Mothers need to be made more aware of placenta complications in pregnancy
Complications that can arise with the placenta were never mentioned to me during either of my pregnancies.
During my second pregnancy with my daughter, I experienced complications with the placenta which caused bleeding and eventually the placenta failing to work, which almost led to my baby starving in the womb.
It was only afterwards I found out that these complications are quite common amongst mothers who have previously undergone a caesarean, which I had, so why wasn't I informed of this beforehand?
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the UK have come out to say that early diagnosis of conditions such as placenta praevia and placenta accreta is critical.
Both conditions can be extremely serious and can lead to heavy bleeding and put the lives of both the mother and the baby at risk.
Placenta praevia occurs when the placenta attaches in the lower part of the uterus (womb), sometimes completely covering the cervix (neck of the womb).
Placenta accreta, on the other hand, is a rare but serious condition where the placenta is stuck to the muscle of the womb and/or to nearby structures such as the bladder.
These conditions can sometimes cause the mother to require blood transfusions and in severe cases, have her uterus removed.
Women who have had birth via caesarean are more likely to develop these conditions, as are mothers who have undergone IVF, as both have the potential to leave scars that any subsequent pregnancies can implant into.
Though frightening, the chances of developing these conditions can be lessened by specialised treatment, but women need more information on what to look out for, and those who may be more at risk should have additional scans during their pregnancies.
It is vital that expectant mothers are made aware of any and all potential risks to themselves and their babies during their pregnancy, as an early diagnosis with medical complications like placenta praevia and placenta accreta could be potentially life-saving.