What is a placenta posterior?
Pregnancy comes with its own set of dos and don’ts, where a regular visit to your gynecologist is a must. Among the battery of tests that you have to do as soon as you are confirmed to be pregnant, the ultrasound is one of the most important ones. An ultrasound in your 2nd trimester reveals if you have a placenta posterior also known as posterior placenta. What does it mean? Find out if it affects your baby and pregnancy.
The role of placenta
The placenta is a disc shaped organ that develops during pregnancy purely for the transfer of oxygen and nutrients from the mother to the baby. It is spread within the uterus occupying a fairly wide area. The fetus is connected to the placenta via the umbilical cord. Somewhere in the 20th week of pregnancy, during the second trimester, an anomaly ultrasound is performed and the sonologist tells you the position of your placenta. It is important to know the position of the placenta as the growth and development of the baby depends upon it.
Know how the placenta helps in the baby’s growth in this amazing video.
Source: Bethea Medical Media
The front wall of the uterus is called anterior, and the back wall is known as posterior. When the placenta is placed in the back portion of the uterus, it is called as a placenta posterior. This occurs when the fertilized egg travels via the fallopian tubes and attaches itself to the back wall of the uterus. This is where the placenta begins to grow.
Is a posterior placenta normal ?
The placenta can attach and grow anywhere within the walls of the uterus. Having either an anterior or posterior placenta is both normal as long as it does not affect the growth and development of the baby.
Is a posterior placenta dangerous?
In most cases, a placenta posterior is absolutely safe and does not hamper the growth of the baby. In some cases, a placenta posterior may be beneficial to the mother as the baby’s kicks are more strongly felt. Also, a placenta posterior might even be better for the baby as it helps the baby grow and align itself properly in the birth canal before labor, thus favoring a vaginal birth. Moreover, the position of the placenta changes throughout pregnancy, usually it moves upwards as the baby grows. The placenta occupies almost half the space of the uterus as the pregnancy reaches half term. In the latter stages of pregnancy, it occupies lesser room as the baby begins to descend into the pelvis of the mother in preparation of birth.
Know more about placenta previa in this video here.
When should one worry?
The only concern is when the placenta occupies the lower portion of the uterus, which means the placenta posterior extends upto the internal os (opening) of the cervix. It means that a portion of the birth canal gets blocked and a vaginal delivery is not possible. This condition is known as placenta posterior previa. It is an unstable position and can even cause premature labor or internal bleeding. Hence, it is important to undergo sonography at periodic intervals during pregnancy to ascertain the position of the placenta and the baby. This helps plan a caesarean section in advance if there is detection of a placenta previa.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.
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