It depends. In many early cases of placenta previa, the placenta will reposition itself as the baby develops, correcting the problem on its own.

 

However, it is important to remember that a “hands off” approach is only recommended if the placenta previa occurs early in the pregnancy. If the placenta previa has not corrected itself as the mother approaches her due date, or has caused significant bleeding, the mother may need surgical intervention during delivery.

 

There are several types of placenta previa, each depending on where the placenta has positioned itself:

 

  • A low-lying placenta is near the cervical opening, but does not cover it.
  • A partial placenta previa will cover part of the cervical opening, but not all of it.
  • A total placenta previa completely blocks the cervical opening.

 

There are several precautions women with early placenta previa may take. Your doctor may recommend bed rest or abstaining from intercourse until the baby has moved upward into the uterus. Your doctor should also perform regular ultrasounds to determine the position of the placenta.

 

The biggest risk to both mother and baby is hemorrhage. A mother who is still experiencing placenta previa a few weeks before her due date may be required to give birth by cesarean section--and if the bleeding is severe, the baby may be at risk of significant oxygen loss, brain damage, or even death.

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