A low lying placenta is not uncommon – but it can cause worries for any pregnant woman. So what is it, will the baby be ok, and can it cause abdominal pain or bleeding?
What is a placenta?
The placenta is a flat, rounded organ that grows on the wall of the uterus during pregnancy. The placenta is connected directly to the mother’s uterine wall and connected to the baby via the umbilical cord.
The placenta serves as a channeling point between mother and baby – exchanging nutrients, blood, waste and gas between the two, so the baby can grow properly during the pregnancy.
Because the placenta takes the place of many of the baby’s vital functions, including breathing, the placenta needs to remain intact throughout the labor and delivery, so that the baby can survive the journey to the outside world.
Once the mother gives birth, the placenta is no longer needed, so it is passed out after the baby, usually fairly painlessly.