Posterior Placenta


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The placenta develops after implantation of the fetus and it grows throughout the human gestation period. It is the essential tissue which is attached to the uterus that transports oxygen and nutrients from mother to baby during pregnancy. It is through the umbilical cord that the nutrients and oxygen travel from baby to mother and vice versa.

The front of the uterus is considered to be the anterior and the back side is considered the posterior. The other parts of the uterus include the fundal (top uterus), the uterus itself is divided into two lateral parts: the left and right.

The placenta when formed attaches itself to a part of the uterus, this can be at any point or part. However, when the placenta attaches to the lower part of  a woman’s uterus it can be problematic in may ways that threaten the health of the baby, the mother, and overall of the pregnancy.

When the placenta attaches to the lower part of the uterus (seeing is how the baby presents downward during labor and the birthing process)- it can cause BIG problems. A posterior placenta is just this issue! It is where the placenta has placed itself low to the uterus. This can be a pregnancy risk as it causes and can result in hemorrhage (bleeding out, blood loss) and other complications during the birthing process.

Posterior Placenta: Is it Common?

Placenta that originates on the uterus is common. It situates itself uniquely in each pregnancy and each mother, however it is when the placenta is located in vertical position in the lower part of the placenta that it becomes a pregnancy risk.  This blocks the ability for the crown of the baby’s head to move in open space without compromising its or its mother’s livelihood and health during labor and birth.

Posterior Placenta:  Changes in Placenta

During pregnancy, obstetricians now order ultrasounds which can help pinpoint to the exact mark where the placenta has embedded itself.  Yes! The placenta changes position throughout pregnancy and as the fetus grows and forms. The placenta makes up 1/2 of the uterus surface space But as the pregnancy progresses an at the time of labor the placenta will only account for 2 lbs of weight, and 25% space of the uterus.

As the end of pregnancy and gestation nears, the baby;s head should be pointed, downward towards the birth canal for it to make its entrance into the world. The cervix will begin to thin naturally as the baby’s head pressurizes down and nature takes its course. Typically, it is common in this period that the placenta’s attachment rises.

Posterior Placenta: When to be Concerned

If the placenta changes position or takes its placement near the cervix- its is termed placenta previa. This is a serious condition, because it may detach during birth and cause bleeding and risk to the baby’s life. It can also cause premature labor, and result in hemorrhage.

New modern ways to gauge and monitor pregnancy usually indicate and detect these types of issues so during birth- or before labor a doctor can remedy them by taking measures to ease the complexities and dangers or scheduling a surgical c-section when risks are severe.

Doctors usually are very well aware before birth of indications where placenta posterior and placenta previa will cause risks to mother and baby. They want the best outcome for both, so do speak and consult with your physician- and get the best prenatal care and attend regular visits to your doctor to ensure the best outcome for the pregnancy.