Paloma Faith has opened up about her experience of being pregnant in a pandemic.
The singer, 39, is currently pregnant with her second child and shared an image of her growing bump as she detailed her latest scan appointment, calling the situation with the coronavirus pandemic “terrifying” while offering praise for hardworking NHS staff.
Faith, who announced her pregnancy last year following six rounds of IVF treatment, explained how fearful she was about attending her scan at hospital during lockdown.
“Going into the hospital feels like a risk,” she wrote, before sharing the precautions she takes to try to keep herself safe.
“I wear a visor and two masks and open every door with an anti-bac wipe,” she continued. “I must look OCD but I think it’s worth it.”
The star also has a routine she adheres to after returning home from every hospital visit.
“When I get home from there I put all my clothes in the laundry and spray my coat with antibacterial spray,” she wrote. “Wash my hands and face. These are the times we are living in.”
Faith also gave an update on the pregnancy complication, placenta pravia (low-lying placenta), with which she has been diagnosed.
“The placenta is still previa but baby doing ok,” she wrote.
Watch: Paloma Faith reveals she is pregnant with her second child after undergoing IVF.
The Lullaby singer previously revealed she has placenta previa in an emotional Instagram post, in which she also discussed the possibility she could be suffering from gestational diabetes as well.
“I had booked to go to a cottage in the country four hours outside of London during the Xmas holiday, but due to my panic about getting Covid and the potential double act of gestational diabetes and placenta previa, I decided to stay home to be near the hospital I know,” she wrote.
“It’s a fine line between trying to continue life and juggling the trauma of my previous birth experience and the panic I face negotiating this one.”
Read more: Lucy Mecklenburgh reveals how putting on four stone in pregnancy changed her relationship with her body
What is placenta previa?
Placenta previa, occurs when the placenta is positioned low down in the womb, near to or covering part or all of the cervix during the last months of pregnancy.
This affects around one in every 200 births, according to the NHS, but in most cases the cervix is not completely covered.
“Usually, the placenta would attach to the top or side of the uterus rather than low down in the uterus and blocking the baby’s way out of the womb,” explains Dr Daniel Cichi, from Doctor-4-U.
While the exact cause isn’t fully understood, Dr Cichi says there are certain risk factors for developing a low lying placenta, such as having a large placenta or unusual positioning of the baby (for example, if the baby is lying horizontally or is breech).
“Having previously had a caesarean or other surgery that has left scarring on the uterus can also be a risk factor, as well as carrying twins or more babies, being a smoker, being older, and if you’ve had placenta previa in the past there is a risk that this can happen again in future pregnancies,” Dr Cichi continues.
Vaginal bleeding is the main symptom of placenta previa and this bleeding may be severe and possibly life-threatening, so the main treatment is managing this bleeding.
“If the bleeding doesn’t stop then emergency treatment is required and the baby will need to be delivered by caesarean,” Dr Cichi explains.
“Your healthcare provider will try to ensure that you get as close to your due date as possible, but in some cases, the baby may need to be delivered early.”
If you have placenta previa and you’re not bleeding, you will be advised to rest and avoid doing anything which could cause bleeding.
According to Dr Cichi not all cases of placenta previa lead to a caesarean delivery.
“The placenta can be low lying but not cover the exit of the womb and so a vaginal delivery may be possible,” he explains.
If you get a diagnosis of placenta previa it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and rest if this is what is required, and if you do get any bleeding you should seek emergency medical care.