Placental Abruption

An uncommon, but very serious complication in pregnancy is called placental abruption or Abruptio Placenta. This condition requires immediate medical attention.

After an egg is fertilized in the fallopian tube, it travels down to the uterus and implants itself. The uterus provides an environment for the placenta to grow and nourish a developing fetus. If at any point during a pregnancy the placenta becomes detached from the uterus, the fetus than becomes deprived of oxygen and nutrients. This can also cause a great deal of bleeding to the woman.

What is placental abruption

Placental Abruption is defined as any separation of the placenta from the uterus after 20 weeks gestation. Not only is the fetus at great risk, so is the mother. A placenta’s detaching from the uterus prior to around 20 weeks is generally considered a miscarriage.

Placental abruption can happen without any signs or symptoms, but vaginal bleeding is usually the first indication. Anyone who experiences vaginal bleeding at any point in their pregnancy should seek medical attention immediately.

Other symptoms of placental abruption:

-Uterine tenderness

-Continual abdominal pain with or without back pain

-Rapid contractions

There is no exact cause of placental abruption. Research has indicated several risk factors:

-Hypertension

-Cocaine use

-Smoking while pregnant

-Short umbilical cord

-Uterine abnormalities

-Previous history of placental abruption

-Alcohol use

- multiple pregnancies

-Placental abnormalities

-Diabetes

-Injury to abdomen such as a car accident

True diagnosis of placental abruption cannot be made until after delivery when the placenta is inspected.

Treatment for placental abruption depends on 3 factors-severity, location and fetal age.

There is no way to reattach a placenta to a uterus. If the abruption is mild and the baby is in no apparent distress, a woman may be instructed to go home with modified activity. Depending on the age of the fetus, the mother may be given corticosteroids to mature the baby’s lungs incase of emergency delivery.

If the mother has experienced great blood loss or the fetus goes into distress, an emergency c-section is almost always indicated.

A placental abruption that goes unnoticed could result in brain damage or still birth to the baby. If a large amount of blood is lost, the woman may go into shock. This would affect the mother’s vital organs. If the abruption is severe enough, she may require a hysterectomy.

Placental abruption cannot be prevented but you can avoid some of the known risk factors.

Women who have experienced placental abruption in the past should speak to their doctor before planning another baby.

© Rebecca Pillar 2008

 

0
No votes yet
 

6 comments

By RebekahTanaka on 06/16/13 at 9:48 pm

I also recommend the PREGNANCY MIRACLE GUIDE as a GREAT pregnancy/women's health resource!

By PV Mom on 07/22/11 at 3:27 am

Hi. I am 36 years old and am 9 weeks pregnant. This is my first child. Yesterday morning I was fine then I went to the bathroom (no cramps or anything)   ...

By Knight4 on 01/18/11 at 2:19 pm

I had a placental abruption with my first pregnancy at 37 weeks. I delivered vaginally that day and our daughter was perfectly healthy. Since I did not   ...

6 comments so far » read more

Sign in to leave a comment!

Today on JustMommies

The Science of Headaches, Explained

Tension-type headaches are your common, "everyday" headaches (they can feel like a giant rubber band squeezing your skull). Nearly everyone will have at least one tension-type headache at some point, and it's estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience them on an occasional basis.

Baby Names from the 80s

What were you doing in the 80's? Moon-walking with Michael? Playing Pac-Man on your Atari?

The Cutest DIY & Handmade Dolls

Whether you're looking for a fun summer craft project or want the lowdown on the latest and greatest dolls, we've got you covered.

P

From the Message Boards

Due Date Club of November 2014

Has DH felt the baby kick?

DS has been feeling baby for a couple weeks now... And today my OB felt him when she checked his HR....

Due Date Club of September 2014

constipation! ughh :(

Is anyone else experiencing bad constipation ately?! no matter what I do nothing seems to help!! any...

Due Date Club of November 2014

enjoying pregnancy vs not like being pregnant.

I know some people enjoy being pregnant. And others who don't. I am the person who doesn't enjoy it...

Due Date Club of September 2014

ouch my arm is sore Tdap

I got the tdap vaccine yesterday and it didn't hurt one bit when I got it, but man o man my arm is s...

Pregnancy and Motherhood After Loss

Happy News!!!!

Hi ladies... I haven't been around much... things have been a little busy. Crazy how much time and e...

» Check out the friendliest message board for moms and moms-to-be!