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Which Placenta Position is Best for Normal Labor?

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Which Placenta Position is Best for Normal Labor?

Dec 5, 2022
placenta position for a baby delivery

At Stork Helpers, we spend a good amount of time talking about the power of the placenta and the health benefits it provides both before and after labor.  Why? Because it is powerful! 

The placenta is the organ responsible for the transfer of nutrients and oxygen to your baby during pregnancy. Additionally, after birth, the placenta can be processed and consumed to reduce the negative impact of postpartum depression and help make milk production easier for mama.  

The placenta develops as your baby develops. However, many mamas do not know that it can grow attached at different points in the uterus. Additionally, the placement of the placenta in the uterus can determine the ease of your labor and your baby's birth.  

In this post, Stork Helpers will walk you through the development of the placenta, and the best placental position for normal labor.  

The Developmental Stages of the Placenta 

When you are pregnant, your attention is fixed on the health of your baby. You probably haven’t given your placental
development more than a passing thought.  

Let’s quickly look at how the placenta develops as that will determine its ultimate position at the time of labor.  

The placenta first begins to grow when the blastocyst implants itself in your uterus. The blastocyst, the clump of cells that will eventually develop into the embryo, is called the inner cell mass. An outer cluster of cells forms too called the trophoblast, and these cells eventually become the placenta. 

The trophoblast grows rapidly and forms two distinct layers: the inner cytotrophoblasts and the outer syncytiotrophoblasts. 

The placenta at last forms when a fertilized egg plants itself on the uterus.  

According to the Cleveland Clinic, there are several places the placenta can form during pregnancy.  

  • Posterior: closest to your spine 

  • Anterior: closest to your abdomen.  

  • Low-lying: towards the bottom of the uterus, covers all or part of your cervix 

  • Lateral: on the left or right side of your uterus 

  • Fundal: at the top of your uterus 

Different placenta placements can affect your pregnancy and the ease of your labor and baby’s birth. Let’s explore that topic in the next section. 

How Placenta Placement Affects Your Labor 

Let’s break down each placenta position and discuss how it may affect your labor. 

Posterior Placement 

Your placenta has implanted itself on the back of your uterus. You will feel your baby's movements earlier and stronger. In addition, posterior placement allows your baby to get into an optimal placement for birth. Posterior placement is extremely common and often leads to normal birth. 

Anterior Placement 

Your placenta is attached to the front of your uterus. Anterior placement usually does not negatively affect your pregnancy or birth. However, it may be harder to feel your baby as it is better cushioned. Since your baby’s spine is against your spine, the labor may be more intense than in other positions. Additionally, there may be increased health risks due to anterior placement, but these are rare. Discuss with a professional for more information. 

Low-Lying Placement 

This occurs when the placenta develops close to or over the top of the cervix.  

According to the UK's Nation Health Service, a low-lying placenta affect 1 in 200 births, and for 9 out of 10 women, the placenta moves upwards around 32 weeks.  

A low-lying placenta comes with an increased risk of bleeding, and if the placenta blocks the uterus, the baby will need to be delivered via a caesarian section.  

Lateral Placement 

Your placenta is attached to either the right or left side of your uterus. In this placement, the uterus gets uniform blood flow from one of the uterine and/or ovarian arteries. This means the risk of pre-eclampsia is increased, but outcomes during labor and usually not affected. Lateral placements are the least common position. 

Fundal Placement 

Your placenta is attached to the top of your uterus. When the placenta is located here, it creates the weakest point of membrane over the cervix and can lead to premature rupture of membranes. Additionally, fundal placement has been linked to having a shorter third stage.  

Stork Helpers Gives You the Pregnancy You Deserve 

Pregnancy is one of the most complicated and stressful times in your life. However, you don’t have to go it alone.  

When you have Stork Helpers as your doula, you can be confident you have a doula who will always listen and never judge. We are here for you 24/7/365.  

You deserve to have the pregnancy you want. Whether that includes a home birth, water birth, or traditional hospital birth, Tamara and Skylar are here to listen, educate, and ensure you have your needs met.  

Regardless of your placental position, Stork Helpers is here for you.  

If you want the pregnancy and birth, you have always dreamed about, then it is time to reach out to Stork Helpers today! 

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