A healthy placenta is an integral part of a healthy pregnancy and forms early on to support your baby as they grow.
A whole, complex organ in its own right, the placenta provides your baby with oxygen and nutrients from your body and removes waste from the baby, too, like a constant life-support highway.
Placentas are amazing!
But what does the positioning of a placenta mean for you and your baby, and what is a fundal placenta?
Here’s what you need to know!
In this article: 📝
- What does it mean when the placenta is fundal?
- Is a fundal placenta normal?
- Can my placenta change position?
- Which placenta position is best for normal delivery?
- Does a fundal placenta mean a boy or girl?
What does it mean when the placenta is fundal?
A fundal placenta (or “fundic placenta”) means the placenta forms in the top region of the uterus, between the fallopian tube openings, also known as the fundus.
And why does this word sound strangely familiar?
You might have heard your midwife or doctor talking about “fundal height,” which is a measurement they use to track your baby’s growth.
The fundal placenta position is common and low-risk, meaning the position alone poses no complications.
As with any placental location, it is important to monitor a fundal placenta’s condition to ensure it’s providing your baby with the support they need, and this will be done at any routine pregnancy ultrasound.
Is a fundal placenta normal?
So having a fundal placenta sounds pretty straightforward, but are they normal?
It’s actually one of the most common placental locations.
In general, a fundic placenta will be classed as either a fundal anterior placenta or a fundal posterior placenta.
Here’s what that means, and the other placental locations:
- Fundal anterior placenta: A placenta that forms at the top and extends down the front of your uterus (nearest your belly).
- Fundal posterior placenta: A placenta that forms at the top and extends down the back of your uterus (nearest your spine).
- Anterior placenta: A placenta that forms on the front wall of your uterus.
- Posterior placenta: A placenta that forms, you guessed it, on the back wall of your uterus.
- Placenta previa: A placenta that forms at the bottom of your uterus, also sometimes referred to as a low-lying placenta. A placenta previa can be subclassed as marginal-previa, meaning the placenta extends just to the edge of the cervix, or partial- or complete-previa, meaning the placenta either partially or completely covers the cervical opening.
- Lateral placenta: A placenta that forms on either side of your uterus (this is the least common placental location).
Can my placenta change position?
It’s normal for there to be some movement of your placenta as your pregnancy progresses and your uterus grows, although this doesn’t mean it detaches and moves.
Instead, it grows and moves with your growing uterus.
In most cases, the placenta will grow upwards, towards the fundus, before the third trimester.
You will be able to see the placement of your placenta during your pregnancy ultrasounds.
You may be recommended to have a follow-up scan to check positioning later in the pregnancy if your doctor has any concerns (though this is rare).
Which placenta position is best for normal delivery?
While a posterior placenta is often referred to as the ideal placental location for birth, a fundal placenta or anterior placenta is not likely to be a problem.
As Dr. Kiarra King explains, “This is mainly due to the placenta being out of the way of the cervix and subsequently the baby preparing for a vaginal birth. Also, for C-sections, posterior or fundal placentas are out of the way for the uterine incision.”
Lateral placentas can increase the chances of your baby being in a breech position, which can complicate the latter stages of pregnancy, but this placement is quite uncommon.
The only placenta position that will almost definitely require a C-section is placenta previa.
Placenta previa affects roughly one in 200 pregnancies and can be more likely if you are over 35, this is not your first pregnancy, you’re carrying multiples or you’ve had previous uterine surgeries, including C-sections.
Does a fundal placenta mean a boy or girl?
You may have heard that an anterior placenta means a girl or a posterior placenta means a boy, so what does a fundal placenta mean for the sex of your baby?
There is no scientific evidence to support any of the myths surrounding placental location and the link to whether you’re expecting a boy or girl!
Sorry to disappoint!
There you have it — all there is to know about a fundal placenta!
Want to chat with other moms-to-be with fundal placentas?
Join the conversation on Peanut — we think you’ll fit right in.