Rare pregnancy condition placenta accreta awareness call

  • 15 September 2017
  • From the section North West Wales

A woman who suffered a life-threatening pregnancy complication has called for more awareness of the condition.

Ceri Bostock, who lives near Penygroes, Gwynedd had placenta accreta during her pregnancy with her third child, Shari Fflur, born four months ago.

It affects about one in every 6,000 pregnancies, when all or part of the placenta attaches to the muscular layer of the uterine wall.

Ms Bostock was surrounded by more than 20 medics during Shari’s birth.

Women who have previously had a caesarean section have a higher risk of developing placenta accreta, according to the NHS and Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.

Shari was born healthy, but Ms Bostock told S4C’s Newyddion 9 programme she and her partner, Dyfed Thomas, struggled to enjoy the pregnancy and found it traumatic.

Because of the risks involved, Ms Bostock wrote a will and letters to her loved ones while in hospital for four weeks before the birth.

Ms Bostock said she was only diagnosed when a locum doctor working at Bangor’s Ysbyty Gwynedd for a week noticed the complication on her scan – though she has praised all the care she received.

The health board said all pregnant women who book for maternity care in north Wales are offered an anomaly scan at 20 weeks and may be offered additional scans.

“I feel like I’ve got a guardian angel or something, for that locum to be there that week,” Ms Bostock said.

“Not everybody’s so lucky to get it diagnosed, because it’s so hard to get diagnosed, even to the last day before I was going in they said ‘we don’t know how bad it is until we get in there so we’re prepared for the worst but we’ll hope for the best’.”

She called for awareness to be raised about the condition, so expectant mothers have information before opting for a caesarean.

“Initially I wanted to forget about it and put it behind us, but I know there are so many women out there that have lost their lives or been very ill afterwards due to it not being diagnosed, I feel I have a responsibility to talk about it.

“The more people who talk about it the better. The more people that know about it, the higher the chance that it will get diagnosed.”

The Welsh Government said it was aware of the condition and recognised the importance of prompt clinical management in line with guidelines.

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