Placenta Previa

Bridgette - posted on 11/05/2009 ( 14 moms have responded )




Hi. I am 20 weeks pregnant with my second child. I went in for my last ultrasound and they discovered that I have marginal Placenta Previa. It is only barely covering the cervix. My doctor said that he wanted me on pelvic rest; no sex , heavy lifting, or strenuous activities. He will do another ultrasound at 28 weeks to see with my growing fetus if the placenta has moved upward more to were I can deliver naturally and not have any other complications. If any of you have had this type of situation can you tell me: what were your limitations, and if you ended up being able to deliver naturally? I am more looking for answers on marginal/partial placenta previa and not complete placenta previa... thank you


Sue - posted on 11/07/2009




Well I have never heard of marginal/partial placenta previa and I know you don't want answers to complete placenta previa, but I just want to share something with you. With my little girl I had placenta previa and my she was breeched. I had the same restrictions that you had, but around 28 weeks when they did my ultrasound my she and the placenta had turned around and got in the right position. Then I had her naturally. Just don't stress and think positive. I hope this kind of helps.

Candace - posted on 01/17/2014




Sitting here, staring out my window, fingers tapping on my laptop, I actually don't know where to begin. Im not much of a writer, but I need to tell my story. I hope it will somehow help women who are going through the same thing I did.

In July 2013, I found out I was pregnant. I was about 2-3 weeks. It was a surprise as this was now number 3. It want long after though that I started bleeding in a restaurant toilet and my husband took me to the closest hospital. It was determined that I may be having a miscarriage. However, my cervix remained closed. The doctor on call sent me home and said to make an appointment with a gynaecologist.

On the 19 August 2013, I seen the first doctor at 6w2d. I went to her because my doctor was away. She seen a blood clot next to my baby. It was a concern as she said either the clot will flush out, or be absorbed into the uterus. But as it flushes, it may take the baby out with it too. However, the baby remained and was growing normally

I went to see my own gynaecologist on the 28 August 2013. The baby was now 7w6d. My doctor was worried and said that the condition is most probably Placenta Previa. This was all new to me. He explained it is when the embryo attaches itself to the wrong part of the uterus and starts developing lower than it should. I went home I went on the net to hear what other women said. Mostly it was determined that Placenta Previa can only really be diagnosed after about 20 weeks. However, I started bleeding again on the 5th September 2013. It was quite significant and I was once again in hospital. I was given a drip and monitored for the bleed in the femina ward at Flora Clinic, Johannesburg. The next day it was subsiding, however, baby was still fine and growing well. However my gynae was worried still and now convinced it was Placenta Previa. I was released. However, a few hours after he did an internal exam I bled so much and I was passing huge clots. They were the sizes or golf balls to base balls. But when I called my gynae, he said this would happen, I shouldn't worry, however to call him if the bleeding gets life threatening. How would I know what life threatening is? For me soiling half of my pants and having huge clots pass was life threatening. However, it started subsiding again over the next few days. By that stage I was 9w2d.

This was becoming hard to absorb. I remember crying wondering why this was happening, and also so close to my birthday. My family advised I see a second opinion. I researched some Johannesburg doctors who I believe knew about Placenta Previa. It was hard to find though. The best I could do was look for anyone who was interviewed, or wrote some sort of article on the subject. I landed up with a gynae at Olivedale Clinic.

11 September 2013- 9w6d He was adamant that a gynae cannot make a Placenta Previa diagnosis that soon in any pregnancy. He said that in that case every pregnant woman would have that as the sac and the baby is so small, you cannot determine until the baby is big enough to see where the foetus has attached itself. I was surprised to get a total opposite diagnosis of bleeding blood vessels. But now my problem was I has 2 diagnosis. I decided to ride it out and see 2 gynaecologists. It was expensive but my life and my baby's was at stake. I seen him again on 25 September 2013- 11w3d. His diagnosis didn't cange though.

In all these visits, my baby was growing well. Eventually I stopped seeing both doctors as having 2 different opinions wasn't helping me. I returned to the gynae who was convinced on Placenta previa.

It was by about 12 weeks or so I decided to see a very popular Homeopath. He gave me homeopathic tabkets to assist in preventing miscarriage and strengthen the uterine lining. My bleeding stopped when I went to him

At my 16 week check up, I cannot remember the exact date, my gynae told me not to put my hopes in this pregnancy. It was troubling. I didn't know how I felt about it. However, he was so negative all the time. So I laughed him off. Downplaying the situation. He also told me I had the worst Placenta Previa he had ever seen. It is called Placenta Previa Complete. What this means is that The Placenta totally covers the cervix. On top of that I had Placenta Accreta. This is a condition where the Placenta starts attaching itself to the uterus and perhaps other organs. You can have posterior or anterior accreta depending where the placenta attaches. This is even worse now as it may cause postpartum haemorrhage

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Committee Opinion( see

Placenta accreta is a potentially life-threatening obstetric condition that requires a multidisciplinary approach to management. The incidence of placenta accreta has increased and seems to parallel the increasing caesarean delivery rate. Women at greatest risk of placenta accreta are those who have myometrial damage caused by a previous caesarean delivery with either an anterior or posterior placenta previa overlying the uterine scar.

So now Im told I have a life threatening pregnancy. I also learn that I may need a hysterectomy. This was a lot to absorb. But baby was healthy and growing above average.

I had been trying to get an appointment with a Professor of gynaecology for such a long time, and I was blessed to get a cancellation for my 20 week appointment. However, a friend who worked at a general practitioner also assisted in getting me another gynae at Parklane clinic to have a look too.

I was getting tired, and money was just going, but I had to press on. I went to see the doctor at Parklane on the 18th November 2013- 19w5 days I think. He confirmed my condition was bad. he said it was complete placenta previa. He also picked up a positive blood result for spina bifida. Spina, bifida? Why didn't my own doctor call me when he received those blood results weeks before? They said he would call me if there was any problems.
Anyway, he advised me to stay with my own gynae as I needed to be as close to a hospital as possible and Flora was closest. He determined that if I started bleeding I could haemorrhage or the baby could also be distressed or bleed and die. He told me to keep my Professor appointment to determine the spina bifida. I advised him that even though I wasn't really bleeding, it was more of a watery discharge on my pad and a slimy discharge when I urinate. But he didn't check. As long as there was no bleeding.

2 days later Im at the Professor. The Professor is senior to gynaecologists and are able to see more on the babies wellbeing. So the professor tells me my bloods were a false positive, no spina bifida. My baby is growing well. The amniotic fluid is good. The kidneys, heart, lungs, hands, feet, all growing well. There is no cleft lip and downs. Nose bone fine and brain is good. The false positive they attributed to the homeopathic remedy or the on going bleeding. The Professor at this stage advises me of the severity of this condition I have and puts me on Bed rest. I will not forget what he said to me. He told me that if I were a Baragwaneth Patient( Publice hospital), I would be put in hospital my whole pregnancy, as they don't have a good means of transport and would walk to the hospital or require taxi etc. But since I was a private patient close to the hospital, I could drive myself or let someone drive me if I start bleeding. So I had to go straight to bed rest. He advised that this was a serious condition and risky for haemorrhaging. He said Placenta Previa complete is a very high risk pregnancy. I advised him that even though I wasn't really bleeding, it was more of a watery discharge on my pad and a slimy discharge when I urinate. But he didn't check. As long as there was no bleeding. Also the Amniotic fluid at the time was normal.

The professor sent my gynae his report. I will blog the report at a later stage. But it basically said foetus was healthy, no sign of abnormalities etc. He advised my gynae of the bed rest and that he should perform a C-section with blood on stand by and perhaps a hysterectomy.

So 2 days later, I was back at my own gynae. Friday, 22 November 2013.I was now exactly 20w0d. He then advised me he knew it was a false positive on spina bifida. I don't believe him as I think every result showing abnormality needs to be re tested and advise the patient. I truly believe the results slipped and perhaps were not given to him.

But back on the issues at hand. This session was a serious one on my side as I had lots of questions to ask him and wanted my life spared should something happen. That I had 2 girls at home needing their mom. We discussed how the blood would be transfused. What he would do etc. He advised me that it would be less blood loss and more controllable if he took the uterus out, but we would see. I did however advise that since I would now have 3 kids, if that's what it took, we should do the hysterectomy. He said he would get me through this and not to worry. My baby was thriving in my womb, growing well and a boy...I advised him that even though I wasn't really bleeding, it was more of a watery discharge on my pad and a slimy discharge when I urinate. But he didn't check. As long as there was no bleeding. In fact he was waiting for the bleeding to be life threatening... Whatever that means.

3 weeks pass and on the early morning of Thursday12 December 2013 I wake up to heavy bleeding. Clots are coming out. I felt like it was over a litre of blood. My husband rushes me to Flora Clinic where I go to the femina ward. Now in the femina ward, they have no machines to check the foetus is fine inside or to monitor the babies heartbeat. I guess you only go to maternity ward after 24 weeks. So now already at the hospital the bleeding is less. But Im put on a drip. Also, Im given a blood transfusion just in case. The nurse advises that my gynae wants to do a stitch. However, about 2 times before he contemplated a stitch, but changed his mind, saying the cervix was closed.
My doctor comes by to see me later that morning, he tells me that at this stage of Placenta Previa, the bleeding will be more often so I should expect it, and I will be monitored overnight and probably be discharged. So he changed his mind on the stitch again.I ask him to check the baby too. But I know he does C-sections and hysterectomy's etc on Thursday and I see he wants to rush off. He tells me that he will check Friday morning. The next day. 24 hours later!! So that day I feel good. I'm optimistic as I had been my whole pregnancy. I advise him again about the watery discharge. In fact I told him on numerous occasions including on a phone conversation we had a fews days earlier.

However, the evening of the 12th, I cant say it was this or what. But I felt so sweaty on my pants. I felt like Im getting hot. But I couldn't understand. Like I don't feel that hot, why is my pants feeling like Im sweating. Later that night, I feel really tired. I see the nurse take my blood pressure and its lower than usual. Its 80 over something. She checks later, I see through my sleepy eyes 86 over something. Im tired. I just shut my eyes and return to sleep. My gynae comes to see me Friday morning. He is pretty happy as the bleeding has stopped. I advised him that just before he came, as I pulled my pants down to urinate, a slimy discharge ran down my pad to the floor. It looked as if I was looking at organisms under a microscope. A slimy circle with tiny squiggly lines in it.

A porter then took me to the gynaes rooms so that he could do a sonar on the baby to check the status of my baby.Just before he does the scan, I ask" Doctor, why does it look like my stomach isn't getting bigger?" He starts the scan, puts his hand on his head... He tells me Oh no, this is bad. The Amniotic Fluid around the baby is totally out. There is none left. This baby is going to die. He checks his heartbeat though and my sons heartbeat was 100% normal. He tells me I need to go to the Maternity Ward and wait for the baby to die or something to happen, like going into labour. He explains My Membranes Ruptured.

My husband and I were shocked. We did not expect through this whole roller-coaster ride that this would be the final outcome. I do nt know what to do but pray. We sit there, totally bewildered. The nurse comes to check my sons heartbeat and its still 100%. The gynae comes in, he advises that seeking advice from his colleague he believes the best thing to do would be to plan the hysterectomy now so that they can control the circumstance and do their best to try to save me. he is adamant that the baby would die. My mom asks is there nothing that can be done to replenish the amniotic fluid. He advises that there is absolutely nothing that works. I advise this doctor that I need time to think. This is too much. He advises that he will give me some time. I thought I would have a few days at least.

Just a bit later I start bleeding again and call the nurse showing her the clots. The nurse says, oh well doctor says you will probably go to theatre. Then she just left. What time did I have if they sealed my fate already. No drip or medication was administered to assist to stop the bleeding. No help. No one even came to check the baby's heartbeat again, and as per the doctor, they had to check all the time.

I read up on
Amnioinfusion--instilling a special fluid into the amniotic sac to replace lost or low levels of amniotic fluid. Amnioinfusion may be given in a woman in labor whose membranes have ruptured. Amnioinfusion will not be given if the woman is not in labor.

Drinking lots of water

Putting you on a Saline drip.

I called my doctor, he shut it down saying nothing works.

I asked why did God put me in the situation where I would have to decide whether or not to do this operation as my baby was healthy and heart still beating 100%

My cousin got me a gynae to see me, that maybe I would have some hope somewhere else.I advised my doctor I needed to go see another doctor as this was a hard decision to make. I rushed to Sandton Mediclinc. It was already evening by now. That gynae said the same thing. He said theres no amniotic fluid. There was bad Placenta Accreta. He sent me out to discuss with my doctor. I couldn't understand how I couldn't hear as well. He returned to me and advised that I should listen to my doctor. hat I should try to save my life for my 2 kids I have at home. He said eventually the baby would want to come out & I would go into labour. That if an operation was scheduled , they could control it and I would have a better chance.

I left there in tears.I drove back to Flora Clinic and on my arrival, the nurse said my gynae wants to do the operation 11am the next day. My husband and I by now were so much in shock and we could do no more. We agreed. We didn't know what more we could do. My husband was worried about my life.

I started bleeding again early the next morning and the nurse called the doctor. He decided that I should go in asap. He didn't want to wait. I was still half sleeping due to a sleeping aid I had been given. I turned to the nurse as I was being wheeled out, and asked her if they couldn't please give my baby steroids to boost his lungs and other organs. She said no, they only do it at 28 weeks. She turned and confirmed with another nurse.

There was nothing I could do now. The funniest thing is through all this time, from the very start of my journey, I felt no pain at all. Through the whole pregnancy, no pain. Even when my membranes had ruptured there were no labour pains or anything.

As they wheeled me in I started praying Psalm 91. It was in Gods hands now. At that stage my son was 23w2d.

I woke up in pain in the ICU. My son was not resuscitated due to his age. My son died. My womb was removed with the cervix. My report said Complete Hysterectomy. That includes the uterus and cervix. They had also done a laparotomy and operated on my bladder. My son was brought to me, layed on my lap. He was beautiful. His hands in fists under his chin, his legs bent as if he were praying. I couldn't understand how this healthy baby boy was not given a chance to survive. Or how we could not have just somehow reached a better stage where more would be done to save him. The head nurse who brought my son called another nurse to show her how big he was for 23 weeks.

Its one month later. I have no son and no uterus. I feel like I have somehow been robbed. I truly feel as if in 2 days everything went so fast that I didn't have a choice. I am truly grateful to be alive. I thank God for that. But to have your world changed in an instant... I cannot explain.

My aim this of this blog is to somehow help others out there. Since I have experienced it, perhaps there is something that can be done better for someone out there to save their baby or their womb or both.

Some things I think about:

Why didn't the doctors check the watery substance I kept complaining about. If I had been leaking Amniotic fluid everyday, perhaps hospitalisation and monitoring would have prolonged the leaking to a point where baby could be saved
If the situation from the start was so dangerous or that my hopes should not have been put into the pregnancy, why didn't the doctor opt to terminate. In that case, I would have been able to try again
From a lot of cases I have read about, why wasn't I hospitalised as many other placenta previa cases around the world. Some even as long as 4 months
Strict bed rest is strict bed rest.
Why was I not referred to a doctor who deals with High Risk Pregnancies. essentially they are geared up far more as they mainly deal with High Risks as opposed to normal gynaes who mainly see normal patients
Would a stitch have helped me? I wish I did it anyway
How could I not see that I was leaking fluid. It seems so stupid now, like it was in my face and I couldn't see it.
I really read up on a lot and tried to educate myself on my condition. (Ladies please know your condition. ask lots of questions) However, I did not find any cases where the amniotic fluid had just run out or Membranes Ruptured on the same sites on Placenta Previa. If you see any fluid leak, or feels like you are urinating and slimy discharge in the toilet, just make sure the doctor checks for leaking Fluid.

Today I would have been 28w0d. Today the doctors would have given my son a fair chance to live. They would have given him the steroids he needed to boost his lungs. Today, if I could've reached 28 weeks, I would not feel as empty as I do now. I may not have had my uterus, but I would have had my son. Now I don't have any.

MELANIE - posted on 11/07/2009




i dont have that problem but i have been on bed rest and when they tell you no sex they mean none!!! heavy lifting is like 20 lbs limit. and dont excersize and keep bending over to pck up toys and things.

Lavender - posted on 03/04/2014




At 20 weeks I also had marginal Placenta Previa. My OB prescribed the same for me. When we checked again mine had moved and at 33 weeks my placenta is no longer blocking my cervix. Stay positive and listen to you doctor's advice :)

Rebecca - posted on 11/06/2009




I had my 1st Ultrasound on 12-30-08 and was told I had a low lying placenta and that it was very common and would probably move up and not to be too concerned. I went again on 3/11 & 4/24/09 and was looking good, no concerns and placenta was moving up. On 5/18/09, with No notice at all, I had a placental abruption and lost my son on the 1st day of my 3rd Trimester (28 weeks)

Since then, I have read many articles & met few others on FB who who lost their child.

I have found all kinds of situations out there. Some had an abruption at 25 weeks and survived and then some who didnt survive on their delivery date/ full-term.

I am not trying to scare you, I had no knowledge, warning that something like this could happen especially When appts and ultrasounds leading up to that day seemed fine. I had NO Restrictions!

I was told with Placenta Previa that the worst that could really happen was having restrictions/limitations and a c-section instead of a vaginal delivery. I worried about possible additional restrictions/limitations & the thought of having my first c-section. I was told that I would never find an answer to why this happened, but if I could go back I would have sacrificed everything.


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Maria - posted on 07/18/2016




Hey Candace.. I just read your story and it is like Of I wrote it myself. I have the exact same story from beginning to end. Except everything you said you should have done bedrest and all I did do all of that since weeks 8! Since I had that blood clot in my uterus that caused me to bleed, i left work I laid in bed for weeks trying to do the best for my baby( boy) to be exact I also have girls. I also lost all amniotic fluid I also got diagnosed with placenta previa complete. I know you were not given the steroid shots for your baby's lungs but I did and guess what that did not help here I am 1 month and 2 days after with no baby boy, a vertical nasty scar on my belly and painful recovery, and no uterus. I feel very depressed I know what you went thru and I am living it now. The only difference is my boy stayed inside for 25 weeks and 6 days. Same outcome as yours even with bedrest, with steroid shots, with drs knowing I was leaking amniotic fluid but couldnt do anything about it. They actually wantes to terminate my pregnancy earlier i refused but i had no option the morning when i woke up hemorraging they did emergency c section and hysterectomy. I would like to know how you are doing how do you feel? Does it ge better? I have insomnia all I do is think about my baby and the day everything happened every night i cant help it.

Candace - posted on 02/29/2016




Hey Erika. My heart bleeds for you and I pray your circumstance turns around 100%. I hate the way the drs aren't sensitive to what you going through. For them they see it daily, for us, its our first time. we feel, we hurt, we struggle to understand. I have 2 daughters and I definitely chose to live for them. I tried in every possible way to save child, but somehow this horrible thing happened. I appreciate my life and I love my family with all my heart, but there's this one kid that I don't have, that's gone from me. I know my amniotic fluid was leaking but as I said no one actually checked. I also know that the Dr wanted to do a stich several times, but then decided not to. I can also say that he saved a patients child after what happened to me by doing a stich. Even though my fluid was leaking, not once did it lead to a miscarriage. So please let me know if this turned out to be a miscarriage. If not, please go to a high risk doctor. One who understand this totally and make provisions for everything to come. Be totally on bed rest. That means DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

I am not even sure what words I can give you, as I know there is no comfort right now in what you are going through. The worst for me was also loosing my womb and the possibility of not being able to conceive again. But I kept trusting in the Lord. I put my faith in Him. I went through hell and have the scars to prove it, but He got me through. I really believe in His word that says God turns all things good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose. When I lost my son, my sister in law gave me a book & on each page it read: " Faith is being sure of what we hope for, & certain of what we cannot see." So every day that is in my mind. Sometimes doctors or people go by what the world regards as what is possible and what's impossible, but if we believe in the same God that opened the Red Sea, turned water to wine, & sent manner from Heaven, that what can he do for little old me. I haven't spoken about this to many people as its early days and many wouldn't understand, but I may have lost my womb, but not my Hope in God. I have a surrogate carrying a baby for me, my own flesh & blood,& its so surreal & I am starting to see the work of God. :)
I don't know what's Gods plan for you, but never stop having Faith in Him. It will take time, for me I still cry sometimes @ baby showers, or my son Caydes birthday, or listening to a song. But then it passes, and I appreciate and love life again, and I am good again.

But I pray with my whole heart that you will be fine, and your baby will be fine. Please please keep me informed. I will pray for you. May God bless you and either way may he give you the strength you need.

Erikaherbalife2008 - posted on 02/27/2016




Dear candace i am 16 weeks as of yesterday friday feb. 26 2016 i have full placenta previa and i have fluid over my cervix and i am leaking fluid but the pregnancy is too immature to say how much fluid is with the baby i got discharged from emergency room with the diagnosis of beginning miscarriage i am in bed staying strong and wondering why isnt it important to them if its important to me is there really nothing they can do as they said im just keeping faith but a little part of me is shattered to not knowing what is next to come in between contractions and praying and hoping i can hold my baby uncertainty is def. Hurting me so much but your words have hit me and made me think my other 2 babies need me more. Though painful i am sure god has a plan for me with all tests obstacles and gifts that i appreciate thank you for sharing you are in my prayers forever

User - posted on 12/07/2013




They just told me I have Placenta previa they find that at 19weeks my dr told me not to worry about It I'm 20 weeks now u think my baby will last

Christina - posted on 11/08/2009




Hi, my name is Christina and i also have a placenta previa. I was 12 weeks pregnant when I started bleeding heavily. My husband rushed me to ER. We found out that our little one was doing great but found out the my placenta had torn 8 cm and now I'm on bed rest for the whole pregnancy. My placenta is also over my cervix, so I'm thinking I might be having a c-section with this little one. I am now almost 17 weeks pregnant and so far baby is doing great. I'm not gaining weight with this baby but my Dr said that's normal for bed ridden pregnant women. We also found out that there's a very good chance we're having our first boy :) We will find out more on the 3rd of Dec. we're hoping it stays the same. I'm due the 20th of April, 5 days after my 30th birthday. We're praying all goes well the rest of the pregnancy.

[deleted account]

I too had marginal placenta previa at 21 weeks when I went in for an ultrasound to determine gender. At around 26 weeks it had cleared. Now the only thing I face is the breech position that my son is lying in. I've heard that as the baby grows the placenta actually is stretched out often pulling it away from the cervix. Hopefully you will be one of the lucky ones. Take care and try not to worry too much.

Peggy - posted on 11/06/2009




I was also marginal placenta previa at 20 weeks, I went in for the 2nd ultrasound at 29 weeks and it had moved! Dont be too worried hopefully yours will move too.

[deleted account]

Sounds like we are in this together. I have my 21 week ultrasound Monday but they saw mine at 16 weeks. I have marginal previa as well, all I have to say is listen to your doctor I freaked myself out with all the research. We are still early enough along for the uterus to grow upward. I am trying to look to the positive we aren't the first or last! Good Luck I know this pelvic rest thing sucks!

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