The placenta is a nutrient-rich lifeline from mother to infant, so when it is compromised, the infant's growth can suffer.
Several types of placental problems can interfere with a baby's growth. One is placenta previa, in which the placenta fuses to the cervix, covering all or part of the opening. Even more common is placental abruption, in which the placenta starts separating from the uterine wall during the pregnancy, before delivery. Affecting about one percent of pregnancies, the condition can, in serious cases, reduce the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the baby.
Placental problems are often associated with preterm births and low birth weight.