High Risk Pregnancy, pregnancy, Uncategorized

Maternal Fetal Medicine Monday

Hello Everyone! 

Thank you for stopping by my little corner of the world. Today, I want to Empower, Encourage and Educate. I’m the Nurse that believes in the power of knowledge, that information and understanding lead to a person being able to cope, organize and advocate for their care. One of the important times of your life to be empowered is during your pregnancy.

Pregnancy in itself is beautiful, magnificent, yet can be challenging. When you add the component of experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, the game changes. The joys of pregnancy, often become not so joyful and layered fear. It can cause you to feel cheated from the entire pregnancy experience.

My goal is for every pregnant woman, no matter what the circumstances have a moment to feel empowered to care for themselves and their baby. To have a moment to be present in the moment of this particular pregnancy- no matter the status of your pregnancy which may include being low risk, high risk, unexpected, or very much planned and anticipated. 

I hope by presenting a Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) topic every Monday, pregnant moms who are experiencing a high-risk pregnancy, those supporting high-risk pregnant moms, or for those who want to learn more; each week you will walk away feeling more informed, and empowered to advocate during pregnancy. 

This week, I want to discuss: Placenta Previa

To understand what Placenta previa is – you have to understand what the placenta is: 

A Placenta is an organ that develops inside of your uterus. The placenta provides oxygen and nutrition to your baby and is connected by the umbilical cord. The next word you need to understand is Cervix . The cervix is at the lower end of the uterus, you may also hear it referred as opening of uterus. The baby passes through the uterus into the vaginal canal during delivery.

When you have Placenta Previa the placenta covers the cervix. The placenta can cover the cervix completely or partially. When you have placenta previa you are a higher risk for complications including severe bleeding and /or preterm delivery.

Now that you know what Placenta Previa is, you might be wondering: Are You at Risk for Developing Placenta Previa?

While there is no true reason for placenta previa to develop the following are factors that can place you at a high risk of developing placenta previa: (Please remember, you have not failed and its not your fault)

  • Being Advanced Maternal Age ( over 35 years of age)
  • Having twins or triplets
  • Smoking
  • Cocaine Use
  • Having a previous uterine surgery /procedure
  • Reproductive technology
  • History of cesarean section (s)
  • Prior placenta previa

Now that you know the risk factors :How can you empower yourself to be equipped, informed and ready to have the best outcome

If you have any of the above risk factors, speak with your doctor before even becoming pregnant.

However, if are pregnant and experience, painless vaginal bleeding during the second or third trimester, you want to immedicably go to the emergency room, and of course let your doctor know. Vaginal bleeding is the typical sign of placenta previa. The bleeding may occur from intercourse, vaginal examinations, labor, and sometimes for no reason at all.

If you know you are diagnosed with placenta previa-speak up when being evaluated. You want to notify the healthcare workers you have placenta previa; digital examinations care cause increase bleeding. 

You want to attend all of your prenatal and ultrasound appointments. It is important to work closely with a provider you trust. Verbalize any and every question you may have until you develop a full understanding.

How Will Your Pregnancy Look with Placenta Previa???

You should expect to have a specialized provider, called a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist on your primary Obstetrics team. This doctor will work with your primary doctor to develop a plan to keep you and your baby safe and healthy. You should expect to have a specialized provider, called a Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist on your primary Obstetrics team. This doctor will work with your primary doctor to develop a plan to keep you and your baby safe and healthy. Also, expect a team of healthcare workers to assist with your pregnancy plan. This team may include Obstetricians, Maternal Fetal Medicine specialists, Gynecology Oncology, urologist, anesthesiologist, neonatologist, interventional radiologists, vascular surgeons, nurses, social workers, and yourself. Do not let the number of individuals working with you during your pregnancy scare you, just know each individual is working together with you to develop the plan to keep you and your baby safe and healthy. 

You should expect you may have additional prenatal and ultrasound visits. You will be advised to monitor your symptoms – closely and when to report to the emergency room.

You may be advised to deliver early, possibly through a cesarean section (C-section). While there are times a placenta previa can resolve itself, as the uterus grows, it might increase the distance between the cervix and the placenta; this diagnosis should not be taken lightly.

After reading this post , you maybe asking yourself Is There Hope?

Yes, there is always hope. Working with your providers and healthcare team gives you the best chance of a good outcome. Your pregnancy may be ‘high-risk’, take time to be in the moment with this pregnancy. Gather your friends and family to create a support system. Having a high risk pregnancy can be overwhelming, the support system will be there to listen or just sit with you. Finally, I want you to appreciate you are an Amazing mom-to-be, and remember you are strong and resilient.

I hope this article offered value to you. Please let me know if you have any questions and/or experiences with Placenta Previa-please comment below.

If you have any High Risk Pregnancy topics you want to learn about or share your experience- comment below as well .I would love to hear from you!

My gift to you: FREE PREGNANCY TIP BOOK – Click this Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B094BLX2QF/

Until next time ,

The Amazing Adventures of Pregnancy (T.A.A.P),

Sources:

Anderson-Bagga FM, Sze A. Placenta Previa. In: StatPearls. StatPearls Publishing, Treasure Island (FL); 2020.

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/placenta-previa/symptoms-causes/syc-20352768

Dr. Mary Echols,DNP,MSN,BSN,RN
aka ‘Doctor Nurse’
Advocate for All Pregnant Women

#One Amazing Experience

Find me on Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/theadventuresofpregnancy

E-mail: taapadventures@gmail.com

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