There are a variety of complications that can occur during pregnancy. Some of the most serious complications that can arise involve issues with the placenta. This can take the form of placenta previa, in which the placenta can block the cervix, creating bleeding and possibly creating troubles with delivery. Even more serious than this, however, is the risk of placental abruption. Around 1% of women will experience a placental abruption.
Placental abruption, or separation of the placenta before delivery, can occur at any time during a pregnancy. However, most of the time it will happen during the third trimester. It is extremely rare for placenta separation to occur at all in the first trimester, or the beginning of the second trimester. It almost never occurs before the 20th week of pregnancy. In many cases, the separation of the placenta can be treated, depending on what kind of separation occurs.
Placenta separation can be extremely dangerous. The placenta is the life support system for your baby. It is how he gets nutrients and oxygen. If the placenta separates from the lining of your uterus before delivery, it can affect the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your baby.
If the placenta does not fully separate, the expectant mother will likely be put on bed rest and monitored closely. In some cases, there may be other treatments as well. If the placenta has completely separated, the only course of action is typically to try to delivery the baby. This is particularly troublesome if the placenta separation occurs in the first or second trimesters, and even into the third trimester as it is not likely that the delivery will be possible the earlier you are in pregnancy.
Some of the symptoms of placenta separation can include vaginal bleeding, tenderness of the uterus, unexpected and rapid contractions, pain in the abdomen, and abnormalities with the baby’s heart rate.
Risks for placenta separation include cocaine use, preeclampsia, twin or multiple pregnancy, trauma to the abdomen, uterine abnormalities, and being over the age of 35.