C-Section Scheduled Due To Complications?

September 19 2005, 5:12 pm

Soon after announcing her pregnancy Britney Spears, 23, was admitted to a hospital in Florida after experiencing bleeding problems. These problems might have been related to a gynecological condition called placenta previa, which is quite common and is related to smoking, past or present.

If you have placenta previa, it means that your placenta is lying unusually low in your uterus, next to or covering your cervix. The placenta is the pancake-shaped organ - normally located near the top of the uterus - that supplies your baby with nutrients through the umbilical cord. Placenta previa is not usually a problem early in pregnancy. But if it persists into later pregnancy, it can cause bleeding, which may require you to deliver early and can lead to other complications. If you have placenta previa when it's time to deliver your baby, you'll need to have a c-section.

If you start bleeding or have contractions, you'll need to be hospitalized. What happens then will depend on how far along you are in your pregnancy, how heavy the bleeding is, and how you and your baby are doing. If you're near full-term, your baby will be delivered by c-section right away. If your baby is still premature, he'll be delivered by c-section immediately if his condition warrants it or if you have heavy bleeding that doesn't stop. Otherwise, you'll be watched in the hospital until the bleeding stops. If you're less than 34 weeks, you may be given corticosteriods to speed up your baby's lung development and to prevent other complications in case he ends up being delivered prematurely.

If the bleeding stops, and both you and your baby are in good condition, you'll probably be sent home. But you'll need to return to the hospital immediately if the bleeding starts again. If you and your baby continue to do well and you don't need to deliver early, you'll have a scheduled c-section at 37 weeks.