The whole world grieved with model and cookbook author Chrissy Teigen and John Legend when they lost their baby son, Jack, earlier this month.
Chrissy was hospitalised for a couple of days before baby Jack’s death to get blood transfusions in the hope of saving him. “We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough,” she wrote on Instagram and Twitter when she shared the devastating news of her pregnancy loss on 1 October.
She has sinced opened up about how partial placenta abruption led to her pregnancy loss.
In a touching essay about her September pregnancy loss she says that she was diagnosed with a partial placenta abruption 20 weeks into her pregnancy.
She revealed she “always had placenta problems” and had to deliver her son Miles (2) a month early, but “this was my first abruption” with their son, Jack.
“In bed, I bled and bled, lightly but all day, changing my own diapers every couple of hours when the blood got uncomfortable to lay in. I actually became an adult diaper expert for my own personal entertainment.”
She was told that her baby boy “wouldn’t survive” despite the many blood transfusions – and she may not either.
So what exactly is placenta abruption?
A placental abruption causes the placenta to partially or completely separate from your uterus before your baby is born. This condition can be dangerous for both you and your baby. “The detached areas of the placenta are unable to deliver oxygen and nutrients to your baby, who is then dependent on the remaining placental unit, which may or may not compensate for the loss in function,” explains obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Johann Möller.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to stop a detaching placenta, and no way to reattach it. This means your baby will have to be delivered if the placenta is completely separated.
According to March of Dimes, about 1 in 100 pregnant women have placental abruption. While this is most common in the third trimester, a placental abruption can happen any time after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Mild cases (if only a very small part of the placenta separates from the uterus wall), may cause fewer problems and usually isn’t dangerous. But, with severe placental abruption, your baby is at a higher risk for growth problems, premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and stillbirth (when a baby dies in your womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy).
ALSO SEE: 3 Placenta problems explained
Who is at risk of placental abruption?
- Moms with high blood pressure
- Moms with small babies for their gestational age
- First trimester drug users
- Moms with a history of previous abruption
- Moms over 35
- Moms with abnormalities in the uterus.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.