The placenta is one of the most vital organs developed during pregnancy. The placenta provides everything that a developing fetus needs to grow, from nutrients to the exchange of oxygen, hormones, and other vital markers.
However, many new moms are not aware of the different placental positions in the uterus during the pregnancy.
“So, you know, I had my mid-pregnancy scan, and the OBGYN said I have an anterior placenta. What does it mean?”
These are some common questions that irk the minds of most pregnant women. Before you start panicking, thinking that something is wrong with the baby, don’t. Anterior placenta during pregnancy is a common occurrence and doesn’t affect the mother or the baby negatively.
This article will highlight the anterior and posterior placenta meaning and how it affects your pregnancy.
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In this Article
What is Anterior Placenta?
The placenta grows inside the uterus to provide the developing baby with the nourishment, protection, and immunity it needs to grow. For a secure connection, the placenta attaches itself to the walls of the uterus.
The anterior placenta is when the placenta attaches itself to the front of the uterus. So, it guards and nourishes the fetus sitting right in front of the stomach and the developing fetus.
Although having an anterior placenta doesn’t necessarily negatively impact, it can often make it difficult for the mother to feel their baby grow and move around in the womb. The anterior placenta position can also make it difficult for ultrasound technicians to detect the baby’s heartbeat during the pregnancy scans.
Remember that the placental position keeps changing throughout the pregnancy. So, if you had an anterior placenta halfway through the pregnancy, it can later change throughout the end of the pregnancy term.
Does Anterior Placenta Affect the Pregnancy?
During pregnancy, having an anterior placenta isn’t fatal for the baby or the mother. However, it doesn’t make a few things during the pregnancy difficult to assess. Some of them include:
- Mothers with anterior placenta might have a hard time feeling their baby move or kick in their belly.
- OBGYNs or ultrasound techs might face difficulty finding the heartbeat of the baby during scans.
- Collecting samples for certain prenatal tests like amniocentesis can be complicated.
However, these minor issues don’t alter the overall pregnancy experience.
Also, a common saying – “placenta anterior means boy or girl” is a myth. The placement of the placenta isn’t always 100% indicative of the gender of the baby.
How is Anterior Placenta Diagnosed?
The anterior placenta placement is generally diagnosed during the 18-20 week pregnancy scan, the mid-pregnancy scan.
This is when your OBGYN tracks fetal development and checks for any abnormalities based on the baby’s fetal weight, length, overall activity, and heart rate.
During this scan, the doctor can check the placental position and assert whether you have an anterior placenta or not. Also, the anterior placenta gender ultrasound doesn’t always assert whether the fetus is a boy or a girl.
Are their Complications Associated with Anterior Placenta?
As we said before, the anterior placenta isn’t fatal or a negative marker during pregnancy. However, there are a few underlying shortcomings that patients should be aware of.
Not just during the pregnancy, a few studies suggest that the anterior placenta can lead to post-birth complications in the baby.
Some possible complications due to anterior placenta include:
- Hypertension in the mother
- Gestational diabetes
- Intrauterine growth restriction
- Fetal death or miscarriage
- Placental abruption
In some cases, the anterior placenta often moves upwards and shifts in its placement throughout the pregnancy.
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Should I see a Doctor for Anterior Placenta?
The anterior placenta is a common placental position that doesn’t require medical intervention unless there are underlying complications.
However, consulting a doctor is ideal if the anterior placenta is associated with other symptoms like vaginal bleeding, severe cramping, suddenly decreased or non-existent fetal movement, or abdominal discomfort.
Contrary to popular beliefs, anterior placental positioning isn’t always a sign of worry. It won’t necessarily affect the pregnancy outcome; however, it does impose a few roadblocks for the mother and the doctor while assessing fetal health.
If you have an anterior placenta and are experiencing bad symptoms, it is better to consult a doctor to rule out possible complications.