If I have a placenta praevia, do I have to be confined to bed in hospital until I have the baby?

Twenty years ago, hospital wards were full of women waiting for weeks until delivery because their placenta was thought to be ''low lying'' or they had suffered some vaginal bleeding. Nowadays, we can be very accurate about determining exactly where the placenta is by ultrasound scanning. If your placenta is ''central'', ie covering the cervix and you have suffered fresh bleeding, then you will probably be kept in hospital under close observation with a iv (intravenous) drip and bloody ready if necessary. But luckily most women with a low lying placenta do not have one that is actually covering the cervix, and if you have not had any bleeding and your doctors are in agreement, you can normally stay out of hospital. It is, of course, important to avoid intercourse as this may cause some bleeding to start.
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