BACK TOTOP Browse A-ZSearchBrowse A-ZABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0-9 E-mail FormEmail ResultsName:Email address:Recipients Name:Recipients address:Message: Print-FriendlyBookmarksbookmarks-menuPlacental insufficiencyPlacental dysfunction; Uteroplacental vascular insufficiency; OligohydramniosThe placenta is the link between you and your baby. When the placenta does not work as well as it should, your baby can get less oxygen and nutrients from you. As a result, your baby may:Not grow well Show signs of fetal stress (this means the baby's heart does not work normally) Have a harder time during labor Causes The placenta may not work well, either due to pregnancy problems or social habits. These may include: Diabetes DiabetesDiabetes is a long-term (chronic) disease in which the body cannot regulate the amount of sugar in the blood.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Going past your due date Going past your due date Most pregnancies last 37 to 42 weeks, but some take longer. If your pregnancy lasts more than 42 weeks, it is called post-term (past due). This hap...Read Article Now Book Mark Article High blood pressure during pregnancy (called preeclampsia) PreeclampsiaPreeclampsia is high blood pressure and signs of liver or kidney damage that occur in women after the 20th week of pregnancy. While rare, preeclamps...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Medical conditions that increase the mother's chances of blood clots Smoking Taking cocaine or other drugs AnemiaCertain medicines can also increase the risk for placental insufficiency.In some cases, the placenta:May have an abnormal shape May not grow big enough (more likely if you are carrying twins or other multiples) Does not attach correctly to the surface of the womb Breaks away from the surface of the womb or bleeds prematurely Symptoms A woman with placental insufficiency usually does not have any symptoms. However, certain diseases, such as preeclampsia, which can be symptomatic, can cause placental insufficiency. Exams and Tests Your health care provider will measure the size of your growing womb (uterus) at each visit, starting about halfway through your pregnancy.If your uterus is not growing as expected, a pregnancy ultrasound will be done. This test will measure your baby's size and growth, and assess the size and placement of the placenta.Pregnancy ultrasoundA pregnancy ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to create a picture of how a baby is developing in the womb. It is also used to chec...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Other times, problems with the placenta or your baby's growth may be found on a routine ultrasound that is done during your pregnancy.Either way, your provider will order tests to check how your baby is doing. The tests may show that your baby is active and healthy, and the amount of amniotic fluid is normal. Or, these tests can show that the baby is having problems.You may be asked to keep a daily record of how often your baby moves or kicks. Treatment The next steps your provider will take depend on:The results of tests Your due date Other problems that may be present, such as high blood pressure or diabetes If your pregnancy is less than 37 weeks and the tests show that your baby is not under too much stress, your provider may decide to wait longer. Sometimes you may need to get more rest. You will have tests often to make sure your baby is doing well. Treating high blood pressure or diabetes may also help improve the baby's growth.If your pregnancy is over 37 weeks or tests show your baby is not doing well, your provider may want to deliver your baby. Labor may be induced (you will be given medicine to make labor start), or you may need a cesarean delivery (C-section).Cesarean delivery (C-section)A C-section is the delivery of a baby by making an opening in the mother's lower belly area. It is also called a cesarean delivery.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Outlook (Prognosis) Problems with the placenta can affect the developing baby's growth. The baby cannot grow and develop normally in the womb if it does not get enough oxygen and nutrients. Possible Complications Complications associated with placental insufficiency may include:Preeclampsia PreeclampsiaPreeclampsia is high blood pressure and signs of liver or kidney damage that occur in women after the 20th week of pregnancy. While rare, preeclamps...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Preterm labor Preterm laborLabor that begins before week 37 is called "preterm" or "premature. " About 1 out of every 10 babies born in the United States is preterm. A preterm ...Read Article Now Book Mark Article Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) refers to the poor growth of a baby while in the mother's womb during pregnancy.ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Placental abruption or premature separation of the placenta Placental abruptionThe placenta connects the fetus (unborn baby) to the mother's uterus. It allows the baby to get nutrients, blood, and oxygen from the mother. It al...ImageRead Article Now Book Mark Article Decreased oxygen delivery to the baby at birth Increased risk for fetal loss Prevention Getting prenatal care early in pregnancy will help make sure that the mother is as healthy as possible during the pregnancy.Smoking, alcohol, and other recreational drugs can interfere with the baby's growth. Avoiding these substances may help prevent placental insufficiency and other pregnancy complications.Open ReferencesReferencesBenson AE, Branch DW. Collagen vascular diseases in pregnancy. In: Landon MB, Galan HL, Jauniaux ERM, et al, eds. Gabbe's Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 51.Lausman A, Kingdom J; Maternal Fetal Medicine Committee, et al. Intrauterine growth restriction: screening, diagnosis, and management. J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2013;35(8):741-748. PMID: 24007710 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24007710/.Rampersad R, Macones GA. Late- and postterm pregnancy. In: Landon MB, Galan HL, Jauniaux ERM, et al, eds. Gabbe's Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 29.Resnik R. Intrauterine growth restriction. In: Resnik R, Lockwood CJ, Moore TR, Greene MF, Copel JA, Silver RM, eds. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 47.AllVideoImagesTogAnatomy of a normal placenta - illustration The placenta provides the fetus with oxygen and nutrients and takes away waste such as carbon dioxide via the umbilical cord.Anatomy of a normal placentaillustrationPlacenta - illustration In the placenta, nutrients, wastes, and gases are exchanged between the mothers blood and the babys blood.PlacentaillustrationAnatomy of a normal placenta - illustration The placenta provides the fetus with oxygen and nutrients and takes away waste such as carbon dioxide via the umbilical cord.Anatomy of a normal placentaillustrationPlacenta - illustration In the placenta, nutrients, wastes, and gases are exchanged between the mothers blood and the babys blood.PlacentaillustrationRelated Information Rh incompatibility(Condition) Review Date: 12/2/2020 Reviewed By: LaQuita Martinez, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Emory Johns Creek Hospital, Alpharetta, GA. 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