Low-lying placenta what does it mean for your birth?
Get the low down on your low-lying placenta whether it means you will need a Csection.
I have a lowlying placenta and may need a Csection. Please can you talk me through what this means, and what will happen?
The placenta, which provides your baby with the nutrients needed for growth, attaches to the wall of the womb. If it’s in the lower part, near the cervix, it’s classed as low-lying, or placenta praevia. In most cases, as the womb stretches the placenta is moved away from the cervix, allowing for a normal birth.
You should have been offered a scan at 32 weeks or so to check the placenta’s position. If it remains near or is covering the cervix, you’re advised to have a planned caesarean as this is the safest way to deliver your baby. But if you have bleeding before this, you may need an emergency C-section.
With a planned caesarean you’re given a date for the delivery, along with information about the procedure and recovery. As with any operation, blood tests will check your haemoglobin levels and blood group, you’ll be given medication and be asked not to eat or drink for about 12 hours beforehand.
C-sections are usually done under a spinal anaesthetic, so you’ll be awake but feel no pain. You’ll have a urinary catheter, which will stay in for 12 to 24 hours after; you’ll be given regular pain relief and injections to prevent blood clots. Most mums stay in hospital for two to four days, then continue their recovery at home under the care of the community midwife, health visitor and GP.
If you look up caesarean section at nhs.uk you’ll find a lot more useful information.