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Ultrasound shows low lying placenta during 31 weeks of pregnancy. Csection inevitable?

I m a 41-year-old expectant mother, currently at 33 weeks. My 31-week ultrasound showed a low-lying placenta 1.1 cm from the os. The doctor isn t confident that it will move significantly (past the recommended 2 cm from os) when I next have a scan at 36 weeks. He said to prepare mentally for a c-section. He didn t mention anything about taking it easy (limited lifting, exercise, etc.) or bed rest. I have two questions: 1) are c-sections normal for those that have low lying placentas less than 2 cm from the os, and 2) do I need to take it easy (limit exercise, lifting, etc.)? I weigh 142 pounds and was 114 pounds pre-pregnancy. This is my first child (I ve had previous miscarriages). Thank you for your time. It s much appreciated!
Asked On : Fri, 23 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  253
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OBGYN 's  Response
Mar 2013
I appreciate your query.
A low lying placenta that is 1.1 cm from the os is by itself not an absolute indication for a cesarean section.
However, by 31 weeks, the placenta should have migrated upwards, as most low lying placentae do so around 28 weeks.
However, you should mentally prepare yourself for a C - section, considering your age and history of previous miscarriages.
Theoretically speaking, if one waits for labour pains, the low lying placenta often causes no problem when the cervix dilates in preparation for baby delivery.
But, you also run the risk of bleeding, non progress of labour, particularly if the placenta is posterior and low lying.
In view of your precious pregnancy, age, previous abortions and current status of placenta at 31 weeks, it is advisable to be mentally prepared for a C- section.
You definitely do need to limit strenuous exercise, weight lifting etc., as a low lying placenta might sometimes bleed, and you might also go into preterm labour due to over exertion.
Bed rest is not a must unless you have a history of spotting or bleeding.
Hope this helped you.
Answered: Wed, 28 Nov 2012
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