Prepare for a positive birth with The Birth Class

Placenta Previa

One in every 200 pregnancies is affected by placenta previa at full term, where the placenta implants at the bottom of the uterus and obstructs the cervix. ‘Minor placenta previa’ means the placenta is too close to the cervix, while ‘major placenta previa’ means the entire cervix is covered. It is commonly diagnosed at the 20-week morphology scan and you can expect follow-up scans to be scheduled. In most cases of a low-lying placenta, the placenta moves upwards and out of the way as the uterus grows during pregnancy. However, it can stay low, which poses risks including persistent bleeding throughout the second and third trimester.

Concerns arise in the third trimester when the uterine muscles start to thin in preparation for birth and there is a greater risk of placental abruption (the placenta comes away from the wall of the uterus, limiting oxygen to your baby and causing severe bleeding for you). If you do have placenta previa at full term you will require a planned caesarean, often before 38 weeks. We have The Caesarean Birth Class if you’re looking to explore how you can prepare for your change of plans.