Your Health: Knowing the risk of birth complications

Health Reports

Four million women in the U.S. give birth each year.

50,000 of these women face life threatening complications that leave them wounded, weakened, traumatized and unable to have more children.

Now, one woman is on a mission to make sure that expectant moms know the risk of the complication that almost took her life.

Three beautiful and perfect little girls. Not much frightens these three sisters, but their mom and dad had the scare of their lives after little Eva’s birth.

“She was out and she was healthy and then they couldn’t get the placenta out. I started bleeding profusely, so much that they couldn’t stop it,” said Tonya Trostel, Mother.

Tonya was suffering from a form of placenta accreta.

“Placenta accreta is when the placenta implants too far into the wall of the uterus,” said Alison Cowan, MD, UC Health Medical Center of the Rockies.

In pregnancy, the placenta develops inside of the uterus and provides oxygen and nutrition to the baby.

“The baby delivers first and then we clamp and cut the cord and then the second step is to deliver the placenta,” said Dr. Cowan.

In Tonya’s case, her placenta had invaded her uterine wall which prevented it from being delivered.

“People can bleed very rapidly and require a transfusion,” said Dr. Cowan.

Tonya lost eleven units of blood. Doctors performed an emergency hysterectomy to save her life. The number one risk factor for placenta accreta prior c-sections.

“If we can avoid the first c-section, we’re going to give that woman so much more protection for the rest of her life,” said Dr. Cowan.

Tonya’s oldest baby was delievered c-section. Now Tonya is on a mission to make moms aware of the risk.

“I can’t have more children, but I need to do something to make this worth it and to make what I went through worth it,” said Trostel.

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