Low-Lying Placenta (Placenta Praevia)

As I write this post I'm currently 29 weeks pregnant. I was around 21 weeks when I went for my anomaly scan and the sonographer discovered that I had a low-lying placenta (also known as Placenta Praevia) which was slightly overlapping my cervix.

Low-Lying Placenta

I had to have an internal scan there and then to double-check that it was in fact low (it was) and then she told me I would need another scan (external and internal) at 32 weeks to see if it had moved. I already had an appointment booked with my consultant for a few weeks later so she didn't give me much information at that time, only that I should go straight to hospital if I started bleeding.

I left the scan feeling upset and a bit of a failure to be honest - why was my body not working right! I had never had this problem before, the placenta had been high in all three of my previous pregnancies. 

When I got home I googled the condition and was hit with a variety of information, the scariest being that if I started to bleed it could be life-threatening to both me and the baby. No wonder the sonographer was so insistent that I went to hospital if I had a bleed!

If you find yourself in the same position, I would recommend the nct website, it contains clear information about Placenta Praevia which is easy to understand and not quite as scary as some of the other websites out there.

At my consultant appointment I was told that the vast majority of women who have a low-lying placenta at the anomaly scan will not have it by the time they have the 32 week scan. Apparently as your uterus expands with the pregnancy, the placenta moves with it - away from the cervix. He also said it was a good thing that mine is posterior because it would be less likely to attach to any previous c-section scar tissue and is therefore more likely to move up.

He said I should avoid sexual intercourse and tampons (I'm not sure why anyone would use tampons when they're pregnant but I suppose he had to cover all bases) until the 32 week scan just in case the placenta hasn't moved and it causes bleeding. I'm assuming if it has moved up at that point I'll have the go ahead to continue with that particular area of my life (no, I'm not talking about tampons)!

So how will it affect the birth of our baby? Regular V Family Fun readers will know that I've already had three c-sections so either way I'll be having another one. According to my consultant, if the placenta has moved up then baby will be delivered at 39 weeks. If it is still low at the 32 week scan then the c-section will be brought forward.

Now it's just a waiting game - I'll be sure to post an update after the scan (fingers crossed for good news).

In other ways the pregnancy is going well - I'm pleased to share that the glucose tolerance test I had last week showed that I don't have gestational diabetes. Every test and appointment brings me one step closer to holding our baby in my arms and that's what this is all about isn't it!

Have you experienced Placenta Praevia or do you know anyone who has? I'd love to hear from you.


  1. I know I sent a quick comment on FB Kate but I wanted to say how much things seem to have changed! The midwife at my first appointment at the clinic couldn't hear the baby's heartbeat very well because all she could hear was the placenta ... no internal or external scans all the way through. No consultant involved. I knew when it had moved though because finally I could wee again! I had to rock backwards and forwards before that and I have to be honest and say it scared me.

    I think care is much better today (or maybe that's just me on the outside looking in, I don't know). It's a waiting game all the way through isn't it!

    Good news on the results of the glucose test :) You can enjoy your cravings ...

    1. Yes, thank goodness because I have no willpower at the moment :).

      I have to agree that care is better today, even from having T 13 years ago things have improved a lot! I can't even imagine the worry it would cause if there weren't all the check-ups available, how terrifying it must have been for you.

      Thank you for sharing your experience Shaz x


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