Is Placental Location Important?
You bet. We always evaluate placental location in the 2nd Trimester. We need to ensure your placenta is not too close or covering the cervix, aka Baby’s exit. But is it important that you know where your placenta is positioned? Most of the time, your doctor will not discuss it with you unless its position is a problem.
Why Isn’t Placental Location Always Discussed?
Like so many other variables about your pregnancy, your doctor will consider this a strictly need-to-know basis. In other words, it just isn’t important if your placenta appears entirely unremarkable (appearing normal). You’re juggling SO much info as it is already, right? No sense in adding one more thing to the memory pile.
How Do We Describe Placental Location?
Check out my handy-dandy graphics!
The Anterior Placenta
An anterior placenta is one located on the front or belly side of the uterus. With the placenta in this position, your chances for a great profile in the 3rd Trimester can be a challenge! If you have an anterior placenta, you’ll see it at the top of your image, like this, outlined in white:
The Posterior Placenta
A posterior placenta is located on the backside of your uterus. In this position, Baby has a nice pillow when lying on your back. This fetus has a nice little cushion for her little bottom here. You might see a placenta here on the bottom of your image, like so:
The Fundal Placenta
A fundal placenta is located at the top of your uterus. We can also see any number of combos with respect to your placental position like fundal/posterior or fundal/anterior. The image below might be classified as fundal/anterior.
The above images depict some very basics with respect to where your placenta decided to implant!
When Do You Need to Know?
Only if your placenta is very low or covering your cervix do you really need to know about it. Oftentimes, we’ll note a low placenta on your anatomy screen exam. This is not a big deal most of the time. About 9/10 exams where we see it a little low at this point in pregnancy, the placenta will “move” up on a follow-up exam a month or so later.
Wait, isn’t the placenta is attached to our uterine wall? Yep. So, it doesn’t actually “move” despite our calling it such. It’s more that as the uterus grows bigger, the placenta will move with the uterus and grow further away from the cervix . . . most of the time. Sometimes, our placenta can be as stubborn as our children!
If this is your case, don’t worry! There’s not a doggone thing anyone can do about it. It’s just one of life’s little curve balls, like parenting and so many other facets of this thing we call life that we just can’t control. We’ll continue to follow a low placenta until it’s out of the way or until your doc decides it’s there to stay. In these cases, C-Section will be the topic of conversation, but not until later in your pregnancy! Your healthcare provider will want to give the stubborn placenta every opportunity to get the heck out of the way!
I hope this post helped you understand placental location a little better!
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