Pregnancy and Birth

That Placenta Got Low Low Low…


Well, ok it didn’t suddenly get low. It was low from the beginning and then didn’t move it’s arse up like how all the Ultrasound people said it would. They said that for 95% of cases, where the placenta was seen to be low at the 20 week scan, it would move upwards with the expanding Uterus over the coming weeks. A bit like if you draw an X on a half inflated balloon, then blow it up to it’s full capacity. The X shifts upwards – without actually relocating itself.

But apparently it didn’t and I’m the 5%, not the typical. So my whole VBAC or C-Section debate has become a bit immaterial. Last week I had a routine growth scan at 32 weeks and the placenta was still in a low posterior position. And although, I still had the option to attempt a vaginal birth my Consultant now recommended the elective Cesarean and we agreed it to be the safest option.  In the end, it wasn’t a difficult decision – I considered my previous failed induction, the fact that I did not feel cheated by my previous C-section and filled out the paperwork and signed the consent forms there and then.

What’s the problem with a low placenta?

Well a placenta can choose to locate itself anywhere in your womb room really, it’s all a bit random. A low posterior placenta, basically means its embedded itself into the back of my Uterus towards the bottom. This, in itself is not a big problem – my placenta is functioning perfectly as is the umbilical cord. The baby is growing at a rate of knots – estimated weight already 4lbs 13oz (wowza) and as it stands everything is running smoothly. The reason for the worry is that because the placenta is so low, it is very close to my cervix – the baby’s exit. So in the case of a vaginal birth, there is now an increased chance of bleeding and of course the placenta getting in the way when the baby is trying to get out.

Is that Placenta Previa?

Not in my case no. My placenta is low and could cause complications but remains above my cervix. In the case of placenta previa, the placenta is actually covering the cervix. My understanding is that this is pretty rare but can occur and in the majority of cases a C-section is an absolute must. I’m not a Doctor but found this article on Babycentre quite helpful and also this diagram below.


I have been warned to watch out for bleeding over the next few weeks, as this could be a sign of the placenta coming away but this is highly unlikely and I am not feeling worried about it.

So an elective C-Section it is! At least I know what to expect and am happy to have a decision made. More thoughts on this will follow.

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