Placental retention: when the placenta does not come out

When there are missing pieces of placenta
After giving birth, while holding the baby for the first time, the doctor examines the placenta to make sure it is complete. Sometimes, there could be missing pieces of the placenta. "So, with an ultrasound machine, we will try to notice the placenta in the uterus. If so, we will take her to the operating room for curettage,"says Dr. Morin. This procedure will delay breastfeeding, but ensures a safe return home.
When you do not notice that there are missing pieces of placenta

When the doctor or midwife examines the placenta after delivery, it may happen that they do not notice that there is a missing piece. Thus, the woman returns home, but her bleeding resumes. "When they come back to see us, sometimes four weeks later, and they still bleed a lot, we then see that there remains a piece of placenta inside the uterus," explains the head of the obstetrics and gynecology department. One or two curettages will be necessary for the patient to return to her normal condition. If the bleeding is very strong, a blood transfusion may be necessary.
Signs to watch for

Of course, in the best of all worlds, everything is regulated at delivery, which would mean that your placenta and all its pieces are well and truly released during the birth of your baby. On the other hand, since it may happen that we do not notice a missing end to the placenta, here are some clinical signs that should worry you:
  • A few days after your delivery, the bleeding is as abundant as the first day. It is bright red with clots.
  • You have pains in the lower abdomen, at the level of the uterus.
  • You have a slight fever.
Do you think you might have placental retention? Contact your doctor or midwife.
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