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At my 20 week appointment I asked the tech where my placenta was located. She said I had an anterior placenta, to which I replied, “That’s stupid.”
She wondered why I said that, and maybe you wonder too, so this post will be an informative post about why having an anterior placenta is stupid.
First, let me explain what an anterior placenta is. Placentas typically implant in the back/posterior of the uterus, but when your placenta is anterior it is right up front (placentas can also implant on the sides and top of the uterus). So, if you come up to me and rub my belly and say hi to the baby, you are in fact introducing yourself to my placenta and not the baby. My placenta is in the front of my uterus, right in between baby and my belly button.
Ok, so having an anterior placenta isn’t necessarily “stupid” but more annoying than anything. And don’t get me wrong, I am grateful that I have a healthy placenta keeping my baby healthy, and that the placenta isn’t low lying which can be dangerous if it’s covering my cervix, etc. However, one of the reasons why I am annoyed I have an anterior placenta is that it makes it really hard to hear fetal heart tones with a fetoscope.
A fetoscope is like a stethoscope but used primarily to hear fetal heart tones. It’s not invasive, doesn’t use ultrasound like a doppler does, so anybody could use it without having to have a medically indicated reason.
However, it makes perfect sense that I have been unable to hear my baby’s heartbeat with my fetoscope but instead can hear my own pulse loud and clear. I have been hearing my placenta!
Another reason I was annoyed that I have an anterior placenta is that it typically takes longer to start feeling fetal movement and when you do feel movement it can be dulled compared to what other moms might be feeling. However, when I thought about it I started feeling movement at 16 weeks and my hubby felt baby girl at 19 weeks so I don’t think I have anything to fuss about. I have noticed that I only feel movement down low and to the sides, which makes sense because the placenta is cushioning any kicks I may have otherwise felt with a posterior placenta.
The last reason I was annoyed about my anterior placenta is I have been really looking forward to figuring out my baby’s position (aka belly mapping) and I would assume that an anterior placenta would make it a bit more tricky. I went to the Spinning Babies website to see what Gail had to say about the anterior placenta and baby positioning and discovered that some people believe OP babies are more common with an anterior placenta. Oy!
Before my head started spinning, I read that whole page and became educated. So, in conclusion, yes it can be more difficult to determine baby’s position, but no, it doesn’t necessarily mean baby will be OP more often especially if you follow the advice on the page:
The 3 Principles of Spinning Babies
- Balance your uterus. 1-5 short inversions per day and the rebozo are your friend.
- Apply gravity using maternal positioning. Couches and recliners are for wimps!
- Move the mother. Pelvic rocks, swimming, and more inversions.
On that page it said that a good time to start implementing these things is around 20 weeks. So, it looks like I need to start doing daily inversions, stretching, pelvic floor exercises, gentle prenatal yoga, psoas exercises, brisk walking, and swimming!
Pregnancy is quite the adventure.