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marginal placenta previa

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My midwife called Tuesday to inform me that I have marginal placenta previa. We had been playing phone tag for 4 days so she left me the message on my answering machine. I knew she had been up all night with patients and her message was very detailed and informative, nonetheless I felt the need to edjucate myself by reading everything I could find in my pregnancy books as well as on-line, until I could speak to her about it.

I was scared when I heard the message, having never even heard of placenta previa but after researching for 2 days I feel a little relieved. I am only 14 weeks pregnant and it seems a little early to assume that this condition will pose a real problem. It seems like from what I have read that placenta previa can correct itself. I would like to think that it is much too early to really worry. Am I just being naive? It seems that most women are not even diagnosed until much later in pregnancy. I have had no bleeding or any other signs of problems thus far.

Is there anybody out there who has dealt with placenta previa whose placenta did or did not "migrate"?

I am scared to death of the idea of c-section. My first son 5 years ago was completely natural and I was feeling very confident with this pregnancy. Now I am a little scared. I'd love any words of wisdom. Thank you so much.
post #2 of 13
Hi there,

I think you shouldn't worry too much.

This is probably just the kinda stuff you already read, but: placenta previa is a condition where the placenta is low lying in the uterus - it can either cover the cervix or just be very close to it. The cervix gets very large in pregnancy, esp in the early stages when the baby is small, it makes up a large portion of the total size of the uterus - its the slender part of the pear at the bottom. Usually as the uterus grows, the placenta will move up the side of the uterus. The placenta will increase in size a whole bunch, so it makes sense that it can move where it needs to. It doesn't need to detach for this purpose as it's building and rebuilding itself while it's growing. A placenta previa that is merely close to the cervix but not covering it can result in a natural birth, also.

I think it's a little alarmist of your mw to tell you this, but not to tell you when they have information, even if it doesn't change your condition or care is a morality issue. If it does change your care, it's a serious issue. However, telling you about somehting that may not be a problem can cause problems just by having you worry about it and set your mind on the outcome.

So, I suggest that you acknowledge this may be the case, but don't dwell on it in any negative sense. You're right, this is early in your pregnancy for this to make a difference in the final outcome. Also, you may want to spend some time visualizing your little bud growing, along with the placenta providing nourishment to him/her, and the placenta growing healthy and strong where it needs to (not tell it where it should go, but encourage it to do the healthy placenta thing - of you get my drift).

You're not the only one who's asked this question, so it does come up. And I can't recall anyone saying it continued to be a problem.

take care,

post #3 of 13
what a scary message! I can only offer a personal story, well Aunt Donna's story actually... her placenta did not cover the cervical opening but did begin to bleed as she dilated. Luckily, the baby's head engaged and stopped the bleeding, she delivered completely natural! I'm sure you'll be able to *track* your placenta's migration via ultrasound, it will bring you comfort as you prepare for a wonderful birth

post #4 of 13
Please don't worry about this at all. Soooo many women are told this early in pregnancy and it scares them to death and it's actually very normal at this point.

Here is what is says in Janet Balaskas book Active Birth :
"At the very end of pregnancy the lower segment of the uterus stretches most, which is why a low-lying placenta will tend to rise as the uterine walls lengthen at the base."

I was told my placenta was low lying in an early ultrasound with my second pregnancy and it, like most women's, rose to a normal position by the time of birth.
post #5 of 13
Hi -- I too have a "low lying placenta." I had an ultrasound at 13 weeks, and it was low at the time (i'm 15 weeks now). The OB who did the ultra-sound told me not to worry. He said that as much as 40-50% of women would have lowlying placenta that early in the game. He scheduled me for another ultra-sound around 19 weeks to check it and assured me that it is his belief that it will move. There isn't much room in there for it yet! I'm am planning a midwife assisted delivery in a birthing centre, and the OB told me to continue with those plans. He said he is 90% sure it will move, but wants me to have another ultrasound to ease our minds. I am not worried about it at all (and you shouldn't be either), the stats are on our sides -- most women who have a low-lyiing placenta this early on will not have it later in the pregnancy.

Health and Happiness,

post #6 of 13
I had placenta previa with kaya...found out at 20 weeks...by delivery at 39wks+ it had moved and I had a successful vaginal birth!!! Good Luck Mama!
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks everybody!
I was hoping that these were the types of responses I would get! I finally spoke to my midwife in person and she told me she figured everything would be perfectly fine by next ultrasound.
Thanks for the stories and positive words!
post #8 of 13
I also had a complete previa that corrected itself by the end of the pregnancy. I did a lot of visualizations while pregnant; for a safe birth, healthy baby, Painless labor and for the placenta to move on up. I really believe in the power of the mind.

Most placenta previas fix themselves, I bet yours will too.
post #9 of 13
Just one more person chiming in to say that I was diagnosed with a "marginal placenta previa" when I had my 20-week US. I did a lot of research in medical journals and whatnot to see how common this was at 20 weeks and how likely it was to be resolved by delivery. In general, it is likely to be resolved by delivery because as your uterus grows and expands, the placenta "migrates" upward. Of course, it doesn't actually move, but when the uterus stretches, the placenta placement site gets higher (think of making a mark on a deflated balloon and then inflating the balloon. As the plastic stretches, the mark "moves up" even though it doesn't actually move).

Anyway, I was told to go on "pelvic rest" which is fancy for no sex, no orgasms, no nothing and they were going to re-check at 34 weeks. For a variety of reasons, I changed midwives and had a follow-up Us at 30 weeks. The placenta had moved up and all is well I am sure the same will happen with you.
post #10 of 13
I was told at my 20 week scan that my placenta was low-lying but, but same as what everyone else seems to be saying, it usually stratches up out of the way as your womb grows so i wasn't worried.

However, i've just had my 36-week scan which has shown that it has not moved and i may need a caesarean to deliver my baby. My placanta is not covering or touching my cervix but apparently can still cause a problem for baby when he's trying to get into a good labour position and also it can cause bleeding in labour.

I have to have another scan in 2 weeks for the specialist to decide if he's gonna let me try for a natural birth.

It was not the news i was expecting as i had been convinced, by what i'd read and what i'd been told, that the condition so very rarely causes a problem that it wouldn't possibly happen to me!

I learned, as with everything, never assume that things will turn out as you expect.
post #11 of 13
I last posted on this discussion four years ago, when I was having my first child.

Sorry to hear you're grappling with such a tough predicament. A good friend of mine had a partial previa with her second baby last year and though she was a committed natural home birther, she had to have a c/section because it was the safest thing to do for the baby and for her. In the end it was the right thing for them.

I wish you all the best and that the right decisions are made for the optimal outcome: healthy baby/healthy mama.

Blessings on your birthing journey.
post #12 of 13
I can't really give any advice just wanted to give you lots of good baby vibes.

I think you will be fine
post #13 of 13
To the OP--just wanted to add another example. At 20 weeks, I also had a marginal previa, completely resolved by 28. Very common!

Babyjanyey, sorry to hear this hasn't resolved for you.
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