Have you been told your placenta is “low-lying”?
If so, you might be wondering how to move the placenta up naturally.
The good news is, you can relax!
There’s nothing you need to do except keep going to your prenatal appointments.
Let’s take a look at what’s going on.
In this article: 📝
- What’s a low-lying placenta?
- What are the chances the placenta will move up?
- In which week does the placenta move up?
- How long does it take for the placenta to move up?
- How should I sleep if my placenta is low-lying?
- How to move the placenta up naturally: the bottom line
What’s a low-lying placenta?
It supplies all the nutrients your baby needs, and it collects their waste for disposal.
It usually forms on the top or sides of your uterus.
And that means it’s out of the way when your baby’s ready to meet the world.
But in some cases, it grows at the bottom of your uterus instead.
If it’s less than two centimeters (about three-quarters of an inch) from your cervix, it’s known as a “low-lying placenta.”
You may also hear terms like “anterior low-lying placenta” and “posterior low-lying placenta.”
That’s just a more detailed way of describing where the placenta is. If it’s attached to the front of the uterus, it’s an anterior placenta.
If it’s attached to the back, it’s a posterior placenta.
And if it covers it entirely, it’s known as “complete (or major) placenta previa.”
What are the chances the placenta will move up?
A 2014 study looked at 1,500 women diagnosed with a low-lying placenta in their second trimester.
In 98% of cases, the placenta had moved up on its own before the birth.
So if you’ve been told you’ve got a low-lying placenta at 12 weeks, try not to worry.
The chances are, it will move of its own accord well before it can cause any problems.
In which week does the placenta move up?
Often the placenta simply moves as the uterus grows.
But the placenta can also move around the uterus to search for a richer blood supply.
(Kind of creepy, but also, wow, what a smart organ!)
This sometimes happens as the attachments between the placenta and your uterus break down and reattach in different places.
Unfortunately, there’s nothing you can do to control this.
And exactly when it happens varies from mama to mama.
That 2014 study, though, found that in 84% of cases, the placenta had moved up by week 32 of pregnancy.
And while in 1.6% of cases, the placenta didn’t move, all those babies were safely delivered by cesarean section.
How long does it take for the placenta to move up?
Placentas move at different rates, depending on their original position.
The placenta usually moves fastest if it’s covering only part of the cervix and is attached to the front of your uterus (anterior partial placenta previa).
The next fastest is low-lying placenta that’s not covering part of the cervix.
And the slowest is a placenta covering part of the cervix and attached to the back of the uterus (posterior partial placenta previa).
But every pregnancy is different.
The important thing is to go to all your prenatal appointments and ultrasounds, so your doctor can check how things are developing.
How should I sleep if my placenta is low-lying?
Your placenta will move (or not) by itself, so you don’t need to lie in any particular position.
And if you’re wondering about the best sitting position for a low-lying placenta, it’s the same answer.
Sit or lie however you feel most comfortable.
Our blog has some great tips for how to sleep when you’re pregnant.
How to move the placenta up naturally: the bottom line
If you’ve been told you’ve got a low-lying placenta, try to relax.
In almost all cases, your body knows how to move the placenta up naturally.
In the worst-case scenario, if the placenta stubbornly refuses to budge, you may need to do bed rest and have your baby delivered by c-section.
The important thing is to go to all your prenatal appointments.
That will allow your doctor to keep an eye on things as your pregnancy develops.
Good luck, mama!