than your doctor. It is essential for your and your baby's wellbeing to take yoir doctor's word religiously and follow their recommendations for a safe and healthy pregnancy.
Attending all prenatal appointments is crucial if you have a low-lying placenta or placenta praevia. During these appointments, your healthcare provider will monitor the position of your placenta and the health of your baby. In addition, your healthcare provider will discuss birthing options with you and recommend early delivery if bleeding occurs before the due date.
Women with a low-lying placenta do not necessarily need to have a C-section delivery, even if the placenta is 0 to 10mm from the cervix. However, there is a greater likelihood of an emergency C-section. This is because in case a woman experiences bleeding before her due date, the doctor will most likely perform an emergency C-section to ensure her and her baby's wellbeing. That being said, it's possible that you may have a normal delivery with low lying placenta. For best results, it's important to follow all the precautions for low lying placenta recommended by your doctor.
Some low-lying placenta precautions in the second trimester include avoiding lifting heavy objects, staying on bed rest if there is heavy bleeding, and contacting a doctor if there is any bleeding, contractions, or pain.
Some important precuations for posterior low lying placenta include avoiding sexual intercourse, not lifting heavy objects, consuming iron-rich foods, following regular prenatal care and consultations and contact your doctor immediately if you experience any bleeding, contractions, or pain.
In conclusion, having a low-lying placenta during pregnancy can be concerning, but there are many low lying placenta precautions that can be taken to help ensure the safety of both mother and baby. With proper care and attention, the majority of women with a low-lying placenta go on to have healthy, full-term pregnancies and deliver healthy babies. Remember to stay positive and focus on the many joys of pregnancy, and know that you are doing everything in your power to give your baby the best possible start in life.
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