Anyone have experience with birth via C-section because of placenta previa? I'm currently 34 weeks and 5 days and my MD wants baby born at 36 weeks and 5 days. At last scan at time of second bleed, placenta is not covering cervix but directly next to cervical OS. Was under midwifery care but was transferred to MD after a bleed at 32 weeks. Had a second bleed at 33 and 6 days. I really feel both were my fault because had sex (we were not on pelvic rest at that point) afternoon before bleed #1 and I was waay to active before bleed #2 (two small children, farm life, nesting urges lol). Hubby and I are trying to convince our MD to let us get to 37 weeks before having baby and I'm on determined bed rest to minimize risk of another bleeding episode.
Had pre-e end of previous two pregnancies and induced with both (very proud of DD being pitocin induced, pain med free birth!!) and I've mostly come to terms with this baby being born via c-sect. Hoping to hear from other mommas who have gone through c-sect and previa and how the process went, how far along baby was at birth (very concerned about a 36 weeker when I feel I can bake baby longer....), how was nursing after section, and did you have bleeding issues during the birth or after (MD kinda worried me with talks of excessive bleeding, need to go back in, possibly removing uterus lol...).
My DD was born by emergent (although not crash) c/s because of hemorrhage from placenta previa at 32w4d. It seemed like the placenta was clearing the cervical os, but it was bleeding dangerously at the time. My birth story is up on the Birth Stories board if you search under my username.
I am really unlikely to tell anyone to disregard the advice of a medical professional who has actually examined them. I'm not any kind of medical professional. This is all coming out of my memory - some of the stuff you can find about previa on the internet is seriously whacked out. Use caution in googling.
A lot of previa cases deliver early, many because they hit crises like hemorrhage. As the cervix thins in preparation for labor, the segments of the placenta nearest the cervical os may shear off of the uterine wall, and bleed (causing blood loss to the fetus). Alternatively, lacunae of blood within the placenta may rupture, which doesn't affect the baby much, but which is damned alarming. The way you tell the difference between these conditions is to do an ultrasound to check the well-being of the fetus, but practically speaking, appropriate management of major bleeding from placenta previa in the late-preterm period (which you're in) is to deliver the baby as soon as possible. Thirty-seven weeks is generally considered the best compromise between giving the baby gestation time, and getting the baby out before cervical changes result in damage to the placenta. The risk of delivering too early is usually transient tachypnea, maybe a few days in the NICU. The risk of waiting too long is that both you and the baby lose too much blood to survive. It is better to run the early risk.
If you are 34w5d today, then you will be 36w5d on Thursday two weeks from now, and 37w on Saturday. A lot of hospitals won't schedule c-sections or inductions Friday - Sunday - because most non-doctor hospital staff get a shift differential for working weekends, they try to cut back staffing levels on those days and do emergent procedures only, in the hopes of having comparatively empty wards on the weekend. That may be why your doctor is insisting on 36w5d. With two bleeds already, he might not feel too good about spending that weekend crossing his fingers and hoping you don't hit a crisis until 37w2d.
I was terrified of having a c-section, but it turned out to be really peaceful, even healing. The doctor who did my section had a daughter of his own born at the same gestation as DD, and he was really caring. The nurses were great. DD couldn't nurse right away because of prematurity (32 weekers don't really have suck/swallow/breathe down yet), and I was really glad to have the experience of nursing and pumping for DS to draw on. All the nursing issues we had were prematurity-related (or NICU-related), and we had things down by the time she hit her due date. I had no bleeding issues after the birth. They delivered the baby, removed the entire placenta, and made sure the bleeding was slowing like it was supposed to before they sewed me up.
(Please don't think I'm bashing NICUs there, when I mention NICU-related nursing challenges. It is just harder to nurse a baby in a plastic bassinette three floors upstairs from the post-partum unit, or five miles from your house, then it is to nurse a baby in your own home.)
I hope that there's someone who can come stay for the next few weeks and help you while you're on bed rest, and after the baby comes. Please keep the phone handy, and charged. I hope the next two weeks are uneventful, and you have an easy surgery that lands a healthy baby in your arms.
My c-section was scheduled for 36 weeks and 4 days because of a complete previa. I started bleeding at 36 weeks so thats when my OB decided to do the c-section. Everything went great baby was fine and started breasfeeding right away.
I appreciate the comments here of those who have gone through it, too. I'm a lot earlier on (25 weeks) but have a complete previa--my placenta is dead centered over the bottom of my uterus, so chances of it moving are a lot slimmer b/c it has further to go. I too am very afraid of the same things the OP asked about and hope to wait as long as possible before the delivery assuming the previa hasn't resolved.
It is good to hear positive outcomes of people who went through it, had a decent experience and were able to breastfeeding successfully whether right away or even later. Thank you!
One of my friends (mother of two) advised me, with my breastfeeding concerns, to visit my local LLL chapter before I deliver to get all the support and tips possible to overcome those struggles that might happen with a C-section/premature baby, and I thought that was pretty good advice which I plan to follow through with.