Anterior Placenta


What is an Anterior Placenta?

The placenta arises wherever the fertilized egg implants into a woman’s uterus. There are four positions that the baby might be in during the mother’s 20-week scan and these can either be; anterior placenta, posterior, fundal, or left or right lateral.


anterior placenta


Placentas usually affix themselves in the posterior of the uterus but an anterior placenta implies that the baby is taking a backseat to the placenta, which means that the placenta is on the front wall of the uterus. Basically, if some relative or the woman’s husband perhaps approaches the woman’s belly and starts talking to the baby, then it will not be the baby that the person is talking to.

It is the placenta since the placenta is in front of the uterus between the belly button and the baby. This does not affect the growing baby’s development, since the baby is still cushioned safely by the placenta.

anterior posterior placenta

What Causes an Anterior Placenta?

There is no cause for an anterior placenta for it only means that the placenta settled on the front wall of the uterus with the baby behind it. It is common and mostly do not cause any complications at all.

What are the Symptoms of Anterior Placenta?

When someone has an anterior placenta and the baby’s movements are also cushioned due to this, it means that anyone with a placenta in this same type of position will most-likely feel the first movements a little longer compared to other positions.

However, if no first movements had been felt by the 24th week already, the mother should probably have it checked for fetal assessment. Having an anterior placenta can also mean that fewer movements in the second trimester are felt, unlike if the position of the placenta was different.

Movements will only be felt down low and to the sides. The care provider might also take a while to find the baby’s heartbeat with the use of a handheld doppler in the first or the second trimester. Some women panic especially if the waiting is too long or sometimes no heartbeat had been found at all and later assume the worst scenarios in their mind.


What are the Risks of Having an Anterior Placenta?

Having an anterior placenta is not risky to one’s health despite some inconvenience. The mother may not feel the baby’s movements right away or the baby’s heartbeat on her own by the use of a fetoscope because of the position but all is fine.

Mothers with an anterior placenta on a fetal position will have a greater chance of posterior presentation which means that the baby’s head is down below and is facing the mom’s front. It may be harder to know the position of the baby but if this is the case, it does not always mean that the baby will be in occiput posterior position more often if exercises are done along with a healthy lifestyle.

If abdominal tone is loosened, it will allow the baby to face the mother’s back instead of facing the placenta. A gentle Rebozo sifting can be of use to help the baby be interior. It should be done on a regular basis. A number of women with an anterior placenta can still deliver vaginally, instead of the fear of having a cesarean section.

However, if the anterior placenta is lying very low in the uterus, it might partly or completely block off the cervix and this condition is referred to as placenta previa. By then, cesarean will be necessary. But then again, the placenta travels frequently around in the uterus during pregnancy which means that there is still a chance that the placenta that is lying low will move into the upper part and then the mother will safely deliver the baby in time.

Management

Since pregnant women mostly become terrified once they don’t hear any heartbeat or just feel a few movements, it is better to get a quick ultrasound to hear and see the baby instead of stressing out and resorting into panic.

A good way to manage the placenta is to take care of it by eating greens, food rich in protein that are easy to digest and salt to taste, eating food that contains “smart” fats rather than those that has fried fats or corn oil. Another way of taking care of the placenta is to start daily inversions or gentle exercises and avoiding alcohol, smoking, and drugs that could harm both the placenta and the baby.


References:

  • Anterior Placenta at http://spinningbabies.com/learn-more/baby-positions/anterior-placenta/
  • http://www.countthekicks.org.uk/pregnancy-information/what-is-an-anterior-placenta-and-what-does-this-mean-for-baby-movement/
  • http://www.motherrisingbirth.com/2012/08/anterior-placenta.html
  • Reiter, R. J.; Tan, D. X.; Korkmaz, A.; Rosales-Corral, S. A. (2013). “Melatonin and stable circadian rhythms optimize maternal, placental and fetal physiology”. Human Reproduction Update 20 (2): 293–307.
  • Pillitteri, Adele (2009). Maternal and Child Health Nursing: Care of the Childbearing and Childrearing Family. Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. 202.
  • Hall, Arthur C. Guyton, John E. (2005). Textbook of medical physiology (11th ed.). Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders. pp. 1032–1033.

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