It is quite normal for pregnant women and their partners to be concerned about this part of their lives.
After all, you’re dealing with your own and unborn child’s lives. And with this, you need to make sure that your health is well-managed.
So if you’ve been told by your doctor that you have an anterior placenta bigger belly, it’s only natural that you’d want to know what it means.
You would also likely be researching whether or not this poses a threat to your baby.
The good news is, this isn’t something you need to be alarmed about.
It’s simply a scientific-sounding term that means your placenta has positioned in front of your baby. It generally means there is nothing to worry about.
But if you would like to know more about the changes that will be happening in your body, it’s best that you continue reading this article.
You’ll get to know more about placental location and how it will affect your pregnancy and your delivery.
This article will also give you some idea of what makes an anterior placenta pregnancy different from other pregnancies.
What Is Anterior Placenta?
First things first, let’s discuss what the placenta is. The placenta is an organ that only develops during pregnancy.
Together with the umbilical cord, it is responsible for supplying oxygen, hormones, and nutrients to your baby. At the same time, it helps in waste removal.
During the first few weeks of your gestation period, your placenta grows along with your baby.
Although it can be found anywhere along with the uterus, it can move position throughout your pregnancy.
Normally, the placenta can be found on the front side of the uterus.
This is what doctors refer to as an “anterior placenta.” But there are several other areas where the placenta may grow.
1.) Placental Location
Having an anterior placenta bigger belly look doesn’t really mean you should be worried.
It is pretty common and will only make you look like you have a bigger belly than normal.
But apart from the front, your placenta may actually grow in other areas. These are the technical terms as well as what they signify:
- Anterior – Front of the uterus (front of your body and stomach)
- Fundal – On top of the uterus
- Lateral – Either side of the uterus
- Low-lying – Bottom of the uterus
- Posterior – Back of the uterus (towards your spine)
The placenta usually develops wherever a fertilized egg implants. Aside from this, your placenta can grow anywhere in the uterus.
2.) Is An Anterior Placenta Bigger Belly Common?
The previously mentioned positions of the placenta are considered normal and safe.
But if you heard your doctor say you have an anterior placenta, you may be curious to know whether it’s a common thing or not.
According to publications, around 33 to 50 percent of pregnancies are composed of an anterior placenta.
Another common site of implantation is the back of the uterus.
This, however, does not mean that your placenta will stay in one place.
Throughout your pregnancy, your placenta may move; especially when you are nearing the end of your term.
It really is a mystery why there are different placental locations.
But doctors speculate that this is because the placenta favors the top and back of the uterus since these have more access to blood vessel-rich areas.
3.) How Does It Get Diagnosed?
Now that you know the different placental locations, your next question might be how it gets diagnosed.
If your doctor told you that you have an anterior placenta, it is usually because of the results of your mid-pregnancy ultrasound.
Your doctor or an ultrasound technician will already be able to see the position of your placenta halfway through your pregnancy.
The ultrasound is usually part of a standard procedure to check if there are any abnormalities in your fetus.
Anterior Placenta & Your Pregnancy
Generally speaking, having an anterior placenta is considered harmless.
But if this is your second pregnancy and you had a different placental position prior, you can expect some slight differences.
Some women think that the placental position can be determined by how the baby bump looks. But according to doctors, your belly shape is not an indication of the position.
An ultrasound is the only way this can be confirmed.
So while you may have an anterior placenta bigger belly, it doesn’t increase your bump’s size.
You simply have an extra cushioning layer if your placenta is situated in front of your body.
Knowing this, it’s important that you know how having an anterior placenta can affect your pregnancy. Here are some things you should know.
1.) How It Affects Your Pregnancy
If your placenta is situated in front of your baby, it may make certain prenatal tests slightly more difficult to conduct.
This is particularly true in the case of an amniocentesis. But it doesn’t increase your risk of having a miscarriage.
This placental position may also make it harder for you to actually feel your baby kick.
This is because of the extra cushioning layer in your belly, which won’t make you feel your baby’s kick right away.
Usually, pregnant women start feeling their baby’s first kick between 18 and 20 weeks.
If you have an anterior placenta, however, it may take you between 20 to 22 weeks before you finally feel your baby’s kicks.
Another way it can affect your pregnancy is that your doctor may need to spend a little more time locating the heartbeat or your baby during your succeeding prenatal visits.
2.) How It Affects Delivery
Another thing you need to know is how an anterior placenta can affect delivery.
The good news is that it won’t really affect how you deliver your baby.
Having an anterior placenta does not have any negative impact on your delivery route or pregnancy outcome.
There is, however, a small study that points out the need for a c-section, an induction, or a manual placenta removal with this placental position.
But because researchers were unable to find further correlation for this, it is not something that doctors believe to be true.
3.) Risks for an Anterior Placenta
One of the biggest risks of having an anterior placenta is that pregnant women do not really feel their babies move a lot.
And because of this, it gets harder to determine if there is an issue with the baby. Despite this, there is no need to get further testing
There are other potential risks, however.
As pointed out by a 2013 study, some pregnancy complications have a higher chance of occurring in women with an anterior placenta. Some of these risks include:
- Gestational diabetes
- Pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Placental abruption
- Intrauterine growth restriction
It’s important to note, though, that the study that conducted this tests examined around 500 cases.
And while these are scary, many of the respondents had healthy pregnancies and deliveries despite having an anterior placenta.
The important thing is that you keep your doctor up-to-date with your condition so you can be taken good care of.
4.) When to Call Doctor about a Potential Problem
Having an anterior placenta isn’t necessarily a cause for concern.
But if you experience some of these symptoms, it’s best that you call your doctor. It could indicate that you are having a placenta problem.
Here are the symptoms you need to keep an eye out on:
- Abdominal pain
- Vaginal bleeding
- Severe back pains
- Fast uterine contractions
It’s also recommended that you see your doctor right away if you experienced trauma to your stomach.
You may have a problem with your placenta and will need your doctor to examine it right away.
See another post: How To Hide a Pregnancy For Nine Months
Frequently Asked Questions
Does anterior placenta mean bigger belly?
The size of your bump does not generally mean you have an anterior placenta.
If your doctor says you have an anterior placenta, it simply means that you have an extra cushioning layer in your stomach.
Your doctor will need to confirm your placental positioning through an ultrasound.
Do you show earlier with an anterior placenta?
Not necessarily. This is because a bigger belly does not necessarily mean you have an anterior placenta.
Plus, you have to remember that your placenta may move around throughout your pregnancy.
Do you carry different anterior placenta?
Your placental positioning does not affect your baby. You simply need to focus on your health and getting the best nutrients for your baby.
Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She’s an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.