How can you prepare for placenta insufficiency?
Placenta insuffiency could lead to an early birth. What can you expect and how should you prepare?
I’m 33 weeks pregnant and from my last few scans it seems I have placenta insufficiency, so our baby may have to be born early. What should I expect and how I can prepare?
With placenta insufficiency the placenta is not able to deliver an adequate supply of nutrients and oxygen to the baby for normal growth. It’s usually diagnosed by scans, after insufficient development is suspected at a routine antenatal check.
I expect you’ll have another scan at 35 weeks to check how things are going, and maybe extra antenatal appointments before then.
If your baby isn’t growing enough, your obstetrician will advise an early birth. This may be by C-section if you’re under 37 weeks, or you may be offered induced labour if you’re nearer to your due date.
You will, I’m sure, have been preparing for labour and birth anyway, and that will help no matter when you deliver. There’s a great deal of helpful information in the ‘pregnancy and baby’ section of nhs.uk.
If your little one does need to be born early, you’ll have an injection of steroids that help to mature the baby’s lungs ready for delivery. Most babies born at 34 weeks don’t need to go into intensive care so they can remain with their mother, making it easy for them to feed regularly. If you want to breastfeed it might be worth speaking with your midwife or a breastfeeding specialist about starting to collect breastmilk before your baby is born. Again there’s lots of useful information on the NHS website, nhs.uk.