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Anterior Placenta

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

My midwife told me today (13 weeks 6 days) that my placenta is anterior, she wasn't concerned at all but I'm wondering what everyone else's experiences with anterior placenta have been. This is my second pregnancy and I will going for a HBAC. So far I've been feeling the baby just fine, so either I have a spazz or a football player in there. lol

I'd love any tips or tricks you have on keeping baby from becoming posterior.

post #2 of 33

My placenta is anterior also, and also planning on a VBAC (hospital though). both the OB and my doula (who is a midwife in training also) have no concerns about it.


As far getting baby to be other than posterior, the website www.spinningbabies.com is usually the most frequently recommended for advice on getting babies into optimal birth position.


Hope some of that helps!


Oh, and I am feeling this LO fine also, at the moment! funny thing is, I didn't feel her much until the anatomy scan at 20 weeks, and ever since, it is rare for me not to feel her movements.  - I felt her before the scan, just not nearly as often or as strongly. 

post #3 of 33

This is my third baby, and third anterior placenta! I feel the baby just fine as well, it usually just takes way longer for DH to be able to feel the movement from the outside. That's okay with me, I get territorial with my babies anyway, I don't mind the "just us two" thing winky.gif.

post #4 of 33

Anterior placentas are typically no big deal, nothing to worry about!


There are two common "issues" with anterior placentas. 

1.  You may not feel baby movement as much or at all!  This isn't an issue in and of itself of course, but can cause problems later when you are trying to do kick counts and not feeling much.  Most of the time, once baby is a good size, you'll feel those sweet kicks no matter where the placenta is.

2. A common analogy/rule to midwives is anterior placenta = posterior baby.  I've seen this true more times than not, it's just something about the positioning of the placenta in an anterior  state that makes babies want to be posterior!  The best solution to this is doing exercises and positioning to keep optimal fetal positioning throughout pregnancy and especially during labor.  spinningbabies.com is an excellent resource!




Edited by cinderella08 - 6/6/11 at 9:33am
post #5 of 33

Mine is anterior, on the right side of my tummy. As far as we can tell the baby hasn't been posterior at all this pregnancy - he was ROA for awhile, then LOA for several weeks, then flipped transverse (rotter) at 37 weeks and spent a few days flopping around all over the place, and now he seems to be LOA again! I guess with the placenta being on the right side and him lying more on the left, it doesn't get in the way?


I've never had trouble feeling kicks either. I did find, when he was flipping around, that it was harder to feel where limbs or whatever were hanging out on the placenta side; but I'm pretty rubbish at palpation/belly mapping anyway.


And yep, spinningbabies is a great resource to prevent a posterior baby!

post #6 of 33
My placenta was anterior last time. I am not sure about this time since I don't see the OB for a couple weeks. Nobody was concerned about the anterior placenta, though. My daughter was posterior and large, and I got talked into a c-section. Having an anterior placenta doesn't mean that there will be any complications, though. I was also able to feel every little kick and punch.
post #7 of 33

DS had an anterior placenta. it did muffle his movements, which I didn't feel until about 15 weeks (as compared to 8 weeks with DD, I feel movement early), and after I was able to feel him, I could always tell when I was feeling through the placenta as it wasn't as strong. 


he did hang out posterior for a while. I was seeing a chiro for my back, and she did some webster on me, and I spent a lot of time rocking on my hands and knees, and that got him to rotate. 

post #8 of 33

don't know if it true all the time or not, but babes seem to like to face the placenta (mine do anyway), perhaps that is why anterior placenta sometimes = posterior baby?

post #9 of 33

It is nothing you should worry about! I have an anterior placenta with this pregnancy. Early on it was harder to feel movements but, once she got bigger I felt her just fine. She was breech until i was 36 weeks along. Now at 38weeks she has flipped down. I have heard that anterior placenta can make it so the back of their head is against your back which can make you have back labor...I am hoping this isn't the case :) I won't even think about it!

post #10 of 33

An anterior placenta in a woman with a previous c-section is something to be mindful, but not fearful, of.  The placenta burrows into the endometrial lining when it implants, and if it is attached over the scar, it is slightly more likely to burrow through the scar, causing placenta accretta.  It incidence of accrettas has increased astronomically over the past decade or so, as the c/s rate as increased :(  Yet another reason to avoid that primary c/s. 


For this pregnancy, an ultrasound near in the third trimester may be recommended to look for signs of an accretta.  A known accretta significantly increases the rate of PPH, and cesarean hyesterectomies. 


Additionally, if a repeat c-section is recommended for whatever reason, the surgical team would need to cut *through* the placenta to get to the baby.  This increases risks for baby and you.


Certainly, telling a woman that "it's nothing to worry about" is not speaking from a place of knowledge about these important issues.  Decreased fetal movement and a posterior presentation are more common, but certainly not more dangerous, things to be aware of.

post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 

Holy crap, now I'm paranoid. :(

post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 

Also, I think my midwife telling me not to worry about it is b/c there's nothing to do about it right now, so freaking me out (which is pretty easy to do) is not the best thing.

post #13 of 33


Additionally, if a repeat c-section is recommended for whatever reason, the surgical team would need to cut *through* the placenta to get to the baby.  This increases risks for baby and you.

Really? If they knew where it was, couldn't they just cut around it - below or above or at a different angle or whatever? I've heard of cases where the surgeon has cut the bikini-line incision to get through the skin, muscles etc, but used a vertical incision on the actual uterus. Wouldn't something like that be an option?


post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 


post #15 of 33
If your midwife is not concerned, I'd take that as a good sign. The risk of placenta acretta is still pretty low, even with a one previous c-section. I'd recommend finding a good chiropractor. Keeping your pelvis in alignment can help the baby to settle into the right position. It also helps with the back pain that comes with being pregnant.
post #16 of 33
Originally Posted by mom-to-milo View Post

Certainly, telling a woman that "it's nothing to worry about" is not speaking from a place of knowledge about these important issues.  

It seems kinder to me than giving an already nervous mom-to-be more things to worry about. That doesn't seem very helpful at all, especially since the professional in her case, her midwife, is not concerned at all. Just my two cents, of course. smile.gif

post #17 of 33

A conversation about the risks of a prior c/s really should include placental implantation problems like placenta acreta.  A midwife can talk about these things in a way that does not terrorize a mom, and talk about "absolute" vs. "relative" risk, but not knowing about a complication can't prevent it from happening.


OP, on a personal note- I have an anterior placenta and since 19-20 weeks, I have been feeling TONS of movement. I feel small parts in front a lot, too, so I'm thinking LO is posterior.  Hopefully that changes in the next few weeks  :)

post #18 of 33

chances are very high that everything is fine! I know that placenta problems (like previa, accreta) were one of my biggest fears during my first vbac pregnancy (that is, before an ultrasound determined everything was fine) because its one of those things that you just can't control, prevent, or do anything about once it happens! But remember, relative to the entire size of your uterus, your scar is teeny tiny :) "anterior" represents HALF of your uterus! It just happens to be the half that is shared with that itty bitty scar. I know its hard not to be stressed out about the possibility of accreta (and in your shoes, I'm sure I'd be plenty stressed!) Now this is coming from a complete "lay person" guess, not from anything I've read from anywhere official, but if your midwife was able to detect your placenta location on a 13w6d uterus, I imagine it would have needed to be high up enough on that uterus for her to be able to hear placenta sound with the doppler? Right now, your uterine scar is super low, below your pubic bone. Your scar won't rise up to the point of being above your pubic bone until you've got a full term baby in there stretching it out. So from that, I'd think a high up placenta would be more likely? And even if it WERE on your scar, there's still a good chance that it implanted perfectly with no accreta. Odds are on your side!

post #19 of 33

I've SEEN it.  Not often, but enough.  If you are coming here to simply have your back patted about how "everything is fine...trust birth...birth is pertfect," you came to the right place.  If, however, you come to hear a genuine discussion of the clinical assessment of yours (or anyones) particular situation, I promise you that I will provide a valid answer to your questions. 

post #20 of 33
An anterior placanta is not a pathological diagnosis. It is perfectly reasonable to remain positive unless/until ultrasound confirms a placenta covering the scar. If that were confirmed, there would be different responses here.

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