What Is Placental Abruption and How To Know If You’re At Risk?
Pregnancy is a time of joy, but it is important to be aware of the potential health risks. Placental abruption is one of those risks and one that can be quite serious. Knowing more about placental abruption and potential risk factors can help expecting mothers take steps to take proper precautions.
What is Placental Abruption?
Placental abruption is a complication in pregnancy that occurs when the placenta partially or completely separates from the inner wall of the uterus. This can happen anywhere from early pregnancy to near the time of birth. It is a serious medical condition that can cause significant problems for both mother and baby.
When the placenta separates from the uterus before the baby is born, it can cause heavy bleeding, putting both mother and baby at risk of serious injury or loss of life. Placental abruption can also reduce the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the baby, resulting in a number of possible problems.
How to Know If You’re At Risk
Although the cause of placental abruption is often unknown, there are certain risk factors that could make you more susceptible to the condition. Some potential risk factors include:
- High Blood Pressure: High blood pressure during pregnancy can increase your risk of placental abruption.
- Stress: High levels of stress and anxiety during pregnancy can be potential risk factors for placental abruption.
- Cigarette Smoking: Smoking during pregnancy can increase the risk of placental abruption.
- Previous Placental Abruption: If you have had a placental abruption in a past pregnancy, you have an increased risk of having one in a subsequent pregnancy.
- Age: Women over the age of 35 are more likely to experience placental abruption.
Other Health Complications With Placental Abruption Include:
- Preterm Delivery: Placental abruption can cause early labor and potentially premature delivery.
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction: Reduced oxygen and nutrients can cause a baby to have slow intrauterine growth, resulting in a small baby.
- Perinatal Death: Placental abruption can be fatal for both mother and baby.
- Postpartum Hemorrhage: Placental abruption can cause heavy bleeding after delivery.
- Maternal Shock: Placental abruption can cause a rapid drop in blood pressure, resulting in shock.
Getting Treated For Placental Abruption
If you experience any signs or symptoms of placental abruption, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Your doctor may perform an ultrasound to confirm a diagnosis and may recommend treatments such as bed rest, medications to stop contractions, or even a c-section to deliver the baby early if needed.
If you are pregnant and have any of the risk factors for placental abruption, it is important to talk to your doctor about the best ways to reduce your risk. By being aware of the risks and taking proper precautions, you can enjoy a safe and healthy pregnancy.