Placenta Accreta: A Scary Pregnancy Complication

Although we like to talk about pregnancy and how it can be a wonderful time in a woman's life (and it can be! Really!). But if you have any pregnancy complications, it can also be a time of serious health issues for some women. It's not fair to talk about pregnancy and only mention the stretch marks and the baby registries and the maternity pants. We also have to dive deep into some of the harder stuff, like the scary health complications that can happen during pregnancy.

Because all mothers deserve to have their stories told about pregnancy, even when they are not “magical.”

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Image via Flickr/ Vanessa Porter

We tend to expect that everything will go smoothly during pregnancy, but it is okay to discuss some of the pregnancy complications. Hearing stories of celebrities can help, as well as other women going public with some of the issues they faced during pregnancy. For example, more women are sharing their stories of one of the scary pregnancy complications called placenta accreta, a condition that Kim Kardashian also reportedly had during pregnancy. 

During placenta accreta, the placenta actually acts like a tumor in a woman's body, growing and invading other places in the body it should not go. In very rare cases, the placenta can actually grow through the uterus and can be a life-threatening emergency. In most cases, a mother will have to undergo an emergency C-section, often early on in the pregnancy, so the baby is at risk with the health complications for preemies, such as breathing problems and stomach issues.

The surgery is risky for the mother too because the placenta and uterus can “fuse” together, making the risk of bleeding very real. 

{ MORE: Bleeding During Pregnancy: What's Normal? }

One woman explained that she actually had to have an entire hysterectomy and even a portion of her bladder had to be removed in order to save her life. 

The Stanford Medical School notes that accreta actually used to be very rarely seen in pregnant women, but it seems to be on the rise — and they don't really know why. But it is an example of how talking about a condition like accreta is important, because if you do happen to experience it, you can know that you are not alone. Normally, the placenta is literally your baby's lifeline, but during placenta accreta, the placenta just doesn't know when to stop. It just goes to show you that pregnancy complications can happen, no matter how “natural” pregnancy is — so we shouldn't be ashamed to talk about them. 

Have you experienced any pregnancy complications? 

What do you think?

Placenta Accreta: A Scary Pregnancy Complication

Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More

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