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I am 24 years old and 5 months pregnant. I would like to know more about abruptio placentae. Why and how does it happen? What are the risks of it? Thank you for any information.

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The placenta is the tissue that joins a mother to her developing baby and it supplies food and oxygen to the baby and removes waste and carbon dioxide. Normally, it remains attached to the wall of the uterus until the baby is delivered. Abruptio placentae is also called placental abruption. It occurs when the placenta breaks away from the uterus ahead of time and the problem can occur anytime between the 20th week of pregnancy and the beginning of delivery. Placental abruption can be dangerous for both mother and the baby and all or only part of the placenta may break away from the uterus. A woman can lose a lot of blood, and the baby could die from lack of food and oxygen. The exact cause of placental abruption is not known. It is believed that high blood pressure, heart disease and arthritis make it more likely to happen. A car accident or a fall may trigger the problem, and cocaine abuse increases the risk. Signs of this condition typically include vaginal bleeding and pain in the abdomen or back.
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I am 32 years old, 12 weeks pregnant and found out a few weeks ago, that I have this medical problem (tear in the placenta). It is very dangerous and should be looked at by a high risk pregnancy OB. So an abruption can occur before 20 weeks, and I do not know why it is never talked about. Anyway, it is VERY serious, you should be on bedrest for the remainder of the pregnancy, no sex and no stress. This is what I have been told, but you should always get a good professional's opinion. But be weary of anyone who tells you it is nothing, because it is serious. From what I have been told, women in this situation usually have the baby early and should have a C section only (regular labor can cause the placenta to tear more and you don't want that!) you need to keep in mind where you will deliver the baby if they have the ability to put the baby on a ventilator if needed because if they don't it can be lethal if the baby cannot breathe. Ask as many questions as you can, this is serious. Take care of yourself, take charge and put you and your baby first, period.
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