As your body embarks on the incredible journey of pregnancy, a new character takes the stage early on: the placenta.
It’s like a silent partner, playing a vital role in nurturing and supporting your baby throughout the pregnancy.
From very early on in your pregnancy, you’ll start to grow this new structure in your uterus.
But here’s the twist: Your placenta is not just a static bystander.
Each pregnancy scan will bring a little tidbit about the placenta positioning for your medical file.
So what does it mean if you have a posterior placenta?
We’ve got you all you need to know right here.
In this article: 📝
- What does the placenta do?
- What is meant by placenta positioning?
- What is placenta previa?
- Does it matter what position my placenta is in?
- What does it mean to have a posterior placenta?
- Does posterior placenta mean you’re having a boy?
- What are the disadvantages of a posterior placenta?
What does the placenta do?
Your placenta connects to your baby via the umbilical cord, and its job is to support the development of your growing little one.
The placenta transfers oxygen and nutrients while taking away any waste from your baby’s blood.
It’s like your baby’s little temporary home.
And during the third stage of labor, after your baby is born, you’ll also deliver the placenta.
What is meant by placenta positioning?
The placenta can form in any part of your uterus, and it’ll be attached to the wall.
We have official names for the various positions a placenta can implant: posterior placenta, fundal placenta, anterior placenta, and lateral placenta.
You can also have a low-lying placenta, also known as “placenta previa”.
It’s not a lot to digest in one go, so let’s take it one by one:
What does posterior placenta mean?
This is where the placenta attaches itself to the wall of the uterus nearest the spine.
Some say that mamas-to-be feel stronger baby movements when their placenta is in this position, but this isn’t proven.
What does anterior placenta mean?
This is where the placenta becomes attached to the wall nearest the mama-to-be’s stomach (the front).
Some say you can’t feel the baby move quite as strongly because the placenta’s positioning can act as a bit of a “barrier”.
What does fundal placenta mean?
Also known as fundic placenta, this is where the placenta grows at the top of the uterus.
A fundal placenta isn’t usually a cause for concern because it can still do its job of providing all the nutrients your baby needs.
But if you get symptoms like back pain or bleeding, it’s best to contact your doctor.
What does lateral placenta mean?
A lateral placenta is attached to either the right or left side of the uterus.
What is placenta previa?
Also known as a low-lying placenta, this is where the placenta covers the cervix, either partially or completely.
When the placenta is in this position, there’s extra risk of complications during pregnancy and delivery, including heavy bleeding or premature birth.
Does it matter what position my placenta is in?
Generally, no, it doesn’t really matter for the common three placental locations of fundal, anterior, or posterior.
But placenta previa can indeed be concerning because your cervix is blocked.
While there’s no “cure” for this, there are treatments that can help manage symptoms if you get them, which your healthcare provider can recommend.
What does it mean to have a posterior placenta?
Some reports say that mamas-to-be can feel baby movements stronger and earlier when the placenta is in their back area—but there’s not a lot of hard evidence to support this.
While there’s no “best” position for the placenta per se, posterior placenta is thought by some to allow the baby to move into the correct position for labor more easily.
And it doesn’t directly affect your chances of a vaginal delivery for the baby.
Does posterior placenta mean you’re having a boy?
There’s no evidence that the location of the placenta means boy or girl.
There might be lots of theories and even some limited studies, but more research is needed to really find a link (if it’s there).
The best way of finding out the sex of your baby is if it can be seen on an ultrasound or if you have it included in any blood tests you have done in early pregnancy.
What are the disadvantages of a posterior placenta?
A posterior placenta is the second most common location for the placenta to form, but it’s always worth knowing the rare risks it brings:
- A higher risk of back pain during labor: This is because the placenta can put more pressure on the nerves of your spine during labor.
- A higher risk of vasa previa: More so than if you had an anterior placenta. This is basically when baby’s blood vessels run near your cervix.
- A slightly higher risk of placental abruption: Again, more so than an anterior placenta. This is when the placenta separates from the uterine wall before or during labor.
A 2013 study also showed a link between posterior placenta and preterm birth, but again there is no idea position.
Each placental position comes with risks and rewards and, more importantly, informed guidance.
A posterior placenta is completely normal and shouldn’t be any cause for worry.
But if you’re worried about your placenta positioning or how much you can feel your baby’s movements, then chat to your healthcare professional—they’re there to help.
Much like the Peanut Pros in our community.
You’re not alone.