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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    133

    Amniocentesis :(

    Have any of you had an amniocentesis done? I have placenta previa (complete, where my placenta is covering my cervix). I'm at almost 33 weeks and it hasn't budged. I have known that there is a good possibility of having a c section around 37 weeks if it doesn't move. I didn't know however, until my OB informed me today, that they will do an amniocentesis before to make sure the baby's lungs are mature. I am already anxious about having a c section. The thought of a giant needle in my belly freaks me out! Does it hurt? Can I tell them I don't want it done? Are there other options? Does anyone have any experiences to share, good or bad? Much of the info I've read thus far has pertained more to testing early in the second trimester for genetic disorders. If I'm well into my third and the baby is bigger, is there a better chance of them poking him with a needle? Are the risks the same this far into the pregnancy? I had really normal, uncomplicated pregnancies and fairly easy vaginal births with my first two little guys. Sorry for the stressed out crazy rant, I'm just really nervous and hormonal!

    Thanks!
    Married to Matthew
    Mommy to Carter Benjamin (9) and Griffin Oliver (3) and Emmett Nicholas (brand new)

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,532
    My aunt had an amnio done because she was considered high risk of having a baby with an abnormality (she was an older mum - early 40s). I believe there is roughly a 1% chance of miscarriage when having an amnio. Sadly, this happened to her and she miscarried at twenty weeks. Personally, I'd be freaked out by the idea, too. However, I'm not a medical professional. Definitely discuss your concerns with your doctor and make sure he/she explains everything very clearly to you and lets you know what your options are. Hopefully Blade will weigh in on this thread!
    TTC #1

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  3. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Adelaide Australia
    Posts
    575
    Share your concerns with your doctor and they are sure to address your fears and explain the risks, if you get nervous or upset it can help to write out your questions and bring them into the appointment. At 37 weeks if an amnio did trigger labour your baby is full term so they'd just do the c-section then. I had two sections and they were both absolutely fine, but I've never been in labour or had a normal birth to compare them with. Good luck!
    Thrilled to be mother to @gnes Ei1ish Madeline and Fe1icity Bridget Be@trice

    If we'd had boys the list was: Godfrey, Seamus, Alexander, Michael, Felix, Peter, Ignatius & Sebastian.

  4. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    4,514
    Hi amers:

    Firstly, I know you are taking this very seriously, but a complete previa is an extremely serious, lifethreatening condition. In the past, and in resource-poor settings across the globe today, 100% of babies died with a complete placenta previa, and a very substantial fraction of the mothers did too.

    For those who are curious, placenta previa is a condition where the placenta implants & grows over the mouth of the cervix, blocking the baby's exit from the womb. If the woman actually goes into labor and the baby descends, it will either a) get stuck, permanently stuck, and both will die or b) push through the placenta, ripping it in half, provoking exsanguination of the baby (its death) and a very substantial hemorrhage (possibly death) in the mother.

    Luckily, of course, the condition is diagnosed antenatally, and many resolve as the uterus grows. Because of the very severe and very real risk of hemorrhage and death, YOU WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO GO INTO LABOR. Not a twinge of labor signs, not a single contraction. Any contraction will push the baby up against the placenta and possibly provoke damage. Since 37 weeks is the earliest one is considered full-term, that is when the c-section will be scheduled.

    The amniocentesis is done to check for a particular protein floating around in the fluid which is a marker of mature lungs. As respiratory complications are unfortunately common and severe in the premature population (due to a lack of surfactant in the lungs and underdeveloped pulmonary vascular physiology), if your baby has not started making this protein, you will be given steroid shots before delivery (these hasten lung maturity).

    "Miscarriage" of a 37-week baby is birth! The risks you have read about (usually 1/300 occurrence of pregnancy loss in the first trimester) apply to early-term babies.

    As to the procedure itself: the obstetrician holds an ultrasound probe assessing where the biggest pocket of amniotic fluid is. Under direct visualization, the hollow needle is introduced which is attached to a syringe; fluid is drawn out. It takes less than 10 minutes. Your skin is first numbed with a wheal of local anesthetic, usually lidocaine. You feel the small stick of the very small local anesthetic needle, and many people think the anesthetic burns a bit while injected, but you quickly numb up. When the amniocentesis needle is introduced all you feel is pressure, much like when you receive stitches (if you ever have).
    Blade, MD

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  5. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    831
    I agree with norbury about sharing your concerns with your doctor.

    It seems odd to me that they would do one so late in your pregnancy at 37 weeks the baby is considered full term, not pre-mature, and the lungs should be pretty much fully developed. I know I've read that if a woman is experiencing pre-term labour they often give a steroid shot to help mature the lungs in preparation for life outside the womb.
    Leo Sebastian l Ronan Alexander

    current loves
    Felix l Ché l Omri l Fern l Celia l Orla


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