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12.7.11

Vasa Praevia


Some of you may be aware that I had problems during my labour with Harry. I am not yet ready to write my birth plan but would like to somehow share with you what happened. 
I suffered with the condition Vasa Praevia. Sadly it was undetected until I was 10cm and by chance my amazing midwife decided to examine me due to the fact that my waters failed to rupture and that I felt that despite the pushing, nothing was happening.

As you read this please bare in mind just how lucky I am and the reason I am suffering from birth trauma. 

Yes I am lucky to have a healthy boy who I was able to bring home but the "what if's" are what plagues us right now. I am suffering with flashbacks and each time I have a flashback it ends the wrong way and tragically.

The following information is from www.vasapraevia.co.uk

WHAT IS VASA PRAEVIA?
• Vasa praevia occurs when one or more of the baby’s placental or umbilical blood vessels cross the entrance to the birth canal beneath the baby.
• When the cervix dilates or the membranes rupture, the unprotected vessels can tear, causing rapid foetal haemorrhage.
• When the baby drops into the pelvis, the vessels can become compressed, compromising the baby’s blood supply and causing oxygen deprivation.

OCCURRENCE  
• Vasa praevia occurs in 1:2,500 births. The foetal mortality rate is estimated to be as high as 95% if the condition is not prenatally diagnosed.
WARNING SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
• Vasa praevia may present itself with the sudden onset of painless vaginal bleeding in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.
• Vasa praevia may also occur without symptoms, so look for risk groups too.

RISK GROUPS
• Women with painless bleeding (at any stage in pregnancy)
• Women with low-lying placenta or placenta praevia
 • Women with bi-lobed or succenturiate lobed placenta
• Women with velamentous insertion of the cord
• In-vitro fertilization pregnancies
• Multiple pregnancies
• History of uterine surgery, previous C-section or D&C.

DIAGNOSIS
• Diagnosis of vasa praevia is made by ultrasound using colour Doppler.
• During a fi rst trimester trans-abdominal ultrasound scan, if the placenta is in the upper part of the uterus and the umbilical cord is inserted centrally with no placental lobes, it is unlikely that further screening will be necessary.
• In all cases where the placenta is low lying and/or where the cord insertion is not central these cases must be referred for further diagnostic testing.
• At the 20 week anomaly scan, women in risk groups should be reviewed again to find the exact site of the cord insertion. If risks are still present or there are warning signs, a trans-vaginal ultrasound scan using colour Doppler should be carried out.
• UK Vasa Praevia believes that all women in risk groups should be scanned for vasa praevia.
• Recent studies have shown that when vasa praevia is prenatally diagnosed, and a management plan is observed, the infant survival rate is 100% (with no other congenital defects).

I have never felt so lucky. And never more felt like there is someone looking after me and my boys.