What is an anterior placenta?
An anterior placenta means your placenta is at the front of the uterus, closer to the abdomen. It is common during pregnancy and is not usually a cause for concern. It is diagnosed during an ultrasound at 18-21 weeks of pregnancy.
Your placenta forms where a fertilized egg implants in the wall of the uterus. It transports nutrients, hormones and oxygen from you to your babythe umbilical cord. It also removes your baby's waste. The placenta usually grows at the back or top of the uterus, but in the case of an anterior placenta, the placenta grows at the front of the uterus. Think of an anterior placenta as a pillow between your tummy and your baby.
The placenta can move as your belly grows, meaning your placenta may start at the front but may move toward the top of the uterus as your pregnancy progresses. An anterior placenta does not cause any health problems for you or your baby. In most cases, you will not notice any effects of an anterior placenta.
Why do some people have an anterior placenta?
It is not known why a fertilized egg implants in the front part of the uterus as opposed to other places in the uterus. The front wall of the uterus is still a normal site for egg implantation and placenta development. It does not interfere with the placenta's ability to deliver nutrients to your baby.
How common is an anterior placenta?
An anterior placenta is common. The placenta is in front of the uterus in up to 50% of all pregnancies. One study showed that anterior placentas appear to be more common in people with o-positive blood. Another found that sleeping on your stomach during conception might have something to do with the fertilized egg implanting itself in the front of the body. More scientific evidence is needed to confirm these studies.
What is the difference between anterior and posterior placenta?
The placenta grows inside the uterus at the implantation site (where the fertilized egg cell attaches to the uterine wall). There are several places where a placenta can form during pregnancy:
- Rear: Closer to your spine. At the back of your uterus.
- Anterior: In front of your uterus. Closer to your stomach area.
- low: To the bottom of your uterus. Covers all or part of the cervix.
- Laterally: On the left or right side of your uterus.
- bottom: at the top of your uterus.
How does an anterior placenta affect pregnancy?
An anterior placenta will not harm your baby in any way. The biggest impact it can have on pregnancy is that it takes longer for the baby to kick. For the same reason, it may be more difficult to find your baby's heartbeat during a Doppler ultrasound or to perform certain fetal tests (egAmniocentesis) a challenge.
symptoms and causes
What are the symptoms of an anterior placenta?
An anterior placenta does not cause many symptoms and is not a cause for concern most of the time. Some noticeable signs of an anterior placenta are:
- heart rate of the baby: It may take longer for your doctor to detect your baby's heartbeat with a Doppler ultrasound. The Doppler is moved in your abdomen to measure the baby's heart rate. It may take longer because the placenta is between the baby and the doppler.
- Baby move: You may feel kicks or punches later than people with a rear placenta. Most people feel kicks around 18 weeks of pregnancy, but people with an anterior placenta may not feel kicks until after 20 weeks. They may also feel weaker or softer because the placenta acts as a barrier between the baby and the tummy.
What causes an anterior placenta?
An anterior placenta isn't caused by anything you can control. Once an egg is fertilized, it implants itself in the walls of the uterus. This is where your placenta will grow. The placenta, which grows in front of the uterus, doesn't affect its function or how you handle your pregnancy.
Is there a risk of an anterior placenta?
There are risks associated with an anterior placenta. Most risks pose no risk to you or your baby:
- Pleased in advance: is when the placenta covers part or all of the cervix. It can cause light to heavy vaginal bleeding and complications.
- Section C:If you have placenta previa, you are more likely to have itCaesarean section(C-section) because the placenta prevents your baby from coming out of your vagina.
- Work: An anterior placenta makes your baby more likely to be in the OP (posterior occiput) position. This means your baby's head is down but his back is against your back, meaning his face is up. This can cause longer labor and more back pain.
How does the baby move with an anterior placenta?
If you have an anterior placenta, it may be more difficult to feel your baby kicking, hitting, or moving. This is because the placenta acts as a buffer between your tummy and your baby. It is common not to feel kicks until after the 20th week of pregnancy. This is because before 20 weeks your baby may not kick hard enough for you to feel it through the placenta.
Is Your Belly Bigger If You Have Anterior Placenta?
The shape or size of your abdomen shouldn't change if you have an anterior placenta. The placenta is a relatively thin organ, so it shouldn't affect the shape or size of your abdomen.
diagnosis and testing
How is an anterior placenta diagnosed?
Your doctor will determine the location of the placenta during an ultrasound. This ultrasound is performed between 18 and 21 weeks of pregnancy and is sometimes called an anatomy scan. This ultrasound measures the size of your baby and all of their organs. It is common for the placenta to change position as the uterus distends, so an anterior placenta is not diagnosed until about 20 weeks.
management and treatment
Is there a treatment for the anterior placenta?
There is no treatment for the anterior placenta as it does not usually cause any complications. Treatment is only needed if you have placenta previa or other pregnancy conditions.
Can you still give birth vaginally with an anterior placenta?
Yes, you can still have a vaginal delivery with an anterior placenta. An anterior placenta will not affect your birth. The only time your vaginal delivery might be affected is when you have placenta previa.
Does an anterior placenta affect caesarean section?
No, your cesarean section is not affected by an anterior placenta. Your doctor will use an ultrasound to locate the position of the placenta and find the best spot for the incision.
How can I reduce the risk of an anterior placenta?
There is nothing you can do to reduce your risk of anterior placenta. Your placenta grows where your fertilized egg implants in the lining of your womb.
Outlook / Forecast
What can I expect if I have an anterior placenta?
The hardest part of an anterior placenta is not feeling the baby's movements. If you're a new mom, you might be wondering why you aren't feeling the kicks as quickly or as severely as you would expect. You may anxiously wait to feel your baby move. You may eventually forget you have an anterior placenta because it doesn't cause any problems.
Can an anterior placenta attach?
Yes, an anterior placenta can be fixed by changing location during pregnancy. As your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby, the placenta naturally shifts. Your doctor won't look again for anterior placenta unless it covers part of your cervix.
to live with
When should I see my doctor?
Contact your doctor if you notice these symptoms:
- vaginal bleeding.
- Severe back or abdominal pain.
- You will feel your baby move less.
What questions should I ask my doctor?
If you're told you have an anterior placenta, there are a few questions to ask your doctor:
- Is my baby okay?
- Does this affect my delivery?
- Do I need to change something I'm doing?
- Do I need treatment for an anterior placenta?
frequently asked questions
Should I be concerned about an anterior placenta?
Having an anterior placenta is usually nothing to worry about. The location of your placenta does not affect its function. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned so he can put your mind at ease.
Does an anterior placenta mean the baby is a girl?
There is no data to prove that an anterior placenta means your baby is a girl. Your odds of having both genders are equal.
Are low placenta and anterior placenta the same?
No, a low placenta and an anterior placenta are not the same. A low placenta means your placenta is low in your uterus, covering part or all of your cervix. It is a complication of pregnancy that can cause light to heavy bleeding. An anterior placenta means your placenta is in front of your uterus. It doesn't cause bleeding and isn't usually a problem. You can have both conditions at the same time - an anterior placenta with a low cervix. If this is the case, your doctor will treat you for a low cervix (also called placenta previa).
A note from the Cleveland Clinic
Anterior placenta is a common condition during pregnancy. It may be more difficult for you to feel your baby's footsteps. It does not cause any complications in your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor if you're concerned. You can make sure your baby is healthy.
When should I be worried about anterior placenta? ›
An anterior placenta isn't typically cause for concern. But there is a possibility that the anterior placenta could grow downward instead of upward. This means that your placenta grows toward your cervix. This could possibly block the baby's way on delivery day and cause bleeding.Is anterior placenta more risky? ›
Anterior placenta is common in O-positive and posterior placenta in A-positive blood group. Women with posterior placenta have a greater risk of premature delivery.What complications can affect the placenta? ›
- low-lying placenta and placenta praevia.
- retained placenta – when part of the placenta remains in the womb after giving birth.
- placental abruption – when the placenta starts to come away from the wall of the womb.
Labor and Anterior Placenta Delivery
Most of the time, having an anterior placenta will not affect your labor and delivery at all. As long as your placenta is not low and you do not have any pregnancy concerns, you can likely have a vaginal birth and follow your birth plan.
Having an anterior placenta increases the chances of the baby being in a back-to-back (occipitoposterior) position. This is when the baby's head is down, but the back of their head and their back is against your spine.Does anterior placenta affect baby bump? ›
Many women wonder if this uterine position will affect how their baby bump looks—but no, there's no specific anterior placenta belly shape, says Heather Bartos, MD, an ob-gyn and the medical director of Be.How should I sleep with anterior placenta? ›
Best sleeping position: On your left-hand side with knees bent. This position is ideal for your baby's nourishment because it eases pressure on the liver – allowing oxygen and nutrients to travel via the placenta. The blood flow to the uterus and fetus improves accordingly.Can you have a cesarean with an anterior placenta? ›
If you have an anterior placenta that's low in your womb, it may be a bit more complicated if you're having your baby by caesarean section. You may have a higher risk of bleeding, for two reasons: The placenta may be lying just where your obstetrician needs to make an incision in your belly.What is the safest placenta position? ›
A study by Acar and Meric (2016) demonstrates that women with the placenta located at the anterior position has the greatest risk of placental abruption, followed by the fundal position and women with posterior placental positions has the lowest risk of placental abruption.What are the three most common placental abnormalities? ›
Low-lying placentas, placenta previa and abnormally invasive placentas are the most frequently occurring placental abnormalities in location and anatomy. These conditions can have serious consequences for mother and fetus mainly due to excessive blood loss before, during or after delivery.
What kind of placenta problems cause stillbirth? ›
Sometimes the placenta can separate from the womb before the baby is born. This is called placental abruption. It can lead to stillbirth because the placenta that has separated from the womb is not working as it should. In most cases there isn't a clear reason why placental abruption has happened.
The placenta can move as your belly grows, which means your placenta can start in the front, but move towards the top of your uterus as your pregnancy progresses. An anterior placenta does not cause any health problems for you or your baby. In most cases, you will not notice any effects of an anterior placenta.Which baby is anterior placenta? ›
But since an ultrasound isn't 100 percent reliable, and not everyone opts for early screening tests, you might use the position of your placenta to predict what you're having. According to some, having an anterior placenta means you're having a girl, whereas a posterior placenta means you're having a boy.What are some facts about anterior placenta? ›
The placenta attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. Anterior placenta is the medical term for a placenta that connects to the front of the uterus. An anterior placenta will sit between the front of the stomach and the fetus. Most of the time, a fertilized egg will implant on the back of the uterine wall.Does bed rest help placenta move up? ›
“There are no methods or remedies to move the placenta up naturally.”Which type of placenta is best? ›
The upper (or fundal) portion of the uterine back wall is one of the best locations for the fetus to be in. It allows them to move into the anterior position just before birth. Furthermore, a posterior placenta does not affect or interfere with the growth and development of the fetus.What placenta position is most common? ›
In most pregnancies, the placenta is located at the top or side of the uterus. In placenta previa, the placenta is located low in the uterus.What are the four abnormalities of placenta? ›
These placental disorders are called placenta previa, placenta accreta, placenta increta or placenta percreta.Can placenta problems cause miscarriage? ›
Chronic histiocytic intervillositis. Chronic histiocytic Intervillositis (CHI) is an extremely rare condition that may affect the placenta during pregnancy. In CHI, the mother's immune system reacts abnormally to the pregnancy and causes damage to the placenta, increasing the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.Which woman is at the greatest risk of not developing a healthy placenta? ›
Multiple C-sections: People who've had multiple C-sections have a higher risk of developing placenta accreta. This results from scarring of your uterus from the procedures. The more cesarean sections a woman has over time, the higher her risk of placenta accreta. Multiple cesareans are present in over 60% of cases.
Can placenta problems be seen on ultrasound? ›
If your uterus is not growing as expected, a pregnancy ultrasound will be done. This test will measure your baby's size and growth, and assess the size and placement of the placenta. Other times, problems with the placenta or your baby's growth may be found on a routine ultrasound that is done during your pregnancy.How is placenta abnormality diagnosed? ›
Placenta previa is diagnosed through ultrasound, either during a routine prenatal appointment or after an episode of vaginal bleeding. Most cases of placenta previa are diagnosed during a second-trimester ultrasound exam. The initial diagnosis may be done with an ultrasound device on your abdomen.What are the two most common complications during pregnancy? ›
Some of the most common complications of pregnancy include: high blood pressure. gestational diabetes.What are the 4 causes of stillbirth? ›
What are possible causes of stillbirth?
- Pregnancy and labor complications. ...
- Problems with the placenta. ...
- Birth defects. ...
- Infection. ...
- Problems with the umbilical cord.
The most common symptom of stillbirth is when you stop feeling your baby moving and kicking. Others include cramps, pain or bleeding from the vagina. Call your health care provider right away or go to the emergency room if you have any of these conditions.Can stress cause placenta problems? ›
Toxic stress also contributes to several medical conditions that can lead to placental abnormalities. Conditions like maternal obesity, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and a disturbed maternal microbiome.Can anterior placenta cause complications? ›
Can the anterior placenta cause complications? The anterior position of placenta does not cause a significant increase in pregnancy complications, but low-lying anterior placenta can cause a condition known as placenta previa. This is when the placenta partially or fully blocks the cervix, and it can lead to bleeding.Does anterior placenta delay labor? ›
Having an anterior placenta usually doesn't affect labor and delivery. You will likely still be able to have a vaginal delivery, as long as the placenta is not blocking the cervix and you do not have any pregnancy complications.