Placenta possibly blocking birth canel

Just had my 20 week scan this morning to tell me they think the placenta is low and blocking the birth canal, had two people look at scan and neither was completely sure so booked me in for another scan at 32 weeks. I know I should be happy that baby is ok but I can only seem to focus in negative, had Ivf to get to this stage and its been a long and hard process. I'm worried if I have a section I won't be able to do as much and this will be planned in early so baby will be smaller so may have to stay in hospital or I go into labour and they said that this will be very dangerous for me and the baby. If anyone has been through something similar any help would be appreciated, apparently only happens to 5% of women.

15 Replies

Hi, this hasn't happened to me but the placenta may well move still hence why they've scheduled another scan and lucky you you'll get to see baby again then 😊. It is dangerous if u were to deliver naturally because the placenta would deliver first leaving baby with no life support inside u. A c section would only b a couple of weeks early so baby wouldn't b much smaller. Try not to worry (easier said than done I know). Trust me you're missing nothing with a natural birth and recovery can b just as long, I had a third degree tear from labour!! If your Drs know about it they'll look after you and keep an eye, you'll b just fine xxx

Thank you for your reply, I've read a few support groups with ladies asking the same questions which has put my mind at rest a little bit. Just really got me down after everything I've been though to get to this point it just really scared me x

Hi there , as the other person said there's a very good chance your placenta will move up before then but if it doesn't your baby will be delivered by c section and everything should be fine.

This is called placenta praevia, I had a similar condition with my first born called vasa praevia however they didn't spot it at my 20 week scan so as a result of this my baby died during labour. I don't mean to scare you but they have spotted it and will monitor you more closely now and that's definately a good thing.

Hope everything goes smoothly for you x

Gosh I'm so sorry to hear that but thank you for sharing, I am feeling more positive now I've got my head round it x

Hi There, I had exactly this with my first pregnancy, except it wasn't picked up with me until I had an extra scan around week 30 because a midwife had mismeasured me so I was coming up small.

They monitored me closely (in case it moved) and I was booked in for a section at 38 weeks. My placenta had actually done the opposite, in early scans it was high in a good position, so thank goodness I had that extra scan! I was distraught when I found out, I had drawn up my birth plan and everything. It actually turned out to be a really positive experience.

He was a healthy 7 lb 14 oz and I was only in hospital for 2 nights before being discharged.

I hope that all goes well for you And I hope you have an equally positive experience.


Thank you for sharing, I think just after everything I've been through with ivf for once everything was going well and I've seen this as a bigger negative then it actually is. How many weeks were you when you had section as baby was a really good weight x

I was 39 weeks when I had the section, It was amazing, after a matter of seconds we heard him cry and then he was in my arms.

They did talk about admitting me for the last two weeks for bed rest (to make sure I wasn't going off on long walks or climbing ladders) and so I was on site in case anything happened early, but I managed to stay at home in my own bed until the surgery.

I can only imagine all you have been through with ivf, just try to remember you'll have your little bundle in your arms at the end of it....That's when the real fun starts xxx

Oh that's good as I expected it to be quite early, all online with similar to me have gone in about 37 weeks. I know its full term hut just feel it's my job to grow baba for as long as it needs x

This happened to me too - I was rescanned at 34 weeks and the placenta had moved upwards. Try not to worry (easier said than done I know) but at least it has been picked up on and you are being monitored for any issues down the line. Good luck xxx

Thank you glad you hear yours moved fingers crossed mine will but yes I'm glad they found it as I've read how scary it could be if they hadn't x

Half of the mums in my ante natal group were given extra scans because of low lying placentas. None of them had placenta praevia by delivery time. Your placenta's doesn't move, as such, but throughout pregnancy as your uterus stretches it usually lengthens downwards, stretching below the point where your placenta's is attached. For some people where the placenta is attached very close to or over the cervix then a vaginal delivery would be dangerous, but as most uterus es lengthen mostly in the lower part the concern usually passes. It is most likely that you will be fine for a vaginal delivery. Other people's birth experiences are not yours and how 'bad' they are is not always helpful to know. Many people feel positive and empowered even after a caesarean birth, and others can feel elated and empowered following a vaginal delivery. Go for what you want, be guided by what is safe, and explain what is important to you so that whatever happens the important elements of your birth can be incorporated.

Good luck.


I was diagnosed with the same thing (now in week 31), and also had a bit of a panic on! It is a comparatively rare complication, as you've pointed out, but actually I discovered that two other women I know had had it, and had caesareans as a result . Both ladies had lovely healthy babies. As for the caesarean itself, some women recover surprisingly quickly. A caesarean may seem daunting and there are horror stories all over the internet, but plenty of people opt to take it over natural birth when given the choice (another pregnant lady I know is in this position). In any case a friend of mine who has had one said the most annoying thing about it was that getting her flat tummy back was the worst thing about it!

I personally have not had any difficulties so far (she says, clinging onto wood like mad).

My advice is to

-take extra special care of you and your bump

-don't be afraid to go to/call your labour ward if you have any concerns at all! To begin with I was reluctant to do so, not wanting to bother them, but my husband told the midwife who set me straight. The hospital would much rather deal with a non-issue than have something go wrong because you didn't dare call. I went to the labour ward over a pain that I suspect now was probably trapped wind and they were absolutely lovely about it, and very emphatic that I go back if I was worried again.

Fingers crossed our placentas will move any way, and if not it will all go smoothly.

Good luck and take care of yourself!

Aww thank you for replying glad I'm not the only one who panicked. If you don't mind me asking I've read online it says many people were told not to have sex as could cause bleeding. They asked me if ive had any bleeding which I haven't luckily. Were you told not to have sex? I only saw the sonographer and didn't say anything to me, been thinking about ringing midwife but feel a bit stupid x

I was told to be cautious when having sex, but I sincerely urge you to talk to your midwife for clarification. Don't feel stupid. The sonographer would normally have mentioned something about this to you so its only wise that you get more informed.

Hi there. I am almost 28 weeks and I have a low lying placenta. I have been booked in for a scan at 32 weeks. Its not a bother, in most cases its cleared by the time your scanned again and worst case scenario you will have a c-section. I was advised that sometimes women with low/blocking placentas have a small risk of experiencing painless bleeding. In which case you would go to hospital but the likelihood is that you would be put on bed rest etc. As everyone has said now its been found its in your notes, always carry your notes with you. For now since you have a long time until your next scan try to relax and enjoy! xxx

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