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Placenta Previa


Placenta previa is a condition in which your placenta grows near or over your cervix (opening of your uterus). The placenta forms during pregnancy and provides oxygen and nutrition to your unborn baby. The placenta also removes waste products from the fetus. Normally, your placenta grows in the upper part of your uterus. When your placenta grows near your cervix, it may block the opening to your vagina. You may have vaginal bleeding that could harm you and your unborn baby.



  • Tocolytics: Tocolytics are given to stop contractions if your baby is not ready to be born. Contractions are when the muscles of your uterus tighten and loosen.
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics may be given to help treat or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Antibiotics may be needed before you give birth if you have an infection in your uterus. You may also need antibiotics after your baby has been born.
  • Blood thinners: Blood thinners prevent clots from forming in your blood. They may be given if you are at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a condition in which clots form inside your blood vessels.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your obstetrician as directed:

You may need to return for repeat ultrasounds. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Manage placenta previa:

  • You may need to be on bedrest until your baby is born. Ask your healthcare provider which activities you may do while you are on bedrest.
  • Do not douche or have sex. These may cause bleeding.

Safety plan:

You will need to have a safety plan until your baby is born. Make sure you live, or are staying a short distance away from the hospital. You will also need to make sure someone is ready to take you to the hospital if needed.

Contact your obstetrician if:

  • You feel abdominal cramps, pressure, or tightening.
  • Your heart is beating faster than normal for you.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • You have any amount of bleeding from your vagina.
  • You are having severe abdominal pain or contractions.
  • You feel faint or too weak to stand up.
  • You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
  • You have chest pain when you take a deep breath or cough.
  • You cough up blood.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Placenta Previa (Discharge Care)

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.