You can't directly prevent placental abruption, but you can decrease certain risk factors that make placental abruption more likely. For example, don't smoke or use illegal drugs, such as cocaine. If you have high blood pressure, work with your health care provider to control the condition.

If you've had any kind of abdominal trauma — from an auto accident, fall or other injury — seek immediate medical help because of the increased risk of placental abruption and other complications.

If you've had a placental abruption and are planning another pregnancy, talk to your health care provider to see if there are any ways you might be able to reduce the risk of another abruption before conceiving again. Expect your health care provider to carefully monitor your condition throughout the pregnancy.

Dec. 13, 2014