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Placenta Previa - Topic Overview

How is it treated? continued...

If your doctor finds out before your 20th week of pregnancy that your placenta is low in your uterus, chances are very good that it will get better on its own. The position of the placenta can change as the uterus grows. So by the end of the pregnancy, the placenta may no longer block the cervix.

If you aren't bleeding, you may not need to be in the hospital. But you will need to be very careful.

  • Avoid all strenuous activity, such as running or lifting.
  • Don't have sex, and don't put anything in your vagina.
  • Call your doctor and go to the emergency room right away if you have any vaginal bleeding.

If you are bleeding, you may have to stay in the hospital. If you are close to your due date, your baby will be delivered. Doctors always do a C-section when there is a placenta previa at the time of delivery. A vaginal delivery could disturb the placenta and cause severe bleeding.

If your bleeding can be slowed or stopped, your doctor may delay delivery and monitor you and your baby closely. The doctor may do:

You may be given:

  • A blood transfusion if you've lost a lot of blood.
  • Steroid medicines if you aren't close to your due date. These medicines help get your baby ready for birth by speeding up lung development.
  • Tocolytic medicine to slow or stop contractions if you are in early labor.

If your newborn is premature, your baby may be treated in a neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. Premature babies need to stay in the hospital until they can eat, breathe, and stay warm on their own.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: April 03, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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