**note** My apologies for the lack of a baby in the picture. None of the ones I drew actually looked like a fetus, so I gave up.
Placenta previa is a very dangerous condition for both the mother and the baby. It occurs when the placenta covers the cervix — causing either complete previa or partial previa (fairly self explanatory) — or when the placenta is very close to the cervix, causing marginal previa. A recent study published in AJOG found that, in cases of marginal previa, at least two-thirds of women with a placenta farther than 10 millimeters were able deliver vaginally without increased risk of hemorrhage. The study is very small, though, and I would have liked to see a third group with normal placentas as a control. In any case, when it comes to complete or partial previa, good outcomes for both infant and mother depend on prenatal diagnosis and cesarean delivery before the membranes rupture. If not, they are at risk for some very nasty complications, including preterm delivery, blood clots, infection, placental abruption, hemorrhage of both the fetus and the mother, shock, and death. Placenta previa is not a joke.
This is why it is unconscionable for Unhindered Living to continue publishing the page Handling Placenta Previa At Home.
A few choice bits:
It seems like she realizes it’s terrible advice, because she’s qualifying every other statement, yet she still gives it! Placenta previa is NOT a “variation of normal,” so if you are diagnosed and it continues late in your pregnancy, please do not consider that page as a justification for a home birth. **Note** An early diagnosis of placenta previa (with the anatomy scan, 20ish weeks) may resolve itself as the uterus grows, and if that is the case, you would not need a c-section for previa. However, this is something that should be taken care of between you and your doctor or midwife, not by taking advice from websites.