Placental Insufficiency

Placental Insufficiency or Utero-placental insufficiency is the condition in which the blood flow to the placenta is insufficient. As a result the fetus does not receive enough oxygen and nutrients from the mother. This may result in poor growth of the fetus or abnormal heart rate that can be monitored electronically.


Placental insufficiency may be caused due to pregnancy problems or maternal lifestyle such as

  • Diabetes
  • Pregnancy extending beyond due date
  • High blood pressure during pregnancy
  • Risk of mother getting blood clots
  • Smoking
  • Cocaine Intoxication


A woman with placental insufficiency does not show any noticeable symptoms


During prenatal visits, your health care provider will measure the size of the uterus. If the growth seems abnormal an ultrasound is recommended. This would help assess the baby’s size and growth and determines the position and size of the placenta. In case of a problem, labor may be induces. You may be asked to keep a record of the baby’s movements.


In case of pregnancy less than 37 weeks or reduced stress for the baby your doctor may decide to wait. This might require you to get increased rest. You will be closely monitored to make sure your baby is doing well. Controlling 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 doctor may  induce labor, or  need a caesarian delivery.


Regular prenatal visits to your health care provider would ensure that you are healthy as possible during the pregnancy.

Avoiding smoking, alcohol, and other illicit drugs can prevent placental insufficiency and other pregnancy complications.

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