Pregnant woman with fetus lateral view

Your placenta connects your baby to your uterus. It transfers nutrients, hormones and oxygen to your little one and removes fetal waste.

If your doctor says you have an “anterior” placenta, that means the placenta is located at the front of your body. And while it doesn’t create problems for your baby, an anterior placenta can complicate the process of monitoring your pregnancy.

Sometimes, an anterior placenta can “fix” itself; as the pregnancy progresses, the uterus expands and the placenta naturally shifts upward.


The Difference Between Anterior and Posterior Placentas

The two most common types of placenta placements are anterior and posterior. Anterior placentas grow at the front of the uterus and posterior placentas grow near the spine.

Here are the other types of placentas based on location:

  • Low-lying: Near the bottom of the uterus, covering part or all of the cervix
  • Lateral: On the left or right side of the uterus
  • Fundal: At the top of the uterus

Effects of an Anterior Placenta While Pregnant

You may not be able to feel your baby’s first kicks or hear his heartbeat when you have an anterior placenta. There’s also a higher likelihood that your baby will rest back-to-back; meaning his head is down, but his back is against your spine. In most cases, the baby will turn and get into the proper position during labor. If he doesn’t, you may have a longer, more painful labor or you may need a C-section.

An anterior placenta could also increase your risk for gestational diabetes, pregnancy-induced hypertension or back labor.

Causes of an Anterior Placenta

Where your placenta grows is out of your control. It forms where a fertilized egg implants in your uterine wall, which can happen at the back, front, top, bottom or side of the uterus.

Anterior Placenta FAQs

Why Do Some People Have an Anterior Placenta but Others Don’t?

Researchers aren’t sure why a fertilized egg implants where it does in the uterus. But the location doesn’t impact the placenta’s ability to nourish your baby.

How Common is an Anterior Placenta?

Up to 50% of pregnancies involve an anterior placenta. One study shows it’s more likely to appear in women with O-positive blood. Another study suggests that sleeping on your stomach following conception may impact where the fertilized egg implants. More research is needed to confirm both studies.

Are There Treatment Options Available?

Since an anterior placenta doesn’t cause complications during pregnancy, there’s no treatment available.

However, there are treatment options for placenta-related pregnancy conditions, such as placenta previa, which occurs when the placenta covers the cervix.

Can an Anterior Placenta be Prevented?

There’s nothing you can do to prevent or control where your placenta grows. It will form wherever your fertilized egg implants in your uterine lining.

Get the Answers You Need from an OBGYN in Brownstown and Southgate

Every pregnancy is different for every woman, so it’s natural to have lots of questions.

Don't hesitate to contact us for answers to those questions or to schedule an appointment with one of our compassionate, experienced doctors.

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Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax