Being pregnant is hard, even if you're a Kardashian. On top of the bloating, nausea, and random mood swings, there's the risk of facing complications. For Kim Kardashian, the roadblock in question was placenta accreta, a rare and serious condition where the placenta intrudes into the wall of the uterus. Known side effects include heavy bleeding and infection, which subsequently can cause issues for future pregnancies.
"Typically, when you deliver a baby, the placenta easily and naturally separates from the uterus," says New York-based gynecologist Dr. Alyssa Dweck, MD, author of The Complete A to Z for Your V. "Placenta accreta makes it much more difficult to remove the placenta."
According to Dr. Dweck, the answer is no—placenta accreta is not hereditary. "The main risk factor is prior uterine surgery, including a c-section. Other risks include advanced maternal age (over 35), uterine abnormalities, and the location of the placenta once pregnant."
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Unfortunately, it's impossible to know whether you have placenta accreta until you're already pregnant and have a placenta, but there is one precautionary measure that can be taken. "Consider a natural delivery for your first or second child, so you don't increase the risk of this type of problem with subsequent pregnancies," says Dr. Dweck.
Let's hope the Kardashian-Jenner clan heeds her advice.