Are you first few weeks into your pregnancy and worried about all things related to your uterine health? Did you know that the state of the placenta and its position can affect your pregnancy? If you said yes, you might want to read our post here.
The placenta develops in the uterus with the help of tissues from both the mother and the fetus. It is the organ that provides the fetus with nutrients and oxygen. It also removes impurities from the fetal blood. The placenta positions itself on the uterine wall, and it is usually on either side or the top of the uterus. But in some cases, the position of the placenta may vary from the usual ones.
About Anterior Placenta:
An anterior placenta is a term that specifies the position of the placenta on the uterus’s front wall. The placenta begins to develop according to the position of the fertilized egg in the uterus. So, if the fertilized egg positions itself on the uterus’s front wall, then that’s where the placenta also develop
- An anterior placenta is quite common, and it poses no risk to the pregnancy or the fetus. However, in some cases, like a C-section, the placental position might make it difficult to deliver the baby.
- Anterior location of the placenta acts as a barrier between your uterus and your baby. Women with anterior placenta find it difficult to feel their baby’s movements several weeks into the pregnancy. Even during the second trimester, anterior placenta cushions the baby’s movements well, and women do not feel the baby’s kicks often.
- As the pregnancy progresses, the anterior placenta may change positions or take a more posterior position. It may or may not happen.
[ Read: Placental Lakes During Pregnancy ]
Complications Arising From Anterior Placenta:
If women with low anterior placenta have to go through a C-section, the placental position may at times pose a problem.
- First, the placenta may be blocking the area where the doctor needs to make the incisions for the baby’s delivery. To resolve the problem, doctors may utilize ultrasound scans to locate the best position for the incision.
- Second and rarer, for women who have undergone caesarean section previously, the placenta may cover the old scar and at times even penetrate the uterine wall. In such cases, doctors may perform ultrasound scans before the delivery time to plan the best course of the surgery.
Routine ultrasound scans reveal any problem with the placenta positions. It helps doctors plan ahead for any complications. If the anterior placenta is low, then the doctors might perform another scan later to check if the placenta moves upward. It will typically occur for all cases of low placental positions. The low-lying placenta often moves upward as the uterus grows.
[ Read: Causes Of Retained Placenta ]
Some Research-Related Conclusions about Anterior Placenta:
- According to one study, birth weight of babies is usually higher with an anterior placenta. The same study also reveals that the anterior placenta is more common with female births. 
- Although anterior placenta poses no pregnancy risks, one study reveals that the placental position may increase the chances of hypertension due to pregnancy, placenta damage, gestational diabetes, slow fetal growth, and fetal deaths. This study also reveals that women with blood group O-positive are more likely to have anterior placenta during their pregnancies. 
- The sleep position of women during the time of embryo implantation may also affect the position of the placenta. 
- Another study concludes that the anterior placenta can increase the need for labor inducement and caesarean section. It can also delay the start of labor. There is also a high risk of postpartum complications such as postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) during vaginal deliveries. 
Factors Affecting Placental Health:
A functioning placenta is necessary for good fetal health. Placental complications can result in fetal growth anomalies and even fetal death. Here are some factors that affect placental health.
- High blood pressure
- Pregnancies in women over the age of 40
- Multiple pregnancies
- Uterine surgeries prior to the pregnancy
- Pre-labor ruptures in the amniotic sac
- Problems with clotting of the blood
- Illegal drug use or any substance abuse during pregnancy
- Abdominal injuries
[ Read: Blood Clot In Placenta During Pregnancy ]
Care For The Placenta:
Women may not able to do anything about the position of the placenta. But they can take steps to care for the placenta.
- Eating a well-balanced diet is crucial when you are pregnant. You can further help the placenta by consuming more leafy green vegetables, whole grains, nuts like almonds and good fats such as present in avocado and minimum intake of salt and processed foods.
- Exercise if your doctor allows it. Follow the physical activity parameters set by your doctor.
- Take care to minimize sudden movements such as forward bends or twists.
- Keep up with your scheduled check-ups during your pregnancy. Regular check-ups help your doctor take care of any problems in time. These checkups can help your doctor take precautionary measures in case of anterior placenta complications.
- In case you experience any abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding during pregnancy, contact your doctor immediately. The pain may be harmless, but it is imperative that your doctor checks the source of the pain. If the pain is due to placental detachment, any delay in medical attention can be fatal. Also, report to your doctor if you experience back pain, premature uterine contractions or any abdominal trauma.
The anterior placenta risks that arise are manageable as ultrasound scans reveal most potential problems beforehand. It is a common placental position and doctors can easily handle pregnancies with any placental position, including anterior placenta. An anterior placenta is not a cause for concern. All you need to do is follow the pregnancy care as per your doctor’s suggestions and keep stress at bay. So, eat healthy, sleep better and enjoy your time now, as it is special.
Did you experience any problems during your pregnancy due to anterior placenta? Please share your experiences with us.
- What Is Fetal Macrosomia & Its Symptoms?
- Placenta Previa During Pregnancy – Causes, Symptoms & Treatments You Should Be Aware Of
- What Is Placenta Encapsulation And What Are Its Benefits?
- 10 Important Functions Of Placenta During Pregnancy