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During pregnancy a woman’s body grows a new temporary organ inside the uterus to support the life of the fetus. This organ is called the placenta. It attaches to the uterus and the umbilical cord rises out of it and attaches to the fetus. The placenta provides oxygen and nutrients to the fetus while also removing waste from your baby’s blood. Like anything else, there are a few common issues that can surface with the placenta during pregnancy and a few factors can put you at an increased risk for these issues such as: advanced maternal age, blood clotting issues, previous uterine surgery, and fibroids.
Placenta Previa happens when the placenta attaches to the uterus on the bottom and blocks the cervix. Sometimes this can happen early in the first trimester before the placenta has attached to the uterus. If this the case it many times will move to the side or the top as it fully develops and attach accordingly. In the meantime the mother will usually be placed on pelvic rest to be sure the placenta remains intact. Sexual activity can prompt heavy bleeding and many times, bleeding is how the condition presents itself. If the placenta blocks the cervix throughout the pregnancy, then a cesarean delivery is required.
This is when the placenta partially or fully peels away from the uterine wall. It can deprive your baby of vital oxygen and nutrients and cause bleeding and cramping in the mother. This condition may require premature delivery.
Placenta Accreta is the opposite of Placental Abruption. Placenta Accreta is when the blood vessels of the placenta grow too deeply into the uterine wall. This can cause heavy bleeding in the third trimester of the pregnancy. Sometimes it's so aggressive that it grows into the uterine muscles or even through the uterine wall. In some cases a c-section is required for delivery followed by an abdominal hysterectomy.
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer and mother of three. If you liked this posting please follow her on Twitter @writerbonnie or like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WriterBonnie for more great info on Raising Kids.