When you are pregnant, an organ called the placenta develops within the uterus (womb) that acts like a delivery guy between you and your baby. It delivers all essential nutrients and oxygen to the developing fetus from the mother’s blood. The placenta has a wide, disc-shaped surface and is connected to the uterus of the mother on one side while on the other side the umbilical cord connects the placenta to the baby.
Depending on whether the placenta attaches to the front or back side of the uterus, it is termed as anterior or posterior placenta, respectively. It really does not matter what the position of the placenta is as regards the baby’s nutrition is concerned. However, if the lower portion of the placenta is too close to the lower edge of the uterus, it can act as an obstruction and make it difficult for the baby’s head to descend down during labor. This can also lead to excessive bleeding during pregnancy as well as delivery if the placenta is too close to the cervix of the uterus.
This usually happens when the egg is fertilized and the placenta attaches inside the rear wall of the uterus. As the uterus expands, with baby growth the placenta too grows on the rear wall. This is the position from where the placenta starts to grow.
Is It Normal To Have A Posterior Placenta ?
If you have a placenta posterior it is completely normal and does not affect the growth and development of the baby in any manner. Mothers with posterior placenta may be able to feel the movements of the baby much earlier in comparison to moms with a front wall placed placenta. Another added advantage of posterior placenta is that it allows the baby to grow and descend in alignment with the birth canal for a vaginal birth.
The placenta can change its position anytime during the duration of the entire pregnancy. It usually moves upwards, as the baby descends downwards. Very rarely does the placenta descend downwards if the baby moves upwards.
An ultrasound is done regularly to determine the position and proximity of the placenta with the cervix of the uterus.
Change of position of the placenta during the course of pregnancy can happen due to a number of reasons such as:
The only need for concern is if the posterior placenta extends downwards into the lower segment of the uterus and cervix. This condition is known as posterior placenta previa wherein the unstable position can cause the placenta to detach and cause internal bleeding or premature labor pains.
Also, a placenta previa could also indicate that the placenta obstructs the cervix making vaginal delivery impossible. This is why the position of the placenta is regularly checked at various stages of the pregnancy via sonography.
New modern technology and frequent ultrasounds help the doctor know the position of the placenta much before birth. This helps them to plan the delivery taking into considerations all the risk factors. The health care team can take all the remedial action to reduce the complexities and dangers by conducting a planned surgical cesarean section with the posterior placenta.
The best management is to regularly attend your prenatal visits and undergo regular ultrasounds to determine the position of the placenta. In case of any bleeding or spotting, always report it immediately to your health care provider.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.