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Placental insufficiency is a complication of pregnancy in which the placenta cannot bring enough oxygen and nutrients to a baby growing in the womb. The placenta is the organ that develops during pregnancy to feed a developing baby.
See also: Intrauterine growth restriction
Certain medical conditions and habits in the mother can lead to placenta insufficiency. These include:
Certain medications can also increase the risk of placenta insufficiency.
In some cases, the placenta may be abnormally shaped or it may not grow big enough, especially if you are carrying twins or more. Placental insufficiency may also occur if the placenta does not attach correctly to the surface of the womb, or if it breaks away from this surface or bleeds.
Baschat AA, Galan HL, Ross MG, Gabbe SG. Intrauterine growth restriction. In: Gabbe SG, Niebyl JR, Simpson JL. Obstetrics: Normal and Problem Pregnancies. 5th ed. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone; 2007:chap.29.
Grivell RM, Wong L, Bhatia V. Regimens of fetal surveillance for impaired fetal growth. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009;(1):CD007113.
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